Domain of Redemptive Grace
Religious doctrines develop from wisdom accumulated in the experience of certain gifted and insightful humans which assist others in managing the necessity of living with mystery. A category of questions that arise within our consciousness have no certain answers, we do not know about where we have come from before entering into the earth nor do we know what will happen to us when we die. Religion helps us to find healthy ways of dealing with mystery, the component of our awareness that we cannot explain. Religion also helps us reestablish connection when we do things that disrupt communication and relationship, behaviors that injure and harm others. Religion provides a way for us to manage the guilt that results from selfish and violent actions.
Sin is a religious word that refers to behaviors that deviate from actions which nurture and enhance relationship with other entities present in the creation. Sinful actions complicate relationship and prevent the intention of life in the earth from being realized. Designating some action as sinful can be a subjective judgement since no one can know for certain what constitutes the intention of human life in the earth. However merely observing the content of creation informs us that relationship is one requirement for being alive in the earth. No matter what else is involved, we have no alternative but to relate to all other entities that exist in the creation. Thus we can know for certain that relationship is one intention of human life in the earth.
The Domain of Redemptive Grace represents another religious concept. Designed according to the teaching and example of the prophet Jesus of Nazareth without any influence by later Christian theology including references from Jewish writings in the Old Testament, or the letters of Paul and other early Christian writers, or theological concepts deduced from these by later Christian councils, this religious domain provides a basic and sufficient understanding of human behaviors that nurture and enhance relationship. No creeds define this domain. All precepts are derived from one central tenant: forgiveness of sin results solely from repentance. This domain does not endorse the ancient Christian teaching that forgiveness of sin requires blood sacrifice. The concept of blood sacrifice is based on the superstition which promotes speculative attempts to appease the perceived anger of the gods by humans offering items of great value, the greatest being the sacrificial offering of a child.
The declaration of ‘repentance for the forgiveness of sin’ originates in the teaching of John the Baptizer from whose narration Jesus crafted his own message. Conclusions gathered after closely studying the teaching and example of Jesus validate the assertion that Jesus also believed that forgiveness of sin depends solely on the repentance of the guilty person. An expanded explanation of this declaration is contained in the publication, How the Church Betrays the Gospel, a testimony by Garland Robertson, PhD, available without charge to anyone interested in learning more about the concept which defines the Domain of Redemptive Grace.
Repentance is not only the recognition of a wrong being done to another presence in the creation but also the determination to eliminate as much as possible the distress caused by the injury or insult as well as to insure that the same action does not reoccur. Public acknowledgement and confession of the wrong done should involve at the least the person or persons who are impacted by the wrong action.
As a measure for knowing what actions are right and wrong the human conscience is a full and complete guide for making this determination. Jesus implies that he has complete confidence in the capacity of the human conscience to know good from evil, right from wrong. As humans we know both what causes pain and suffering for others and what brings them peace and fulfillment. When we act in ways that affirm what the Creator intends for the creation then we are affirming what is good. When we make choices that help promote good then we are doing what is right.
There are no restrictions for who may be a member of the community of the Domain of Redemptive Grace. Everyone is welcome. No material offerings are desired: your gift will be your life, the way you live. Only two professions determine membership, and these are personal devotions:
–a commitment to affirm and to practice the assertion, The most courageous act possible for the human is always to honor the content of conscience; in every circumstance, regardless of what appears to be in jeopardy, to treat others as you want them to treat you;
–an endorsement of the principle, Repentance for the forgiveness of sin.
Nothing more than embracing these two guidelines is necessary for one to belong to the community of the Domain of Redemptive Grace. And there are no sacraments promoted by this religious domain, no acts or behaviors that have within them an added degree of saving grace. Only the character of repentance has the power to move a person, any person, into the realm of the Creator’s haven of safety, and only by following the promptings of the human conscience which directs behaviors that treat others like you want to be treated will the function of repentance be accurately understood. And repentance alone is sufficient to bring a person into the full and complete realm of the Creator’s favor. Repentance generates redemptive grace–a religious concept that provides a benefit that is neither deserved nor merited which has the power to reunite and reconcile relationships disrupted by sinful behaviors, relationship with the neighbor as well as relationship with the creation.
You are invited to belong to this virtual community, the Domain of Redemptive Grace, to live in awareness that you are joining with others who embrace this same resolve for living in the earth, thereby to find spiritual and emotional support for sustaining your devotion. By spending your life to honor what the Creator has intended for human life in the earth when you arrive at the end of your journey you will know deep peace and contentment in your spirit and your heart.
(To receive a free copy of the publication, How the Church Betrays the Gospel, either reply to this page with your address information or write to: Institute to Honor Freedom of Conscience P.O. Box 2074 Longmont CO 80502 USA.)