From the Pastor's Pod

My friend tanner she says
you know Me and Jesus we’re of the same heart
The only thing that keeps us distant
Is that I keep f***in up - Indigo girls "shame on you"

Here is a thing that I do not believe anymore

"Sin separates us from God"

I have been told that this is true, for my entire life.
But I have come to reject it as truth for two reasons.

It is not Biblical - God and sinners converse all the time in scripture
David, Jonah, Cain, etc etc etc

Paul says in Romans 8 (Amplified Bible)
38For I am persuaded beyond doubt that For I am persuaded beyond doubt that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The second reason I don't believe this anymore is my own experience.

I often feel God most near when I am doing that which I should not do, or refraining from doing that which I should do. God breathes down the back of my neck when I sin. God pokes me in the ribs when I sin. God does not seem repulsed, or offended by my sin. God just doesn't let go. I have no peace when I am off task, not because God is far away, but because God is VERY near.

This is my testimony.
Beautiful. True. God's truth in your words.

Thank you, Peggy.
Amen, Sister!

In the final analysis, this is one reason why I believe God condemns no one to an eternity of punishment in Hell -- not even Adolf Hitler --

OK, I'll play devil's nothing else "in all creation" separates us from the love of God, but did God create sin? There's a whole 'nother can of worms for you. =)

I would agree that when I'm in the wrong place God seems especially near, perhaps because I have a guilty conscience and notices God in everything. But don't you think sin (as in, not doing the will of God) separates us from the love of God in that we're not living in God's will? God doesn't separate God's self from us, but we've chosen to separate ourselves from living in God.

But I like what you're saying about how God doesn't give up on us when we've drifted off course. I think that's an incredibly important point. It's not like when we're living apart from God's will, God refuses to interact with us. Of course God interacts with us, or we'd be stuck there forever! Great post. Thanks!
Dear Cherice,

I will leave your can of worms alone for today – only seminary students have the time and energy to debate whether or not God created sin and evil. When you get this figured out there at Princeton, please report back.

But what I no longer believe is the preaching that God, being Holy, is in a matter/antimatter situation with sin. Where God is, sin cannot be, and vice versa. In this thinking sinners must go to hell because they cannot be in the presence of a holy God. I have heard this preached in several denominations for a long time. If you have missed it and see it for the clear nonsense it is, I am glad.

What I find that sin does in my life is make me ineffective. It is a huge energy waster. It separates me from my task, not my teacher.

My perception of closeness to God is bi-polar. God seems to most real and close EITHER when I am really on task or really off task. God seems most distant when I am indifferent, numb, and on spiritual and emotional autopilot. I think there is a lot of room for God to work with the extremes. Autopilot can be intractable.

Yours, in Him
Good for you, Peggy!
I agree, Peggy--I unfortunately have not missed out on the preaching of sin as separating us from God in the way you speak of (where God can't be where sin is), but I do see it as the nonsense that it is and appreciate your post for clarifying that. (Preaching such as this has not come from pastors who happen to be other posters on this particular blog entry, by the way! =)
This is my experience, too, Peggy. Love never separates from the one loved. I think sin makes us less aware of God in our lives if we travel down that wide road long enough. But, God's love is always there. Thank God!
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