This has been a monumental week in our family with the birth of our first grandchild, Anna Kate. I can’t even begin to express with mere words, the depth of love that has swept over my heart. As I stared into the most beautiful little face on the planet, I began to ponder…
But before we ponder, let’s have a little history lesson. Basically, around 380ad there were these two guys, Pelagius and Augustine. These two had different ideas on the condition of a human soul when it is born. They basically fought about it for a while and finally the church in Rome decided to side with Augustine and adopt his ideas. Consequentially, most of our western churches have also adopted his views.
Augustine believed in the depravity of man, a fancy way of saying that we are all born sinners, even at our first breath. So we are born without God and we try to make our way to a condition of God coming to live in us.
Palagius believed that humans are born in the image and likeness of God and that God is already within us, the breath in our lungs, the life in our blood. Our experiences, teachings and cultures move us away from that knowledge and we begin to adopt other, inferior beliefs about ourselves.
Ok, hope I haven’t lost you yet😬. Here comes the pondering…
What do YOU believe? Why do you believe it? What kind of Father do you believe He is? There are scriptures that seem, on the surface, to support both. Both can not be true.
I grew up believing as Augustine did. Therefore, I was always striving spiritually to achieve more of God in my life. I believed there was a gap between God and humanity and I was always trying to make the gap smaller by believing the right thing or doing the right thing.
But not any more.
Now, I believe as Palagius did. He believed that “the newborn, freshly come forth from God, contains the original, unsullied goodness of creation and humanity’s essential blessedness”.
As I look in the tender, peaceful, gentle, perfect face of my sweet Anna Kate, I see one thing…the image and likeness of her creator. I see a precious child who does not need to do anything or believe anything to be loved and adored. I see a soul that has never been told that she is anything but accepted. I see a masterpiece, created by the perfect artist, each feature and gift tenderly painted with a brush dipped in pure love. And I pray that no one ever tells her that she is anything less than this.
In the end, Palagius was labeled a heretic and Augustine a church Saint.
I’m not here to persuade you, convert you or convince you. I’m just here to ask you to ponder for yourself. Just because certain foods are sold at your grocery store, doesn’t mean you have to buy them. Think for yourself. Trust the spirit of God to be your teacher. GOD IS LOVE.
Happy Sunday friends! Love well! Oh, and did I mention…I’M A GRAMMY!
(Quote source and great book, “Listening to the Heartbeat of God by J. Philip Newell)