I have listened to Graham Maxwell since I was a boy. I have never heard something so beautiful and expanding of one’s curiosity. I learned to identify what I know, what I don’t know and what I need to know. I felt fear go down and love go up. It does no good to stand up to defend a dead man I guess. But just for the record those of us who have believe this view find it quite satisfying I will illustrate.
I went into a Sunday Church to use the rest room, as that was the only building open then. Immediately the pastor was on to me, trying to convince me that it was ok to eat meat etc. And because I believed the larger view, for the first time in my life I felt no compunction to turn a moment of possible relationship into a theological fight. Love swept over me and I turned the conversation to the wonder of Christ. We parted in peace. I thanked God. If I held my old beliefs I don’t see peace would have been in this case. What I believed previously would not have helped me in that situation.
The other day I discovered a good acquaintance was muslim. I kid you not, my love for them went up, my desire to convert them by christian trickery was not there. The more I understand the large view, the more I just want to love people. This is the impact it has had on me. Sure the theology may be shaky, but I don’t really judge theologies that way, I just check if my love container is filling up or if the fear box is filling up. I check if I am able to listen and understand and weigh evidence as best as I can or if I am becoming afraid to weigh evidence.
I had a conversation with someone who does not believe in God, a scientist, he asked me what I thought about evolution and the evidence that supports it. Because I believe in the goodness of God, I was able to answer honestly and I am quite sure he was able to respect my answer and yet not feel pressured or insulted or ridiculed. He did not make me feel the same way either. The larger view as I understand it, is not about having a tightly neat theology, its just about having the clearest view of Jesus possible and seeking an even clearer one, so we are free to change lots of things in order to see Jesus Clearly, like Zacheaus we might need to climb a tree and afterwards we might need to come down from the tree, we have to do and believe whatever helps us see Jesus better. this is what the larger view is all about in my opinion. at least thats what I use it for.
As I have recently learned, we can never bend the truth, we can only bend our perception of truth. The more we bend ourselves, one day we will break ourselves.
The way I read my bible, the way I study history, EGW, the way I engage in conversation and the way I react when someone opens up to me about their failing and doubts. The way I treat myself when I fail, all these things are practical ways that I have seen changes happen in my life and in the lives of others who have believed the message. This is what I understand the message to be in brief.
God is love. People haven’t always believed this but by and by everyone will see it. and Love will cover the world. So we pray day and night Thy kingdom come.