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Archive for April 2017

Question 136: What does the “grace of God” mean in the Gospel of Oneness?

Perhaps you have heard someone say, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Such a statement presumes that God doesn’t extend his grace to everyone. This statement is usually made about a person who is having serious problems or perhaps has even been killed. The statement may be made by someone who has survived a disaster while others have been killed or injured. But if he doesn’t survive the next disaster, can we say he lost the grace of God?

So the statement doesn’t make any sense. God doesn’t withhold or give grace willy-nilly. God’s grace if given all the time, it is actually the love of God that cares deeply for everyone. The circumstances and vagaries of life are the result of karmic conditions and a soul’s life plan to have certain experiences. A person suffering in a hard life of poverty still has the grace of God. Lessons are being learned, karmic debts are being paid. No matter what circumstances a person encounters, he or she can always tune into the grace of God.

Some Christians say that we are saved by the grace of God, and that we cannot save ourselves. But some of them will also say that not everyone receives the grace of God, and so they are not saved. This is a short-sighted view which does not take into account the truth of reincarnation. In one lifetime it may seem that a person does not receive the grace of God, but that lifetime is just one link of a very long chain of lives.

The Gospel of Oneness says that the grace of God is like a fountain of love, always flowing and available to everyone.

Millions of hells of sinners cannot come near to exhaust infinite grace.– Samuel Rutherford

 

Now I will say this to every sinner, though he should think himself to be the worst sinner who ever lived: cry to the Lord and seek Him while He may be found. A throne of grace is a place fitted for you. By simple faith, go to your Savior, for He is the throne of grace. –Charles Spurgeon

 

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.– Martin Luther

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Question 135: What would the gospel of oneness policy be on immigration of refugees into the USA?

We have love and compassion for everyone. When people are suffering in their native lands from war, famine, or other kinds of disasters, they often have a desperate need to find a safe haven to reconstruct their lives. There are organizations that carry out this policy of helping refugees resettle.

However, sometimes there are factors that compound the problems. Sometimes the refugees are so many that other countries don’t have the resources to cope with all of them. The refugees have to stay in settlement camps for a long time before they can be admitted into a country.

An additional problem has added to the complexity of the refugee problem. At this time in history (2017) most of the refugees are coming from predominately Muslim countries and many of them are moving into the secular democracies of Europe and North America. With the threat of terrorism hanging over the world, this leads to fears about terrorist minded people coming in with the refugees. Another fear is the culture clash of Muslims moving into secular societies that have a different set of standards about human rights, clothing styles, treatment of women and religious and civic obligations.

So we see the problem is one of smoothing out the clash of cultures so that people can live in harmony in the One Spirit of the Creator. The policy advocated by the Gospel of Oneness would be to see all refugees as part of the oneness of life while at the same time teaching the principles of the gospel of oneness to all people who are moving to another country, especially a country that may have different values from the ones they have left. We need to realize there will be problems in adapting to a new culture and take a proactive stance on teaching the fundamental values such as the freedom of speech and the separation of government and religion and tolerance of non-violent dissent.

The gospel of oneness advocates for a secular society that values basic human rights, most importantly the right of free speech, the right to dissent, the right to assemble in groups, and the right to be free from violence. The gospel of oneness does not want a theocratic state or government even though we believe in an all-wise, all-loving Creator. The trouble with a theocratic state such as Iran is that it is not ruled by God, but rather by some clerics who use violence to sustain their rule, and they are afraid to give people real freedom of choice.

So, in summary, immigration can be very good, humane, and very necessary at times, but everyone needs to be educated about tolerance and basic human rights.

“Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.”
Carlos Fuentes

“I take issue with many people’s description of people being “Illegal” Immigrants. There aren’t any illegal Human Beings as far as I’m concerned.”
Dennis Kucinich

“There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. And no fear either. Because each one exists to make the others’ love more beautiful.”
Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry

“More than any other nation on Earth, America has constantly drawn strength and spirit from wave after wave of immigrants. In each generation, they have proved to be the most restless, the most adventurous, the most innovative, the most industrious of people. Bearing different memories, honoring different heritages, they have strengthened our economy, enriched our culture, renewed our promise of freedom and opportunity for all….”
Bill Clinton


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