Addiction to inferior ideas is a subtle form of slavery. Paul called the inmates of these prisons the children of the slave woman. ‘But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman’ Gal 4.30,31 NIV.
“The overwhelming majority of men in our society (especially white men) are addicted to certain ways of thinking, feeling and acting that keep our souls and consciousness trapped, and we're largely oblivious to this. We're no different than anyone addicted to cigarettes, alcohol or cocaine.”
Certain groups object to ideas for no other reason that they are new and not the old ones’ that their parents and they have believed in all their lives. There’s a brand of conservativism that hoards ideas whether the ideas are useful or not. Their ‘use’ is to shield them from change but the effect is that they are shielded from life. But these patterns of living are visionless and mulish.
NARROW IS THE WAY
The way is narrow but never narrow minded. Someone opined that that most common addiction is an addiction to our own ideas. Such an obsession is a quest for security and maybe status, but a misguided one. The resistance to new ideas and a stubborn attachment to old ones is at the heart of the current denial of climate change as well as the resistance to solutions that could solve the problem by using efficient new sources of energy and innovative ways of being societies. The problem is not that there are no solutions but that the selfishness of vested interests intimidates law-makers from making the changes that need to be made if we are to enter new ventures of prosperity and avoid destroying the earth.
WIDE SPREAD DISEASE
It would be nice to think that this is just a problem of the secular world but not so. A passion to pump up the fortunes of a denomination must not be confused as a passion for life or a passion for Jesus – given that the beliefs of some communities run counter to the teaching of the apostles and the gospel of the Kingdom.
‘Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’ Matt 10.37 NIV.
We can cut ourselves off from life by living from beliefs that subvert life. Like living from the law, from religion and the old covenant when we have a new creation life in which to thrive. To thrive because its life-source is union with God. The new covenant is much more than a pretty doctrine. It is the un-doing of Adam’s fall and the resurrection of the human race in this life in the person of Jesus.
We are not at liberty to live a sub-Christian life just because it’s ‘our beliefs.’ Asserting that ‘we belong to the Body of Christ’ is meaningless talk if our doctrine is whacky and really no gospel at all. It attracts a curse. The curse is the constriction of spirit and life that would have been ours had we been practitioners of Christ’s gospel rather than a gospel of our own devising.