Extravagant acceptance

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In light of our own profound need, brokenness, unsettledness, and immaturity, God is not with anxiety or anger fretting until we get our act together. He is not scowling waiting for us to “get fixed,” despising us until we arrive at an unattainable standard of perfection. We want to be “fixed” (and soon) in order to gain acceptance, whether from peers, leaders, God or ourself.

God wants to walk with us,
to know us, to be known by us,
to love us – right where we are.

And in the journey of walking with him in love, we will find ourselves transformed, not in order to be accepted, but transformed precisely by his extravagant acceptance, unremitting love and indescribable tenderness. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 –Richard Liantonio 

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A passion for life

[T]here is nothing inherently wrong with the physical world and bodily life. Nothing in the world God created caused our alienation and provoked the groan of all creation. None of the groan we feel is from our essential existence in the world, but rather from our broken existence in the world.

The world is good. The world has been broken,
but full freedom is coming.

This should free us to rejoice in the present. The Spirit’s nearness does not causes us to despise the world but join in God’s profound love of it (cf. John 3.16).

… Jurgen Moltmann has said, “God’s blessing enhances vitality and does not quench the joy of living. The nearness of God makes this mortal life worth loving, not something to be despised.”

In the Spirit of the Resurrection we participate now in the renewal of life and rejoice in the vitality and passion for life He gives.

–Richard Liantonio

The primary heresy

Gnosticism was the PRIMARY heresy that the early church combated, precisely because from the beginning of the church it was the most destructive idea to authentic apostolic Christianity. This idea subtly continues in the church when we ascribe a bad or inferior status to the material world or specifically our bodies. This belief slowly, yet thoroughly deconstructs the meaning and power of apostolic doctrine in its belief of the goodness of God’s role as creator, his creation, the value of the life of the body and the renewal of the earth.

–Richard Liantonio

Holiness is perfect love

The doctrine of the Trinity tells us that God’s own being resides in the inter-relations between Father, Son and Spirit. The foundational underlying reality of God’s being is not the individual persons of the Godhead, but their communion of love with each other. Since humans are made in God’s image, this tells us that . . . the essential indivisible constituency of humanity is not the individual, but the community. The existence of the community is ontologically and biologically prior to the individual. Our true humanity is only expressed, not as individuals, but as persons in loving relationship.

This illuminates the fundamental characteristic of holiness – perfect love. The holy person is the person who loves in relationships. Notions of holiness cannot be abstract, detached or impersonal. Rather, they must be concrete, involved and relational.

–Richard Liantonio

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