New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 36

new church life: march/april 2017 In summary, then, as the Lord said after He healed the blind man, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind” (John 9:39), or again, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (Ibid. 12:46); or yet again, as He told Pilate before His crucifixion, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” (Ibid. 18:37) The Lord did not come to provide a sacrificial atonement to an angry God for the sins of the human race; He came to teach, and to facilitate a truly free and rational, internal, human relationship with Himself as our God so that we can understand Him and be inspired by Him and co-operate with Him no matter what the physical conditions The Lord did not come to provide a sacrificial atonement to an angry God for the sins of the human race; He came to teach, and to facilitate a truly free and rational, internal, human relationship with Himself as our God so that we can understand Him and be inspired by Him and co-operate with Him no matter what the physical conditions of our lives may be. of our lives may be. In short He came to prepare us for heaven – not with a ticket to get in but with the love and wisdom we need to live in peace and harmony within the laws of His heavenly order. The Rev. Michael D. Gladish is pastor of the Washington New Church Society and School in Mitchellville, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, Virginia (de Maine). He has been a pastor in Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia; Los Angeles, California; the Olivet New Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; the Calgary New Church in Alberta, Canada; and the Dawson Creek Society in British Columbia, Canada. He was Executive Vice President of the General Church in Canada and is regional pastor for the Southeastern United States. Contact: mdgladish@gmail.com 102