What Does it Mean to be a Child of God?

What is the origin and destiny of mankind? Are we sons and daughters of deity created in their image with their Godly potential? Do we have eternal infinite potential or are we eternally inferior to them?

Are our impulses and desires simply bursts of energy that develop from stimulus that dominate us, or spiritual opportunities that we can control and develop? Do we have a soul and will or are we simply some element of cosmic force resulting in spontaneous individualistic tendencies?

Who and what are the billions of us individually and collectively as human beings?  Are we mere creatures of curiosity, thoughts of a deity who after aeons of eternity of a solitary existence became bored and tried a new experiment?  According to Christian philosopher C.S. Lewis, man and free will are an experiment.

I have heard the term "child of God " used by many to denote both relationship and potential in different contexts. Motivational speakers, preachers, even teachers of mysticism all seek a link to some infinite power. Many sense some power inside of us and to which we are connected in a broad sense yet can't define it because their scope and vision is limited to their own learning.

What is the true relationship between man and the great potential they might have and the source of that potential?  Is the term child in this sense literal or metaphorical? More importantly how can a person find out?

Motivational speakers invoke the term almost as a colloquialism for our human potential yet don't define it.  I have heard preachers and pastors use it yet not explain their theology.  New agers and seekers of the mystical just seem to like the sound of it. 

Many philosophical and religiously minded people use the term "the family of God" to refer to the human family but don't define the term or the relationship.  

Are we eternal brothers and sisters with a spiritual begetting from eternal parents as taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Or are we simply creatures brought into existence out of nothingness by a single genderless deity at our mortal birth as taught by mainstream Christian scholars? 

According to science we could be some kind of cosmic flash of organic chemistry?  Aren't we though, and isn't science eternal truth? Doesn't God exist according to eternal truth? These are some of the choices or belief systems that exist. 

In traditional teachings of mainstream theology and scholarship the term, child of God, is metaphorical and our creation spontaneous.  Traditional Christian philosophers have established teachings. These teach that deity is a mysterious and incomprehensible single entity comprised of three personalities.

Christian apologists have essentially changed the terminology of family relationships to not mean what they really are to us.  In other words they call Jesus the son of God as the Bible teaches but their theological seminary teaching is that Jesus is a creature of the Holy Ghost.  Because Jesus and the Father are the same godly being along with the Holy Ghost they don't have a real father-son relationship.   This summarily describes the doctrine of the Trinity as taught by mainstream orthodoxy.

The Trinity cannot and does not reproduce after its own kind nor create in its image.  As a solitary incorporeal being of a superior nature can it only create inferior species of creatures.  Christian apologists don't feel that God can be superior if other creatures of the same caliber exist. 

According to these scholars we as humans are inferior creatures but can be adopted into God's family by accepting the Bible, especially the New Testament and confessing that we accept Jesus. Those that don't are condemned. This is the only way according to Bible scholars that man can be a child of God.

Under the methodology of the orthodox theological traditions mankind is deemed to be of an eternally inferior nature. Because there are no literal children of God or parent child relationship, the use of the term child in mainstream Christian theology is strictly metaphorical.  This is the conclusion of Bible scholars, theology professors and religious philosophers that profess mainstream Christianity.

Even though scholars state in their doctrinal conclusions that such metaphorical use is the only correct application, there is also a diluting of the term by individuals who don't agree or don't understand with these dogmas.  Many unschooled Christians still believe they are literally children of God in some fashion.

Mormon theology teaches that we are literally created in the image of God, male and female, we are sons and daughters of eternal parents.  As such we recognize that fatherhood is not separable from motherhood.  This is a pattern of creation that God ordained in the earth, which even the birth of the Son of God in the flesh demonstrates.  Our brotherhood and sisterhood is literal and we are children, spirit offspring of the the Most High God.  

The image of God as taught in Genesis is that of a man and a woman together, not a single male or genderless deity.  The joining together in marriage is the perfect union of eternal beings as a center of creation.  Not an unnatural metaphorical creation but of a naturally occurring order of family centered creation.  There is no Godhood without manhood and womanhood joined together in eternal priesthood covenants. 

Preachers and parishioners of orthodox traditions seek a more intimate relationship with their creator, especially since the term "Father" is used liberally in the Bible. It is however in this mainstream theology to be understood that God is not a literal father or parent.  There is no mother connected to fatherhood in their doctrinal teachings.  According to them the woman was a new invention in the Garden of Eden. Never before in all of eternity had a women existed until that moment is what these teachings imply.

Even though Jesus has a mother and a father, one mortal and the other immortal Bible scholars still think his existence is magical or unnatural.  Why wouldn't it be natural or in his case a supernatural occurrence?

These traditions and opinions of Bible scholars teach that a person's spirit is created out of nothing at their birth in an apparent random act. Orthodox apologists will say God may have known us forever but didn't create us until our birth.  Why the delay we might ask? It is because they just don't know the truth about our eternal nature as sons and daughters of eternal parents.  Their theology concludes that their god's actions are the result of apparent boredom not love. Such is the result of their scholarship and opinions. 

The theology the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also known as Mormonism is very distinct from that of mainstream philosophers.  

All men and women are in their eternal nature the offspring of Godly eternal parents. Fatherhood and motherhood are inseparable in time and eternity. This union constitutes the fullness of the family unit and of God's image. It is the center of creation in time and eternity. Marriage is ordained, sustained and exists as the highest and holiest order of the heavens.  It is God's order and system of eternal life and creation.

Our spirit is literally begotten of God.  Our existence in mortality is an essential step in an eternal plan to fulfill God's' purpose for us to become like they are. Our eternal potential is unlimited as his children and his desire and perfect love dictate his actions of creation.  We are literally children, sons and daughters of the Most High God and as such heirs of all he posses if we obey those eternal laws by which he governs.  To think otherwise is to limit his power and his love and order.

We can learn more about these truths from the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or at at www.lds.org. 

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