Antinomianism

Antinomianism has had a bad image in Christianity. This picture is from the cover of my copy of “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner”, by James Hogg, a Scots classic and satire on extreme Calvinism.

If God is eternal and all-knowing, God must know everything that happens within time. Therefore God knows already who is damned and who is saved. Therefore, we are predestined, either to Heaven or to Hell. This is a perfect illustration of how linear thought and the refusal to accept paradox makes an idiot of the religious person, for what room is there for a God of Love who predestines men to Hell before they are born? It makes no sense. In the mild form, the believer has to behave well, because that makes it more likely that he is one of the chosen.

In its virulent form, this Calvinism leads to antinomianism: if we are saved by the sacrifice of Christ, nothing that we do can take that from us. This gives permission to undertake any immoral act. This is what Hogg satirises.

Taking my Christianity very seriously, and having a deep desire to be Good and do Right, I decided that I am antinomian: my yardstick for morality came from within me, rather than from any outside authority. I wanted to transition, and so I would, despite what the Catholic Church or the Evangelical Alliance or any other Christian authority might say.

I may learn what is good or right by studying texts as well as by thinking, but the decision remains always mine. Knowing that allows me to respond in the moment to a situation as it is, rather than try to apply moral laws which I imperfectly understand. It also allows me to respond in Love rather than judgment.File:Bloch-SermonOnTheMount.jpg

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I am surrounded by birds, tweeting, chirruping, crying, singing. Several pairs of geese fly low overhead, honking, as if for the Joy of it (I anthropomorphise). A duck repeatedly takes off from the river, flies a few yards, and lands in the water again. A drake follows her: each time he lands near her, she takes off.

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