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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %IMPERFECT ACCEPT REJECT SELF OTHER GOD SIN DEVIL+940508 %EXCOMMUNICATE DISFELLOWSHIP OPEN HONEST DIALOGUE 940508 The Christian Gospel as presented in the New Testament makes clear that we are accepted by God while we are still imperfect---and that such acceptance is not to be paid for by our or anybody else achieving perfection before or after the acceptance. It is made clear that the essence of sin is not imperfection relative to any set of standards or expectations. Thus sin is not transcended by the achievement of, or gift of, conformal perfection of any kind. Sin and evil have to do with relationships characterized by rejection, excommunication, fear, alienation, dishonesty, pretense, self-righteousness, arrogance, false-pride and attempts to control what cannot be controlled. Thus sin is transcended by unconditional acceptance into open and honest dialogue---offered, accepted and known as the gift of the freedom to be safely vulnerable in such open and honest dialogue. Sin is transcended by others' unconditional acceptance of us, and by our letting go of our tragic efforts to achieve/justify acceptance through some form of conformity which is motivated and guided by our fears of: rejection, excommunication, alienation, dishonesty, pretense, self righteousness, arrogance, false pride and others' attempts to control us. The most tragic of all evil and sinful relationships are those which are generated by addictive religious leaders who seek to teach and act on God's behalf as if God were preoccupied with issues of: control, perfection, conformity, judgment, condemnation and punishment---in the manner of collusive addicts and their codependent supporters. Such addictive religious leaders try to conceive God in the image of addictive human fathers who lack the graces of: honesty, tenderness, gentleness, forgiveness, kindness, tolerance, and sympathy. They are terrified by the promptings of the Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of individuals who seek honesty and integrity by being true to themselves and others. Such addictive religious leaders fear the revelation of how essentially dishonest and full of fear they are. They have not allowed Love to release them from their fears, and so they share their fears with others who believe in and follow them as false prophets who do not want to know the truth nor hear others speak the truth. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================