Friday, December 13, 2013

Pelagian Theology and Thanksgiving

Pelagian theology teaches that sin need need not be a consistent trait in human life, and that we can fully live lives in accordance with the will of God.  This reminded me of celebration of Thanksgiving:

I heard a teacher say that they prohibit school celebrations of Thanksgiving because of the gruesome conflict and persecution that ensued between the Natives and Settlers. They argued that we shouldn't celebrate one moment of peace and unity when subsequent history is so thoroughly dominated by gruesome and blood soaked clashes. Thanksgiving is eclipsed by the rest of human history, and to celebrate a brief moment of respite in the otherwise unbroken line of cruelty is lopsided and disrespectful.

But it made me wonder, how can we ever have peace and equality until we realize that it is possible? For one sliver of a second the Settler and Native came together in brotherhood as a sign to all subsequent generations that peace is an achievable goal. If it was possible for just a moment then it is possible for an eternity. If we forget that such a path is possible then we will certainly never walk on it.

Much the same way our spiritual history is dominated by acts of rebellion against a Holy God who wishes to be joined in peace with all mankind. Yet for one beautiful and perfect moment God and man existed in perfect harmony in the life of Jesus Christ. Christ was all man and all God and showed us that a human life can be one of perfect holiness. Jesus defied human history and showed us that holiness and peace with God is for us all. Jesus' life reminds us that the path to God exists, and we are to walk it.

When we look at Thanksgiving it does not lessens the horrors of subsequent atrocities, but actually exacerbates their wickedness. If evil is unavoidable, and central to the human condition, then it is nothing to be reviled but merely expected. But it is only when you see how beautiful things can be, even for a moment, can you ever truly be horrified by how hateful it is when they descend. The same is true of humanity, if sin is inherent then why attempt to preach against it? For it is no more terrible that breathing. But if holiness is possible then sin becomes infinitely more vile. For then you do not sin because you are a sinner, but sin in purposeful and deliberate rejection of who God intended you to be.

To reject Thanksgiving is to reject that Brotherhood in our land is possible, and is rejecting the celebration and the emulation of unity. And to reject holiness is to reject that perfect moment when man and God came to together to show us the path to total holiness and peace with Heaven. The word Thanksgiving is the same word we use for the body and blood of Christ. So take, eat, drink, repent, and live in perpetual Thanksgiving that Christ made a way for holiness.

God Love You -- Rev. Sheen

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