I Believed God’s Love is the Heart of the Matter 36 Years Ago. I Still Do.

The feminist expansion of our grasp of God beyond masculine images had not entered my consciousness in 1977. My use of “he,” “him” and “man” below makes me wince now. Otherwise, I find my statement of faith, examined in September, 1977, by the Pittsburgh Presbytery of the then United Presbyterian Church (USA) for ordination to the office of Minister of Word and Sacrament, is still an accurate expression of what I believe.

Statement of Faith, September 1977

God reveals Himself to me as The Lover in three kinds of actions.

First, God is the Lover who made the world, and especially humanity, in order to be in relationship with another. As Creator, God gives all things their form and substance; He, alone, gives significance and meaning to all that is: God energizes and supports all He has made, and especially humanity, the crown of His creation. Even now, God continues to create, to work His will actively in this world.

From the human perspective, this means that God is The Other, who calls us to be and grow in loving relationship with Him. Such love requires freedom, for the relationship between people and God would not be fully loving, if it were not entered into freely by both parties. And this is where we, creatures, go astray. In our freedom we choose to turn away from the relationship of love offered by God.

Second, God is the Lover who forgives our waywardness and calls us back to relationship with Him. Throughout history, and to individuals, God, the rejected Lover, has made overtures. The most radical and important is His own incarnation in Jesus, our Savior. In that act, God chose to heal the tare in the relationship between Creator and creature. God became man, offering in Christ a renewed relationship in love with Him. The life and death of Jesus is the enactment in history of the love of God and the rejection of that love by His people, for humanity refused to follow the call of Christ and tried to destroy Him.

In the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, God continues to reveal the power of His love as He, once more beckons us to Him. Now Christ lives in two ways: in Jesus, through whom God knows the suffering of His people and on whose account He forgives us, and in the body of Christ in this world, which is the church. This is the fellowship of those who accept the overture of love in Jesus and who pledge their lives to growth in relationship with God who is present among them in the Word and the Sacraments.

Third, God is the Lover who moves in the world as Spirit. This is the intangible mode of action by which God reveals Himself in our time. As Spirit, God fills this world, moving among and through us, giving us the ability to understand and enter into the loving relationship offered by God in the Creator and the Redeemer.

Through the working of the Spirit, the church is able to see and respond to God’s presence in the Word and Sacraments. Because of the indwelling of the Spirit in God’s work, one way to love God is to love one another, to love and serve all of God’s beloved creation.

As Spirit, the Lover enfolds us, making real the promises affirmed by Jesus Christ, drawing us to Him, and completing the work of creation, the bond of love between One and another.

I dug very deep into my heart in the summer of 1977 to be as honest and clear as I could about what I believe and what I would proclaim as the Gospel if I were approved for ordination by the Candidates’ Committee and the presbytery which has been my church home ever since. It continues to mystify me why they did not challenge calling God a Lover. Do you find that out of line?

When I look back, I can see how all the choices for action and service I have made—marriage, parenting, pastor, teacher, prayer, advocacy for LGBT people, building a LEED certified house, volunteering for Gore, Kerry and Obama, reaching out to those who judge me, for example—arise from these convictions. I am a little astonished that this is just as much a statement of my faith now as it was 36 years ago.

I hope you see that I proclaim God as Lover and our joy in loving God back by loving our neighbor as ourselves. It’s what I intended at the start and intend now.

How about you? When you dig into you heart, what words come to express your faith? And what arises in your choices from that? Has that changed much through time? Whether Yes or No, is that good? Why?

Rev. Janet Edwards

34 Responses
  • Bill on September 28, 2013

    Hi Janet.
    It depends on what your definition of Lover is: lov·er (lvr)
    1. One who loves another, especially one who feels sexual love.

    2. lovers A couple in love with each other.

    a. A paramour.

    b. A sexual partner.
    That would be very inappropriate IMO!

  • Donna on September 28, 2013

    Hi Janet,

    Nicely done, then and now. Reminds me of some things I wrote for seminary…and convicts me that I didn’t have the strength to continue on there.


    I’m sorry to be so blunt, but…Please, God as lover and we as the beloved is an “ancient” Christian concept I think by Thomas Aquinas and even Julian of Norwich, not to mention Ezekiel and other Scriptures…

    Here’s a good read: Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture (1991).


  • Bill on September 29, 2013

    Hi Donna, you mentioned ezekial and other scriptures. Would you be so kind and point me to those verses? I dont recall any that said God was a lover. Not saying they dont exist, I just dont remember them. Thanks

  • Donna on September 29, 2013


    You have a Bible, yes? Jeremiah 2:1-2, 3:20, Ezekiel 16…


  • Bill on September 30, 2013

    Hi Donna. I do have a Bible, but It’s a “conservative” Bible….LOL
    I’ll go look and see what your talking about.

  • Bill on September 30, 2013

    Hi Donna. I guess your going to have to spell out for me if you would.
    Here is a commentary and I dont see the connection you and Janet do.
    A parable showing the first low estate of the Jewish nation, its prosperity, idolatries, and punishment.

    Commentary on Ezekiel 16:1-58

    (Read Ezekiel 16:1-58)

    In this chapter God’s dealings with the Jewish nation, and their conduct towards him, are described, and their punishment through the surrounding nations, even those they most trusted in. This is done under the parable of an exposed infant rescued from death, educated, espoused, and richly provided for, but afterwards guilty of the most abandoned conduct, and punished for it; yet at last received into favour, and ashamed of her base conduct. We are not to judge of these expressions by modern ideas, but by those of the times and places in which they were used, where many of them would not sound as they do to us. The design was to raise hatred to idolatry, and such a parable was well suited for that purpose.

    Commentary on Ezekiel 16:59-63

    (Read Ezekiel 16:59-63)

    After a full warning of judgments, mercy is remembered, mercy is reserved. These closing verses are a precious promise, in part fulfilled at the return of the penitent and reformed Jews out of Babylon, but to have fuller accomplishment in gospel times. The Divine mercy should be powerful to melt our hearts into godly sorrow for sin. Nor will God ever leave the sinner to perish, who is humbled for his sins, and comes to trust in His mercy and grace through Jesus Christ; but will keep him by his power, through faith unto salvation.

  • Donna on September 30, 2013


    For someone who is a stickler about keeping the Bible’s text “as it is” you go to the interpretation? Go here and see for yourself the same passage in different Bible versions:

    Here are just a few examples…

    Jeremiah 2:1

    New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition)
    The word of the Lord came to me, saying: 2Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord:
    I remember the devotion of your youth,
    your love as a bride,
    how you followed me in the wilderness,
    in a land not sown.

    King James Version
    Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
    Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

    New International Version
    The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:

    “This is what the Lord says:

    “‘I remember the devotion of your youth,
    how as a bride you loved me
    and followed me through the wilderness,
    through a land not sown.

    Geneva Bible (1599 Version)
    1 Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

    2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I remember thee, with the [a]kindness of thy youth and the love of thy marriage, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness [b]in a land that was not sown.

    Bill, the point is, that the notion of God as Lover of this world and humanity is not new. Ezekiel 26 is an allegory, one that the people would relate to, with God likening Israel to a bride who has become a harlot and God as the rejected lover. It is an “oracle” indicating that God is the speaker, not Ezekiel.

    I actually like the Complete Jewish Bible…


  • Janet Edwards on September 30, 2013

    Dear Bill and Donna,

    I am grateful for your valuable conversation here and have two things to add.

    Bill, I agree with you that it depends on what the word, “lover,” means and that there are multiple meanings. As I see it, this is another way of saying that there are different interpretations–true for words and for any speech, including Scripture. in the case of “lover” I meant then and mean now the first definition, without emphasis the “Especially ” clause.

    At the same time, as Donna points out. God as Lover is present in Scripture. ALong with her examples, I am interested in your reading of the Song of Solomon, also known as The Song of Songs. There is a long Christian tradition of this book being an allegory of love between God and the Church. And it certainly reflects the first definition of “lover” that you share, Bill.

    And, please, I hope you two continue your dialogue. May others looking on chime in too.

    Peace, Janet

  • Bill on October 5, 2013

    Hi. I didnt have a problem with “god as lover”, until you ( Janet) said ” Do you find that out of line?”. Thats where the problem began. If a persons intentions were respectful,why would you say this? I think you intended to lead the reader astray? Maybe not but why else would you say it? I might be wrong but thats what it seemed like to me. And considering the subject matter……( nothing in the Bible condems homosexuality), I dont think it’s that far of a leap to wonder what you meant. Like I said, maybe it was all innocent wording, but I dont think so.
    Song of Songs….
    Some liberal churches do look at it the way you do,other churches not so much.
    Let me first explain my God: He, the Father, doesnt want any of us to perish. So he created the Bible so we all will be perfectly one. And if we read his word much like we would a newspaper, we wouldnt have any division in the church,or government, or our nation. If we had faith even the size of a mustard seed we would know the Bible as the inerrant, inspired, infallible word of God. If we had faith like a child that God could do and did do exactly what he wanted done, it wouldnt be hard to believe he could find enough believers to write down his message so we could understand it.
    That is my God, and I believe and have faith in him.
    Please take a moment and try to look at the Bible from my perspective, as I discribed my belief. Do you see that looking at it from my point of view makes it clear? Song of Songs is a model for marriage. Its written much like proverbs as words of wisdom. It is how a marriage should be, between a man and a woman.
    People have for far too many years used the Bible as a weapon to promote their way of thinking. But if we all just read it and believed it as written, we wouldnt be destroying the church, our government, or our nation.
    Can we all at least agree that at a traffice light, green means go and red means stop? Thats my Bible…….
    God bless all of you.

  • Janet Edwards on October 7, 2013

    Dear Bill,

    I’m sorry, Bill, I can’t find where I asked “Do you find that out of line?” I need you to point it out to me before I can respond. Thanks for that in advance.

    I do not see a conflict between your seeing Song of Songs as a model for marriage, as I certainly hope that married partners are, indeed, lovers. And, as Donna pointed out, a lot of the “lover” imagery for God in Scripture is about fidelity and infidelity in marriage.

    At the same time, human experience and testimony in Scripture witness to married couples being a subset of the whole realm of lovers. I need you to show me exactly where in Song of Songs it is said, as in a newspaper, that the couple in this poetry is a married couple. What in the book leads you to claim that?

    You and I do agree that red means stop and green means go at traffic lights. I certainly get that you read the Bible as being traffic lights while I do not. I would say, if God wanted the Bible to be a newspaper then it would be written as one whereas it is a library of various kinds of writing (history, laws, poetry, maxims, stories, teaching, visions, what else?) This basic disagreement between us does make conversation difficult.

    I await your reply. Peace, Janet

  • Bill on October 13, 2013

    Hi Janet. The last sentence of this paragraph. ” I dug very deep into my heart in the summer of 1977 to be as honest and clear as I could about what I believe and what I would proclaim as the Gospel if I were approved for ordination by the Candidates’ Committee and the presbytery which has been my church home ever since. It continues to mystify me why they did not challenge calling God a Lover. Do you find that out of line? “.

    I understand it is hard to have a conversation with me and people like me. I think your own church divided because of that issue? One thing I’ve never asked you, at least I dont recall it, but how do you read the Bible?

  • Janet Edwards on October 14, 2013

    Dear Bill,

    Thanks for taking us back to the original post with your comment on my question, “Do you find that out of line?” about the image of God as Lover. As far as I know myself, my intent was to stimulate a conversation, which I trust is no surprise. It has a tone that is a little more colloquial or flip than is my custom.

    It did prompt you to write. I did not mean for it to have any of the pejorative implications you have inferred from it. I will be more sensitive to my tone another time; it is certainly not my intent to alienate anyone.

    In response to your question about how I read the Bible, I want to comment further on reading Scripture like a newspaper. I reflected further on my reading of the newspaper and realized that our paper is not much different from what I describe Scripture to be in that it has different kinds of writing in it (e.g. news reports, editorials, poetry, sports, statistics, advertisements, obituaries, comics, puzzles, reviews, announcements). Perhaps we can agree that we read Scripture in the same way–much like a newspaper.

    Perhaps we can agree that Song of Songs is poetry (there is poem in our paper every Saturday). I understand that you read this love poetry as a model for marriage, Bill. What I want to know is where exactly do you read in the book that this is the case? It certainly is a loving couple. However, there is no marriage ceremony, no wedding feast, no taking of the woman as a wife which was the way marriage happened in ancient Israel.

    And I hope you will respond to my pointing out that reading this poetry as an expression of the love between God and the people of Israel or the church has long been expressed in Christian tradition. This imagery certainly is echoed in Paul’s letters. Would you read Song of Songs in this way?

    Thanks for your steady reading of these posts and for your response to come.

    Peace, Janet

  • Donna on October 16, 2013


    Interesting…I read it like a textbook or a reference book. 🙂


  • Bill on November 30, 2013

    Hi Janet and Donna.
    I appologize for taking so long to respond to your invite to discusss the Song of Songs. You have said that it’s hard for you to have a conversation with me because I believe the Bible says what it means, but I have the same problem conversing with you. And I’m not sure you understood my meaning of reading the Bible like a newspaper? I meant that when it says STOP; it means stop. When it says GO, it means go. There isnt any need to “interpret” the meaning. Is that how you understood my meaning? I’ve been reading thru your past posts trying to understand how to respectfully have a discussion on this topic with your liberal thinking. Still working on it.

    Hi Donna, I’m not sure that you understood my meaning either? As I recall you pretty much only believe Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? The remaining books hold little value?
    Good day all,

  • Donna on November 30, 2013

    Hi Bill,

    I believe when there is any question about a subject, it’s best to refer to what Jesus actually said about it. For example, Paul talks about women being silent in the church, but Jesus tells Martha that Mary knows what is important… There are so many contradictions in what Paul teaches versus what Jesus said and did, but you choose what you want to refer to. I prefer to refer to Jesus’ words and actions.


  • Janet Edwards on December 1, 2013

    Dear Bill and Donna,

    Thank you, Bill, for persisting in finding a way to be in dialogue with Donna and me. In that effort you and I are one in Christ which makes me very glad.

    In my experience, newspapers are not traffic lights, not saying Stop and Go, except , perhaps in the editorials, which they offer as opinions, not rules. It seems to me you are returning to the first image you used for Scripture, red and green lights. My primary difficulty with that arises from the ways in which passages in the Bible contradict each other.

    The example that has perplexed me since my youth is Matthew 12:30,
    “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters,” and Mark 9:40, “For he that is not against us is for us.” These passages challenge Donna’s solution of giving priority to Jesus as both of these are his comments. How do you reconcile them?

    The other problem for me with both your approach and Donna’s to Scripture as a textbook is that it has so many different kinds of writing in it. For, example, poetry, like Song of Songs, is inherently symbolic, not didactic or imperative. It is meant to move the heart–to conjure a picture in the mind. It makes no sense to read Song of Songs in the two ways you all suggest.

    Scripture reveals God to us and invites us to connect with God. Sometimes this comes as command, in a red or green light, or a textbook like Paul’s teaching in his letters. Often it is not. It has other ways of revealing God to us.

    I would very much appreciate your thoughts on this and your response to my question.

    Peace be with you both, Janet

  • Donna on December 1, 2013

    Hi Janet and Bill:

    With a humble spirit, I have to say that I’m partial to the concept that no one answer or approach to the Bible is, in and of itself, correct or incorrect, with the understanding that we pay attention to what exactly we are reading: story, history, legend, literature, poetry, song, oracle, etc. To answer your concern about me personally reading the Bible as a textbook: I’ve read poetry, philosophy, literature, history from textbooks. For example, history textbooks very often contain literature, essays, art, poetry, etc., from various periods, just as the Bible does. It’s just organized differently than the Bible is. The Book of Job is dialogue through poetry and yet provides history, philosophy, theology, and so on. It is meant to be didactic on various levels. Or, perhaps I’m taking for granted that most Bibles contain an introduction to each book and that most people read them. So, I’m not sure why there is a criticism of reading the Bible like a textbook. Do you mean I can’t read the Song of Solomon and not learn from it some of the culture of that time period? If so, then I’d disagree…it speaks a lot about what constituted beauty and passion, what was considered valuable, honorable, geography, animal life, foods…

    On Matthew 12:30 and Mark 9:40, I don’t see Jesus as contradicting himself because of the context, which is what I think you are getting at. The first consideration should always be: what is the context in which Jesus is speaking?

    In Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Jesus is addressing two powers in opposition and how they cannot co-exist in one person (church, organization, etc.), because Jesus is being accused of casting out demons with the power of Satan. The two opposing forces are good (God) and evil (Satan). I read this, then, as “whoever is not with God is against God, and whoever does not gather for God takes away from God.” This doesn’t mean that even as Christians we won’t fail and sin. It means we have chosen to live for God and to strive to do good. It also means that Satan will not willingly give up (or cast out demons from) a soul once he has possession of it and give it back to God. Satan aims to keep what he takes away from God and would never gather for God.

    In Mark 9:40 “Whoever is not against us is for us”, Jesus is answering a disciple’s question about another group of Christians whom they don’t know that are casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Here the consideration is over two forces for good. Both groups are for God and gathering for God. Mark 9:40 echoes the first part of Matthew 12:30 (Whoever is not with me is against me). The wording is just juxtaposed. Prior to this declaration in 9:40, though, Jesus makes something very clear: no one who does a work of power in His name will be able soon after to speak evil of Him. Why? Because they have chosen to do good, to gather for God, to accept the covenant and salvation, and I suspect the Holy Spirit becomes involved as well

    That’s the best way I can explain it. To me it’s not a contradiction at all but consistent logic.


  • Donna on December 1, 2013

    I’m sorry that’s so long…


  • Bill on December 9, 2013

    Hi Janet, The Bible never contradicts itself, thats not my opinion, even Jesus said so. . Thats like saying God can’t make up his mind..right? It means the Bible isnt “Holy”, which is why we ( You and I/conservatives and liberals) can’t agree. If the Bible isnt Holy, and we are free to pick and choose what is and isnt truth, then we only believe ourselves and the Good Book is of no value. Correct? That line of thinking is why we have so many divisions in the church. The message of the Bible is not for everyone to interpret the meaning of individually…..

    Romans 16:17-18 ESV

    I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

  • Bill on December 9, 2013

    Janet, I am thinking on a response to your question…..I dont believe I can add anything to what Donna said tho. Well done Donna…

  • Why on December 26, 2013

    Well now either you take the whole package in scripture or else you are luke warm. Cafeteria Christians are not doing a service to GOD’s scriptures.

  • Why on December 26, 2013

    Christian Scriptures have much to say about light and darkness, and always this has to do with human spirituality. When we do not know the truth about spiritual matters, we are said to be blind, or walking in darkness. If we know the truth, we are said to be walking in the light. We see, albeit only dimly so long as we remain in our earthly bodies.

    The Bible teaches that there are two sources of spiritual light. One is true, the other is false. The true light calls to men and women, to show the way and help them see. The other light seems true, but in the end it only leads to darkness.

    All of Scripture resounds with the message that we must be sure we have found the true light. Our eternal destiny depends upon it. Our very souls hang in the balance.

  • Bill on January 3, 2014

    I agree, and it isnt possible for God/Jesus/Holy Spirit to disagree with each other. Since they are in fact one and the same. So, when people claim they are following the “Holy Spirit” and that spirit is causing division in the church something is WAY wrong. Paul consistantly points people to the truth of the Bible. And everyone if read the Bible and didnt “interpret” it differently, we wouldnt have division. And its a simple matter really. All a person has to do is want the Fathers will done, and not his/her own will done. When the WORD ( Bible) says do this or don’t do that, then dont keep looking for answers. Accept it as the truth and go to heaven. Soeasy and yet so hard…..

  • Bill on January 3, 2014

    Hi Janet
    May I ask for and example of a contradiction?

  • Donna on January 3, 2014

    Hi Bill & Why

    I hope it’s okay for me to chime in…

    I think one major consideration is important: God, His Word, and the Church are all alive – living.

    Look for example at God’s covenant – how it began with one people and throughout the centuries grew to encompass all people. Even in Jesus’ ministry, how He tells the Caananite woman (Matthew 15:21-28) that He has come only for the lost sheep of Israel, and then changes His stance at her plea of faith.

    Another example is how the church itself has grown! Were it not for the moving of the Holy Spirit, there would be no protestant churches today.

    On another level, particularly in the US, this country, though founded on Christian (or at least Theist) ideals, insisted on the separation of church and state in order to (I believe) prevent civil unrest as was and is present in theocratic governments. Is that not the Holy Spirit’s moving to help put an end to religious persecution and killing done in the name of Jesus (such as the Crusades and the Inquisition)? Also, how are we to view the moving of the Holy Spirit in events such as the Great Awakenings in this country? The outpouring of the Spirit in Azusa?

    And then, within the confines of our legal system, how do we view the moving of the Holy Spirit to abolish slavery? To end subjugation and grant equality for women?

    All of these things caused divisions in the church(es), remnants of which still remain in that the Catholic Church still denies women priesthood, as do other sects. None of these are prescribed by the Bible but are very much attributed to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

    I hope I don’t misquote Janet in saying that the arc of God’s covenant bends toward justice. In my understanding of that, the movement of the Holy Spirit is always with a mission of renewed relationship with our Savior, a gathering in of all toward salvation, and for the growth of God’s love one to another.

    Would you agree?


  • Bill on January 5, 2014

    Hi Donna
    You said” Donna on November 30, 2013 Hi Bill, I believe when there is any question about a subject, it’s best to refer to what Jesus actually said about it. For example, Paul talks about women being silent in the church, but Jesus tells Martha that Mary knows what is important… There are so many contradictions in what Paul teaches versus what Jesus said and did, but you choose what you want to refer to. I prefer to refer to Jesus’ words and actions. Donna
    Sorry, there isnt any contradiction, if you read what it says, and not what you what you want it to say.

  • Bill on January 5, 2014

    Hi Donna….again. I clicked too soon.LOL
    You said: And then, within the confines of our legal system, how do we view the moving of the Holy Spirit to abolish slavery?

    I absolutely agree the Holy Spirit moved in this nation to accomplish that injustice. But the Holy Spirit/God didnt go against himelf. God never established or condoned slavery. So when the Spirit/God moved to abolish it, he didnt go against himself. So it deed indeed cause division in both the church and the nation, but the Holy Spirit and God always agreed on the subject. It cannot be any other way if they are one. Right?

  • Donna on January 6, 2014

    Hi Bill,

    NB: I’m not proposing that God condoned slavery as it was in the US.

    However, the Bible was indeed *used* to support slavery. There are many verses that were used, though taken out of context (as are the anti-gay passages today) and the concept of slavery then was not the chattel slavery that appeared in the US in the 16th-19th centuries (rather a 7 year indentured servant status). Regardless, slave owners used verses in Leviticus, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Peter, Titus, to establish their position.

    What do we say of these verses? They were written by God. Even though the slavery of that time period was different, what are we to say about a religion that appears to accept that condition and requires slaves to be good to their masters whether they are kind or harsh? Was God working against Himself?
    Why require slaves and masters to behave a certain way and then eradicate the notion altogether?

    My thoughts are that the same logic then of “well it’s in the Bible” (as is used today against gays) was applied and the Holy Spirit, I think, moved against that interpretation mightily because it further polluted God’s covenant. Rather than saying that God worked against Himself, I think that we believe in a living God and a living Word that continues to expand God’s covenant to encompass all in His freedom.

    If you’re looking for instances where God contradicts himself, look to Matthew as noted above: “Even in Jesus’ ministry, how He tells the Caananite woman (Matthew 15:21-28) that He has come only for the lost sheep of Israel, and then changes His stance at her plea of faith.”

    How can we explain this?


  • Bill on January 7, 2014

    Hi Donna
    Thats a great question and one I want to answer. But first let me make sure I understand what your saying. Because the Gentile woman had faith, Jesus “changed his mind” and included the Gentiles as well as the Jews in his Grace? Do I understand that correctly?

  • Donna on January 7, 2014


    That’s how the scripture reads. If you interpret it differently, let me know.


  • Bill on January 7, 2014

    Hi Donna
    Thanks, I just wanted to make sure. I dont interpret differently, I just read what it says. Kind of like a newspaper or some other easy read…
    So what did Jesus say….
    Jesus came to fullfill what the Jewish prophets wrote. That a messiah would be delivered to them. However, no where does the Bible say Jews would be the only people Jesus would come for.
    1 John 2:2 tells us:
    2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
    And Jesus himself tells us: John 10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
    So it may appear at first glance that Jesus changed his mind, but scripture says otherwise.All Jesus was doing was testing the womans faith.

  • Donna on January 8, 2014

    Hi Bill,

    Wow…Did the prophets really prophesy for a messiah for everyone or just for the Jews? I’ll have to ask you to read the prophets again and reread what you just wrote. Zechariah 13 comes to mind. “On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. ”

    What did Jesus say in Matthew? Here is the text.

    “Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.’ But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ He answered, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly. ”


  • Bill on January 9, 2014

    “Changed his mind”? From what to what? You’ve said how many times that nothing in the Bible condems homosexuality. Now you’re saying he changed his mind about it?
    You dont have to respond, your post says it all.
    I pray God will forgive you..

  • Donna on January 9, 2014


    Oh my goodness…you’ve not gotten what I’m saying at all. I was just answering your questions/points. You said nowhere does the Bible indicate that the messiah was for the Jews only. I point you to Zechariah. You asked “what does Jesus say…” And I answered with the full text quote where Jesus is clearly stating that he came only for the lost sheep of Israel, and then calls the Canaanite woman (Canaanites were historically enemies of Israel) a dog and says she’s not worthy. Quite more than a test of faith.

    Similar discussion is found with the woman at the well, a Samaritan (Samaritans shared similar religious beliefs but were not socially in accord with Jews).

    The question is, at what point does Jesus’ ministry and the ever-growing inclusiveness of the covenant in Christ begin? I think it begins with the Canaanite woman.

    Hope that helps to understand where I’m coming from.

    I’m taking the rest of your message as somewhat agitated and condescending – a conversation stopper if ever there was one.


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