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Good old Uncle George

>God was a family member family member, much admired by mum and dad, who described his as very loving, a great friend of a family, very powerful and interested in all of us. > We visited him >he has a formidable mansion, bearded, gruff and threatening. > We cannot share these admirations >Uncle George told us in the end of our visit > I want to see you here every week if you dont this would happen to you >we went down to the basement >as we descent, the atmosphere became hotter and hotter and screams are getting louder and louder >we came upon a steel door and opened it >"now look here dear" as the nightmarish vision bestowed upon our eyes, people in blazing fire, little demos in attendance who would hurl anyone who would not behave in ways he approve >"if you dont visit me dear this would certainly happen to you >we went upstairs to meet up with mom and dad >" dont you love Good Uncle George with all your mind and strength?" said mom >all we can do is say yes as we were is still clenching in fear >at the tender age, we were told to love Good Uncle George and follow him in ways that pleases him >we were taught to love him out of fear in punishment

Why we were not healed? >because the God we know is self-righteous, who would throw anyone who wont follow him to hell
>we almost always see the mistake of others but ourselves

We become the God we adore

> Like everyone, we become our parent who we adore; it is the same with God >But unfortunately, the God we grew up with is a God who sat in his judgment throne who can only see the mistakes of everyone else who separate himself by sending them to hell >it is evident when we annihilate our enemies by using weapons of mass destruction. >if we believe that God can send his enemies to the blazing inferno ten why cant we? >but if God doesnt treat people like that so cant we

Changing the image of God

> There was this Mother whose son committed suicide > She states that his so is involved in prostitution, drug dealing and murder > She also states that her son dont want anything to do with God

> Do you think that this person would certainly go to Hell?

>Then someone told her to close her eyes and imagine her son in the big judgment room with God sitting in his big judgment throne

>what do you think that would have happen in that situation

>God stepped out of his throne, approached her son and held them then began crying together

God loves us at least as much as the person who loves us most

>God loves that son as least as much as her mother loves him >when our we do some mistake to our parents, they would not say >we love you unconditionally, much more than you can imagine. But you really blew it so to hell with you, but remember how much we love you" >our parents dont use a big log book to record everything we have done wrong >if our parents dont do these things then God wouldnt do it either

What about vengeful punishment in the scriptures? Mat 25:29 "if your right eye is a temptation, it would be better to pluck it out that to have God throw you into the fires of hell" -this kind of passage made God a child abuser than a loving father, much like Good Old Uncle George >There were kids at the back of the car who were so loud, then the parents threaten them by saying "if you kids dont be quiet then ill tie you to the roof of the car" >if you tie your children in the roof of the car then it would be a vengeful punishment, but those are only a form of hyperbole (exaggeration) and should not be taken literally

>people who uses those kind of language really loves us and would never carry out the punishment >so the passage would have meant "it is important not to misuse your sight through lust so we both can enjoy the beauty of creation together" > but what if God, like those parents in the story carried out the punishment, the police might have arrested them and sent them to the mental hospital so they couldnt do more harm to others >God does not focus on punishment to correct people but through love

Jesus Response to Vengeful Punishment >Changing our views about God as a punisher to a lover is the core of Jesus' ministry
>Jesus tried to heal people especially sinners even during Sabbath >but the priests, scribes and Pharisees would forbid Him to do that because they take the bible literally >remember the story about the adulterous woman who was about to get stoned to death? (Jn 8:5) >the Scribes and Pharisees took the Law of Moses literally and justify their action with that >But Jesus tried to stop them >if Jesus took that literally, them Jesus would have joined the mob in stoning that woman to death

Reading the Vengeful Punishment literally would drive us crazy >there was this person who was admitted to the mental hospital because he tried to gouge his right
eye, he face was covered with bandage >he took the passage literally (mat 5:29) >but person isnt crazy as he seems, he seems crazy by taking the first part literally, but we would be even more crazy of we believe the second line in the passage that God would surely send us to hell >it is because when we were children, our parents taught us that we should behave or God would send us to hell

God's Twenty-Thousand-Year-Pout
>teaching of St. Anslem (1033-1109) entitled Redemptive Intimacy >it goes something like this >Adam and Eve sinned; God got pretty damn sore, goes into a 10,000 year pout, slams the gates of heaven and throws the scoundrels out. so he's up there pouting and about 5,000 years go by and the Son comes up and gives him the elbow and says; "Hey dad, now is the time to forgive the people down there" but God said "No, i dont like them, they offended my divine majesty, they stay out ,let's make another galaxy instead!" 5000 more years go by and the Son comes up and says: "Aw come on Dad, let's forgive them! look, i tell you what Im going to do, if you will love them again, Ill go down

there and become one of them, then you'll have to love them because Im one of them." God look at the Son and says: "Dont bank on it. that doesnt turn me on too much at all" the Son replies, "all right, God- Father, Ill tell you what Im going to do, I'll raise the ante, I'll make you an offer you cant refuse! Ill not only go down there and become one of them, I'll suffer for them, real blood- you know how that turns you on, Dad! How about it?" and God says: now you're talking. But it has to be real torture and real blood- no God tricks you understand? Youve got to really suffer. And if you'll do that then I'll forgive them. But if they stray off the straight and narrow just that much-ZAP-I'm going to send them to hell so fast their heads will swim." And that is what we have been calling "the Good News" of the Gospel.

Is God a prosecuting Attorney or a Defense Attorney?

>the theology of Anslem leaves out some very important "good news" because it ignores other traditional and more compassionate understandings of the New Testament accounts. >Jn 14:15 and 15:26, also called the parakletos or the Spirit of Jesus that judge us" could be translated as "our defense attorney who justifies us" >remember the story of the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned? Jesus act as her defense attorney, instead of pointing out her destructive behavior, adultery, he judge her not as a prosecuting attorney but as a defensive attorney. He sided with the sinner. >Jesus also became Paul defensive attorney, Paul is a person who is a rage-aholic and a controlaholic who dont want anything to do with Christ, he is self-righteous and can only see the mistakes of other, just like Good Old Uncle George, He even enjoy prosecuting people and Jesus and showed no signs of repentance >What did Jesus Do? >He loves and healed Paul's punishing, pharisaical image of God to a loving Father. As soon as Paul's image of God changes, Paul changed. He has been healed from his addiction and stopped murdering people because he learned that his God wasnt addicted to these things. and the best part is that God did not demanded anything from him, no pre requisite, no prior repentance, no nothing. >the Good News is not: God loves that the repentant sinner, but rather God loves and heals the unrepentant sinner. >this doesnt mean the repentance is useless and meaningless or we must first repent so that God would love us, it means God had healed you and loves you even before you were still unrepentant, and the reason why we can repent is that God already loved us and healed us (1 Jn 4:19) > This doesnt mean that repentance is important so that we can earn God's love and forgiveness but rather we should enjoy it and incorporate it into our life that God had already initiated >Jesus did not judge Paul according to his violent behavior but rather understands the justness and reasonable of Paul's life. Jesus, instead of condemning Paul, he understands him and loved him >Healing starts when people are loved unconditionally >The best example of which is when Jesus died on the cross, He said "Father, forgive them for they dont know what they are doing". Jesus even at the brink of death still understand the people who persecuted Him and still loves them unconditionally (Lk 23:24)

How being loved and forgiven can heal people

>there was Mexican who was caught in the Mexican American-border.....

Does God Send Anyone to hell? > God does not send anyone to hell but rather people choses to go to hell
> But it does not mean that a person whose down there are down there forever >Hell as described by C.S Lewis is a dark small and enclosed room locked from the inside. >But what happens if we die as a sinner? >God is an expert of opening hearts >Jesus for example did thousands of miracles in three years time >Just like what happened to Paul who was rejected Jesus, people would experience an eternity of God's love and forgiveness. And God would never get tired of loving and forgiving sinners (1 Cor.13) >It is because God's essence is love ( 1 jn 4:16) >Love heals

What about the hell of suffering?

< If God is willing to spend eternity loving and healing us, where is God when we suffer now? >If God abandoned us in the hell of suffering in this world, how can we believe that God wont abandon us in hell? >where is God during hard times like a disaster, wars and accidents? >during the holocaust, there were passersby who saw the Nazis hang two adults and a child. Half an hour later, the two adults were already dead as evidenced by their blue tinged tongue but the child was still alive, his lounge is still red and his eyes were still not glazed. He has been fighting for his life for about half an hour but still suffering from a slow agonizing death. A man soon asked in a load voice where is God now?" then i heard a little voice inside of me God is here, hanging in the gallows. >God is present within us during the darkest part of our life, we may not always feel it but he is there.

Jesus comes to be with us in hell

>What would happen to the people such as the Nazi's who hung innocent children? >God can come down there and heal us. >God caters those chained demons mentioned in the book of Enoch and also those who were drowned by the great flood during the time of Moses

>Jesus visits people every Holy Saturday; this signifies Jesus's utter solidarity with sinners >Jesus identifies himself as one of them (sinners) up to the point of dying on the cross along with two criminals (like one of them) >As Jesus cried "My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?" Just like us, Jesus experienced hell and absence of God during his time on the cross. >Hell is our choice to close our hearts to God so it means that hell is a place that God cant go, but Jesus still go there anyway because He refuses to accept that we chose to reject God's love and still expresses God's adamant unwillingness to leave us in our worst self >Loving friends would not leave a suicidal person to his/her worst self. They would do everything to enter his/her hell and tries to intervene to stop that person taking his own life. It is the same with Jesus; he refuses to accept our own choice to destruction > it happens during the Holy Saturday when Jesus would come down to hell and tries to renew us then rise with him in Easter

How About Free Will?

>Free will is often defined as our capacity to choose between "yes" and "no" to God >Karl Rahner defined free will as the capacity to choose in a God-like way, it is paradoxical, we can only choose good >Saying "No" to God is not a sign of free will but rather of how a person still needs healing in order to become truly free > Because God defines the human person, so therefore it can only reach its definitiveness for which it is specifically created

The Seed of God

> The seed of God is within us The seed of a pear tree grows into a pear tree The seed of a hazel tree grows into a hazel tree

A seed of God grows into God

God is not only a Father, but also a Mother (John Paul I)

>Being more loving doesnt make you less of a man >We need to be more feminine, more in touch with other people's feelings and to ourselves > To be more understanding and empathetic

>in order to do that, we must learn more about God the Mother >RAHANIM (tender compassion coming from the motherly side of God" It comes from the root Hebrew word rehem meaning womb Isaiah 49:15 Can a mother forget about her infant, or be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even if she should forget you, I will never forget you" (unconditional love) These things are never been filtered by our heads, it has nothing to do with decisions or merit. Just like ay mother, she cant help it but to love her child, just like God >God as we know Him is the almighty, Lord of Lord and Kings of Kings, He is unreachable and oh so powerful, but this perception changes things, God is with us, immanent in our lives. >God loves me for who i am and never tried to fix me >Dont focus on the Father side of God >As long as we focus on our masculinity, we tend to devalue feelings; do not trust our inner life and ourselves.

Why is it important to change our image of God?

>it is not because of the fact that we want to go to Heaven and Avoid Hell, it is because we want to be the God we want to adore >for example, if a couple experience God as a lover, the tendency would more loving to each other. And would be more satisfied with the relationship (Scientifically proven) >people would be more caring >A pastoral Letter coming from the Catholic bishops says that the wealth could not be divided by the amount of work we do but rather on the basis of what we need. >But if we adore a vengeful God who calculates everything on the basis of what we have done during our life, we would surely go to hell. >If we believe that God abandons anyone who has been sent to hell, we would certainly give up on people by sentencing them to death

Does Fear of Hell Cause Addiction and Negative Behaviors?

>every addiction lies in the fact that we want to feel belong >and the feeling of not belonging causes pain > And being addicted into something ceases that pain

>there was a man named Bill Wilson, co-founder of alcoholic anonymous. He was a chronic alcoholic and an outcast in the society due to his awkward behavior. when he first drank his bottle of alcohol, he felt the sudden surge of happiness, as if he belonged into something, then he tried to drink again, attempting to relive the feeling he felt before, at the age of 39, and at the verge of being institutionalized, he cried to God for help, then his room became light and filled with a veritable sea of living spirit". He felt the same feeling he felt after his first drink. For the first time i really feel that i belonged" he said. He started drinking because it is his only way of feeling that he belonged but as soon as he found another way to feel belonged, he stopped drinking, through this conversion he experience a loving accepting God. >the way out of addiction is to find a better way to belong >If we have a God who is vengeful and decides who doesnt belong, then chances are we can become addicted person >Dr. Robert Stuckey find out that people who believes in a Fearful and punishing God has lower recovery rate than those who have no religious training

Punishment Never Heals, Only Love Can Heal

>When we view God as the one who sends people to hell or heaven, we tend do things out of fear. > but as soon as we learn that God is loving and accepting for who we are, then we would be able to do more good things not because of fear but out of love. >we tend to use fear to change people's behavior, we might use it in an emergency basis but love can only ultimately change a person > We should not scare people into being good > we should teach people that even though we are wounded and imperfect, we're still naturally good, and if they did something out of good, it is because they were hurt or scared ad we know scared people dont need fear but love. >unloving behavior is not okay, but what heals it permanently is love, not fear.

We Are All Good Goats

>story of the sisters > Heaven and Hell are not geographical places >Hell is a situation wherein a person is caught up with his addiction and his feeling of alienation, unloved and are overwhelmed by shame >Heaven is a place where we are accepted for who we are not what we should be, >those who experience being welcomed home, who have seen the goodness in the affirming eyes of others and those who have been loved into recovery are all in heaven

A simple way to change our image of God

1. Get in touch with the love of God 2. Put a smile on your face that matches that love 3. Smile at a person who loves you and allow that person to smile back at you

>taking in the smile of someone who loves us is such a simple thing. Yet, it can be someone of the most healing things in life. A friend's smile can heal us if we know that God loves us, just for a start, at least as much as the person who loves us the most.