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The Wheat and Weeds Creation

• Greg Boyd
Guest Panelists: Cedrick Baker, Kevin Callaghan, Shawna Boren

We live in a world where Satan has laid claim to creation, while at the same time God is fighting to redeem all things through the work of the cross. These two fundamental forces are simultaneous, and we see them everywhere. Our calling is to participate in the good work that God is doing in order to advance the Kingdom.

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This sermon seeks to set racial reconciliation within a broader, theological context of God’s reconciling work. It is based on the parable of the wheat and the tares (or weeds) found in Matthew 13. In this parable, the wheat is the good crop of the farmer, or anything that reflects God’s loving character. The weeds are the plants sown by “an enemy,” which do not reflect God’s loving character. This is a descriptive parable about reality. The first point is that just because the farmer is good it does not mean that all the results of his work is good.

The second point is about the phrase “an enemy has done this.” This points to a transcendent reality of Satan and the principalities and powers. Where the reign of God is present, there will also be forces that fight against it. This reality describes the state of the entire creation, which has been “subject to futility” and is moving toward decay. As we read in Romans 8, creation is groaning for God’s complete redemption. The creation was originally pronounced “good” and we can see the glory of God through creation. But something has gone wrong. In its present condition, it is subject to futility, death, and decay. The world is full of things that do not reflect the glory of God. We live in a wheat and weeds world.

This was a common belief in the early church. The early church theologian Athenagorus wrote that Satan is “the spirit” who was originally entrusted with “the control of matter and the forms of matter.” Unfortunately, “the prince of matter [now] exercises a control and management contrary to the good that is in God.” All suffering and violence in creation is the result of the corrupting influence of this evil “ruling prince” and “the demons his followers.”

There are two fundamental forces at work in the cosmos. God is pulling all things toward love through the cross. Satan is fighting against it. C. S. Lewis wrote, “At every moment, every square inch of the cosmos is claimed by Satan and counterclaimed by God.”

There are three basic applications to this teaching:

  1. We are all broken. We share the brokenness of creation. Every square inch is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan. The enemy has sown things into our hearts, and God is also at work in our hearts. Therefore, we must never buy into an ‘us versus them’ mentality that thinks of ourselves as righteous and others as unrighteous. We must fight against the polarization of our culture.
  2. Reconciliation is the gospel. All things will be reconciled to God and we will be reconciled to one another when God brings all things into his Kingdom. For many, reconciliation is seen as an option – part of the cultural wars and not part of what God is doing in the world. Reconciliation is what God is up to in the cosmos, and our call as the church is to join in on what God is doing.
  3. True reconciliation can only be done by the blood of the cross. While just laws and social justice for all races is crucial, God’s reconciliation cannot be fully accomplished by human efforts. It is work that is done as we follow the way of the cross in our relationships with others.
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Topics: Kingdom of God, Problem of Evil

Sermon Series: Race Conciliation


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Focus Scripture:

  • Matthew 13: 24-30

    He put before them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the servants of the household came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

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2 thoughts on “The Wheat and Weeds Creation

    Matthew says: Monday July 6, 2020 at 8:18 am

    This is a really important theological concept to grasp. It truly explains so much. For example, now I understand why in nature at one moment we see a beautiful lioness basking in the sun and then only moments later we observe that same lioness horribly attacking an innocent wildebeast.

    Reply
    Jerry says: Tuesday July 7, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Wow! Good Stuff!

    Romans 8:21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay, (The second law of thermodynamics – entropy), and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

    Greg said, as a man of science, he can no longer accept Adam and Eve as the reason for the corruption of nature. Neither can I.

    Greg said I don’t have time right now to get into how you would put Adam and Eve into this story.

    In light of a prior post I made https://whchurch.org/sermon/bad-elephant/#comment-228460
    concerning Tom Oord’s thoughts on a prior universe and Al Larson’s thoughts on whom we might be I’d like to share some possibilities on the Adam and Eve story. Also: I will add a few other things that might hopefully enlighten my prior post.

    C.S. Lewis

    It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

    All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

    It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

    There are no ordinary people.

    You have never talked to a mere mortal.

    There is a lot of thinking now that Genesis 1-11 was the last thing written during the Babylonian captivity to refute the numerous Warfare mythologies with a counter story where God creates a good creation with NO conflict. A helpful book on Warfare mythologies would be Greg’s – God at War – focusing on the intro and Chapters 2 and 3. You can purchase a copy in the church lobby.

    In light of science, Lewis no mere mortals and entropy might the fall have occurred in Heaven and God created this universe as a long slow journey from that fallout chaos to being restored when the now two kingdoms are finally merged back as one.

    Consider in contrast to entropy, Gods side, our cosmos was prewired for (love and optimism), i.e. mercy and grace, via a series of cosmic constants.

    Greg gave us one example: https://whchurch.org/sermon/science-and-the-god-question/#!

    Using one part in 10*(37), the cosmic constant ratio of electrons to protons, the following analogy might help visualize fine tuning.

    Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles.
    `
    In comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. Federal debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes.

    Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America.

    Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes.

    Blindfold a person and ask them to pick out that painted dime.

    The odds that they will pick the red dime is one in 10*(37) that’s a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth X 10 of one percent . 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 3×12 36 zeros + 1

    This slightly misconstrues, not Greg’s fault, the point. What is really being said is if there was one more of one less dime, (either way), life-we would not be here today.

    Lawrence M. Krauss, chapter 4 page 43, from the book The Creator and the Cosmos: Theologically, the space energy density demonstrates that for physical life to be possible at any time or place in the history of the universe the value of the mass density of the universe must be fine-tuned to within one part in 10*(60), and the value of the cosmological constant must be fine-tuned to within one part in 10*(120). To put this in perspective, the best example of human engineering design that I am aware of is a gravity wave telescope capable of making measurements to within one part in 10*(23).

    This implies that the Creator at a minimum is ten trillion trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion trillion, trillion, trillion times more intelligent, knowledgeable, creative, and powerful than we humans.

    So all of us, the devil and his cronies included, aren’t that bright. Did we lose a lot of mental capacity in the fall? Is this our time to gain it back what was lost or not, as barely escaping the flames?

    Compared to God we are like silly intoxicated maggots barely capable of a rational thought that however God loves dearly and meets in this state, accommodates where we are at and in the each now moment lures towards our future reconciliation.

    We are stardust, we are golden

    We are billion year old carbon Caught in the Devil’s bargain

    And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

    Of the .0001 of material in the universe, atoms, 96.1% are of the first three in the table of elements. Humans are also made up of those same elements (96.1%).

    Every element, 2-118, in the periodic table aside from hydrogen is essentially stardust. Our body is composed of roughly 7×1027, (7 with 27 zeros behind it), atoms. 4.2×1027 of them are hydrogen, leaving 2.8×1027 atoms of stardust. Thus the amount of stardust atoms in our body is 40%. Since stardust atoms are the heavier elements, the percentage of star mass in the body is much more impressive. Most of the hydrogen in the body floats around in the form of water. The human body is about 60% water and hydrogen only accounts for 11% of that water mass. Even though water consists of two hydrogen atoms per oxygen atom hydrogen has much less mass. Conclusion: 93% of the mass in the body is stardust, ashes of dead stars.

    98% of 60 to 100 trillion cells, and then the 100 trillion atoms within each cell, are replaced every year.

    Every 16 days about 72% of our atoms are replaced.

    Everything is made of atoms consisting to electrons proton and neutrons which are both wave and particle.

    Quarks then, the only material in the universe, 3 in each proton and neutron, do a cosmic dance in the nucleon both attracting and repelling within a range of a quadrillionth to one ten trillionth of a centimeter by exchanging color within themselves via gluons (the strong force) or between each other via pions (the nuclear force) and this happens every .0000000000000000000000023 (10-23) of a second.

    String theory suggests that quark dances are actually minuscule vibrating loops of preons, a set of fundamental point particles.

    In the world of the atoms, solid matter, the floor upon which you stand and the foundation that bears the weight of a skyscraper is actually empty space. If you could scale the center of an atom, the nucleus, up to four inches, the surrounding electron cloud would extend to four miles away and essentially all the breach between would be empty. The solidity of iron is actually 99.9999999999999 percent vacuous space made to feel solid by ethereal fields of force having no material reality at all.

    So why can’t we put are finger through it? Is this a curtain, ethereal fields, between two universes? Genesis 3:24 After the resurrection Jesus had a new body that traversed this curtain yet when Thomas touched him he was solid.

    Al Larson, in Greg and Al’s course Theo-synergistic-Neuro-Transformation, talks about a laser beam being turned into a reference bean that our (VAKOG) brings back as a holographic reference of the event which is real to us but is twisted and distorted by the state of our subconscious operating/belief system – our soul.

    The 1st eight billion years of our cosmos ends with 200 billion galaxies, more than the people that have ever existed, each having very massive stars collapsing, at the end of their life cycle, into black holes.

    This is entropy however do to the series (47) of cosmic constants there will soon be one bright spot in the universe, we can call home, where God will meet us and lure forward to our final home.

    Everything is lost inside a black hole but a holographic reality emerges. Everything that we see and experience, what we call reality but much of it an allusion, emerges on the surface like a display of stored data in a computer.

    Consciousness, the quantum observer, chooses , free will, specific wave frequencies, from the unlimited possibilities of given frequency domains and the unified Field ocean of existence, that it wants (reticular activating system) and downloads to the operating system which then converts them into space/time particles and out pops our holographic reality. We are projecting our reality first, and then perceiving it coming back to us.

    Truth comes from following Jesus (heaven). The allusion comes from following one another (hell) the current fallen kingdom of this world. To different sets of patterns, morph-genic fields, for holographic reference beam display. Romans 12:2

    Al told me one time that concerning Greg’s Open-Theism and John Piper’s thinking they were both right, one inside and the other outside the bubble. By outside I think Al meant Heaven. I believe he was referring to Romans 9:20-24 – the vessels of wrath as the serpent (Satan and his cronies) versus the vessels of mercy (the rest of fallen creation) as God’s preordained foreknowledge, but not as Calvin thought, because it was an already reality in Heaven.

    Greg talked about not being a fan of pledging allegiance to the flag. It’s even more than that. It’s about levels of peeking orders lording over one another, pledging allegiance to one another.

    We are all given a measure of power. The problem is that left to ourselves we follow one another and we end up working the hardest at preserving our power level, not our skills/gifts, because we FEAR someone might take our power from us. Matthew 20:20-27

    In contrast to whatever you do it as for working for the Lord and not for men – moving up in management, (more power), as reward for high achievers often takes people from their gifted abilities to a fearful incompetence level and bad emotional states.

    From my experience in levels of power pecking orders the more you are responsible for the more you are paid but within a determined fixed budget, usually by a higher pecking order. Managing fewer talented people means, to this system, a smaller budget and less to that power level.

    In a servant to one another kingdom we follow Jesus and we all operate in our gifted callings while leveraging our power to insure others get a fair shake (justice and mercy- servant to one another). We are all compensated fairly for what God has gifted us to do.

    Jesus having All power and authority took off his outer garments and washed all the disciples’ feet and said I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Than he gave a new command: As I have loved you so you must love one another. This love is while we and they are yet sinners. He then as the suffering servant went to the cross. John 13

    Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:20-26

    Is God at War and How?

    There are two fundamental forces at work in the cosmos. God is pulling all things toward love through the cross. Satan is fighting against it. C. S. Lewis wrote, “At every moment, every square inch of the cosmos is claimed by Satan and counterclaimed by God.”

    This book really helped me. Bob Merritt – 7 Simple Choices for a Better Tomorrow
    To state the essence of the book in a sentence: In order to have a Hog Hole Heaven on earth you need to understand indiscretions are habitual in that the little stuff leads to the big stuff so, if you want a little more Heaven to come down to earth, you need to not cut corners, manipulate the truth or allow yourself these little indiscretions for if you do God’s wrath will be, not to punish you but, to remove his protective presence, letting you have your own way, so you now become liable for your own troubles.

    Another words God doesn’t punish us for our sins – we do that to ourselves. God did not send his son to punish us or at some later date send us to hell. Jesus came to save us from where we are already at (fallen). God’s not angry we are.

    We are all good at judging one another but science has proved that it takes one to know one. We need to cooperate with the triune God to find and fix our own planks first and then by speaking the truth in love, talking about how we dealt with our own planks, help others to hear God’s whisper and then work with God to fix their own.

    Judging can lead to the action of revenge which is God’s business. Instead we need to suffer judgements, actions, power over and our best life now for the purpose of winning a heart. I think the burning coals are God’s whisper pointing to malware in subconscious operating systems. Romans 12:19-20

    I like how Greg ends it with we still need to help Derek Chauvin work through his planks.

    Is this Hell? https://reknew.org/2020/06/are-we-in-hell-podcast/
    https://reknew.org/2020/06/podcast-can-non-believers-be-redeemed-in-purgatory/

    Adding to my prior post maybe what is going on is we are given an opportunity to restore what was lost in the fall. If we don’t take that opportunity it will be given to someone else. We earn crowns and we suffer loss. One who had originally been given much may barely escape the flames.

    I’m thinking we will have to emotionally experience all the pain, every detail, we caused to all effected by the stuff we’ve done or the judgements we’ve made and in some cases that might take what will seem like an eternity.

    But like the priest in – Rudy – all I know for sure is there is a God, and I’m not him and because of that I need to follow Jesus NOT me.

    Does everyone eventually get out of the lake of fire?

    Greg thought God keeps people around as long as there is hope and then, if all hope is gone, annihilates them.

    https://whchurch.org/sermon/going-to-hell-in-a-nutshell/#!
    http://media.whchurch.org/QA/Heaven-Hell-Resurrection/2011-06-07_Heaven-Hell_Transcription-QA.pdf

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