We can live a semi-convincing life in religion. This life will be convincing to other religionists but it will not convince our hearts or those for whom Christ Himself is life. This is because those in the latter category are one with life which means that all forms of un-life are excruciatingly visible.
LIFE AND LIGHT
Living in life we will also be living in light and will easily discern the difference between religion and the Kingdom of God which is actually the kingdom of life as opposed to the kingdom of the lie.
Yet a life in the lie or a suburb of it is more popular than we might hope. Some live in it due to a the experience of systematic brainwashing and others because it supports the flesh and with it a false sense of self. Others retain themselves in the old covenant because they want to. We live in a season of stupidity when large numbers of people call beliefs ‘truth’ because it suits them.
The dulling of the spiritual senses that occurs as a result of a religious life enables us to become comfortable in self-deceit and embrace the fallacy that we are loyal to Christ when we actually have two masters. We make ourselves unable to see God and the things of God clearly because we are not pure in heart and have divided loyalties – to Christ and our own beliefs and private gospels.
Our life journey is marked by one rationalisation after another as we embrace fictions and lean on them to keep out the truth. The status and identity we think we have in our ‘other gospel’ is more important to us than the identity that is ours and has come to us in the truth that in Jesus we and our Father are one. Francois Du Toit puts it this way,
“In 2 Cor 4:4 Paul says that unbelief empowers the defeated god of this world to blindfold us in order to keep us from seeing the light of the gospel. The light of the gospel reveals the glory of God in the face of the man Jesus Christ who is the image of God, AS IN A MIRROR! 2Cor 4:3 If our message seems vague to anyone, it is not because we are withholding something from certain people! It is just because some are so stubborn in their efforts to uphold an outdated system, that they don’t see it! They are all equally found in Christ but they prefer to remain lost in the cul-de-sac language of the law! 2 Cor 4:4 The survival- and self improvement programs of the religious systems of this world veil the minds of the unbelievers; exploiting their ignorance about their true origin and their redeemed innocence.” (1)
No amount of spiritual gifts and the understanding of them will benefit communities of faith that have chosen the law and old covenant as ‘the way.’
A will blindness to the truth of the real gospel does not mean that such people are lost although it does lead to dullness of seeing and hearing, and insulate us from union with God. It insulates us because we value union with ourselves more. We become an impediment to the advance of the Kingdom because we value ‘ourselves come in the flesh’ more than we do Christ come in our flesh to manifest as us and as the church built without human hands.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
(1) Du Toit, Francois. God Believes in You . Mirror Word Publishing. Kindle Edition.