Baptize these others in the name of the “Father.”

 
“Baptize these others in the name of the “Father.” That word must not be thought of as the name of some external deity, but rather as the name of the Source of Life that inhabits the universe, calling us all to live fully. Baptize, too, in the name of the “Son.” That word must not be seen as the name of the founder of an exclusive religious system, but the name of the Source of Love, which embraces us all and then frees us to love wastefully, to love beyond every barrier. Baptize them in the name of the “Holy Spirit.” Those two words are not another name for God, but are rather the name of the Ground of Being, in whom we all are related and in which we find not only the courage to be all that we can be, but also, perhaps even more important, the courage to allow others to be all that they can be in the infinite variety of our humanity. The human community contains people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, political persuasions and economic statuses. The call of God to us to be all that we can be is also the call to rejoice in the very being of all others. That is what forms the universal community of which the church is but a symbol; indeed, to build the universal community is the ultimate goal of the Christian church, and in the achievement of that goal the church itself will finally be dissolved.”

~John Shelby Spong, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew’s Gospel

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