We can get together with people of like belief and feel good about ourselves. This is good if our beliefs are valid and evidence supported. Not if it is just us ‘silo-ing’ ourselves in cylinders of conformity to what we want to believe.
We can encourage each other in the truth just as easily as we can huddle inside our collective darkness, comforting ourselves with our oft used fictions and rationalisations that we call ‘our faith.’ This is the scandal of our season. Treating ignorance as wisdom.
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
In the sphere of science and technology the pursuit of truth rewards those who pursue it. This is so in all areas of life, especially is it so in the realm of spiritual truth and our ideas about God and ourselves. This truth has been concisely summarised as the Son of God who came among us as Jesus Christ. He told us that if we eat Him we would live because of Him – which means that all life and truth flows from His person and His message. The message of God is Jesus and the mirror of God and of ourselves is Jesus Christ.
It's important to possess and absorb the doctrine of Jesus and the apostles and not attempt to aggrandize ourselves with some ‘other gospel,’ other christ and other collections of doctrines. Paul defined such prideful accretions as rubbish and dung.
The doctrine of Jesus and the apostles admits us to the Kingdom of God, makes us companions of the trinity, and participants in the life of God. It makes us sons and daughters of God. Variations and distortions of this do not. They enslave and diminish us, often in the name of God. Jesus warned us about this in two parables.
One is the parable of The Sower where Jesus, the seed is sown onto the soil of the human heart. The seed multiplies extravagantly when the seed is embraced by the soil and is un-impeded by the rocks and stones of old ideas and ancient lies. Or by simply by the ignoring of the seed in in the smug belief that one cannot be taught by others, so that birds (demons?) fly off with what could have been words of spirit and life. Jesus is both the seed and the soil. He is the vicarious human who lives from union with Father and the son of man who receives all life from our Father on our behalf so that He can live His life in us.
The Sower is sowing sons of God. They grow from the soil of the trinity who are not only their life source but their origin. The sower is sowing Himself as our life and the harvest will be the sons and daughters of the Kingdom. C Baxter Kruger writes,
BEING AND BELONGING
“The Christian God is interested in relationship with us, and not just relationship, but union, and not just union, but such a union that everything He is and has—all glory and fullness, all joy and beauty and unbridled life—is to be shared with us and to become as much ours as it is His. The plan from the beginning, in the Christian vision, is that God would give Himself to us, and nothing less, so that we could be filled to overflowing with the divine life.”
The other story is the parable of the Tares. The crop that looks like wheat but isn’t. The teaching that bears some resemblance to the gospel of the Kingdom but is not.
The doctrine has produced sons of the evil one but not sons of God. Are these wicked people? No. Just people who have believed a lie and have become children of the father of lies as a result. Let’s be clear. Any system of belief, any culture and community based on a re-invigorated version of the knowledge of good and evil – with Jesus help - did not come from God. Adhering to such a system we are not reborn and do not participate in our inheritance as sons of the Firstborn from the Dead. As foolish virgins we live outside the inheritance that is hours because we have created what we think is an inheritance and identity in our own cultural rabbit burrow.
There’s nothing like encouraging each other in the truth. Nothing so devious and pernicious as supporting each other in mutually believed illusions. It’s better to be a son of God than a confidante in a fellowship of tares. Richard Rohr writes,
“Jesus comes forth from the infinite life of the Trinity and invites us and includes us back in the Infinitely Receiving Gaze so that now we can have participatory knowledge of the same, because no objectification of God is ever possible. We can only be mirrored, and we can only know and see ourselves fully both in a mirror and through a mirror. It is thus crucial and central to have a well-polished mirror that can see and reflect God in you. Yes, good theology and God-image are important!” (1)
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 811-816). SPCK. Kindle Edition.