Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

separation-Reconciliation

1/22/15

 

The sin-redemption story of Christianity raises a fundamental question for me. How can an all powerful, all knowing, and purposeful Creator be upset about something that happened within that creation? By purposeful I mean that God had a plan behind His creative efforts and was committed to accomplishing that plan from the very beginning.

 

According to Christian Orthodoxy, God was offended by the Fall, and the offense caused God to withdraw from mankind, taking his blessings with Him. In other words, God separated from man, and He had to be appeased by man in order for God to allow fellowship to be restored. Supposedly, man, as the offender, had to activate reconciliation by doing whatever God stipulated as a condition, and those conditions are known as the Gospel.

 

Based on the biblical account of the Fall, one could reasonably conclude that God actually encouraged everything that occurred there. Tempting free willed, sentient beings with arbitrary sounding prohibitions is an almost surefire way to prompt exactly what happened. None of this means that God is to be blamed but rather suggests that the Fall was an essential part of God's plan for mankind. It was not the diversion we have been taught.

 

If we relinquish the concept that the Fall offended God, then we are faced with the need to understand what actually happened in the God-man relationship as a consequence. Normally, when a relationship is severed, the one initiating the separation must assume responsibility for any reconciliation or re-establishment of that relationship. If, as commonly understood, God broke from man, then God must be the one to relent from animosity and seek reconciliation. Unless we assume that God and man separated by mutual consent, then there was nothing man could do to restore what had been lost because of God's decision to withdraw.  

 

If a rift between God and man actually occurred after the Fall,  there is ample reason to believe that the rift was initiated by man, in accordance with God's plan and not in violation to that plan. After all Adam hid from God, not the other way around.

 

Under those circumstances, any reconciliation would have to be initiated by man. Whatever beliefs, assumptions, and other motivating forces led man to turn away from His Creator must be overcome so as to prompt man to seek reconciliation. Man's effort in this regard is not an act of compliance, as under the traditional reconciliation paradigm. Instead it is simply an awakening to an opportunity and a conscious effort to regain the blessing of intimate connection with the divine.