I have one more week of Ragamuffin before it's over. And yes, it is sad.
Brennan Manning has been denounced a heretic. He has been accused of not believing in hell and damnation.
Personally, I think Manning does believe in hell and damnation, he just doesn't preach it. It's not his message to preach.
Everyone is called to be a minister. However, I don't think everyone is called to preach the same thing, the same topics.
Brennan Manning preaches the love of Abba, that the lowest of the low is still loved by Yahweh. And so we get the aforementioned accusations against his beliefs.
I don't follow many hellfire and brimstone preachers. Mainly because I've heard horror stories of hell most of my life and I don't like to hear it. But I heard the horror stories before I heard that God actually loved me.
Hm...Years of fear just got explained away.
I wonder if brimstone preachers are likewise accused of not believing in heaven and the Grace of God.
I think if I listened to every good preacher, and highlighted what they wanted me to in my Bible, everything would get underlined. I'm certain. Likewise, if I read my Bible and thought about it long enough and talked it out with other people, I'd understand as much as anyone (as much as I can expect to this side of heaven).
But I doubt I can learn everything I need to know about God, heaven, hell, etc from just one person. And I doubt one person would get the entire Bible. Understand what it is, perhaps, but not understanding everything completely.
"There is something more important than understanding."
Joyce Meyer, for instance, annoys my aunt because she talks so much about her childhood. Some people's message is their testimony, my mom argued.
I doubt I'm making sense about this.
Picture you were a fiction writer. (For some this may not be so difficult.) You have a great idea, with a solid plot and likable characters. It's a well-known fact fiction writers, in their writing, play God in the respective worlds they create. They're in control--to an extent, because characters sometimes do as they please without any consideration for their writers whatsoever. (I could probably build on that).
So, because you're writing a plot-driven story, your characters were made with that plot in mind. But no character is capable of doing it all, no matter how obviously awesome he is and you just love him so much. So, you bring other characters, whom you love just as much, with their respective gifts and they help achieve the purpose of the plot.
God's the same way. He creates all of us with a general, overall goal: spread the Good News, glorify God. However, different disciples fill out different roles. Spreading the message, I think, can fall under the things where the work gets divided.
And so we have the illustration of the Body of Christ. I didn't intend to go there, but I did. Oops.
Some last words: This post took all day. I drafted in the back room of the church (not the Methodist, the other one), and then farmwork got in the way afterwards. But here it is!