Fundamentalism is based on separation, which is why it is profoundly dualistic, such as Is/is not, right/wrong, left/right and so on. Fundamentalism is the factory of the compartmentalised life.
These divisions are not innate and do not belong to the world of things. They are creations of the mind – but not a property of the mind of Christ. The current obsession between left and right is a function of living in the knowledge of good and evil and is propelling people into ever more rancid separations.
We are all one in Christ. Not one in Adam or in Moses. Here we are in separation. We are one when Christ is our life individually and universally.
‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life’ Ezek 37.5 NIV. This ancient prophecy finds fulfilment today when we chose to live in Christ instead of in the law or in religion or in our own self-made gospel.
It is puzzling to some why Jesus allows communities of belief whose gospels are their own and in consequence profoundly distorted. He allows it because He chooses to work through that part of their belief system that is closest to Him. But He lives to bring them into fullness.
Nevertheless, Jesus is the truth. He came to reveal the truth about our Father, about us and about the new and living way heaven has provided into unlimited life. He lives to do this. There is but one way. Jesus defined it as Himself. Other writers called it the ‘apostles doctrine.’ We become what we believe – which is why we had the fall. Adam believed a lie and He and the world shrunk as a consequence. As opposed to a shrunken life and a fractured world Jesus offers life to the full in the person of Himself and our joining to the trinity. Paul wrote with confidence -
‘Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages’ Rom 18.25 ESV.
The fact that we all belong does not give us authority to dilute, pervert or annul the gospel of Christ. Jesus lives and acts through Holy Spirit to bring us all to the fullness and completeness of our sonship. Our giftedness will be parlous and our health as sons will be fractured to the extent that the gospel we have is ours and different from the gospel of Jesus, John and Paul.
‘Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’ Eph 4.13 NIV.
What we live out of will determine if we are the body of Christ or something less. Should we be the product of the law, belief system, and institution – we will live in a lesser mode, separated in various degrees in our minds from God. Theoretically we will be the Body of Christ. But not in spirit and in truth. Should Christ be our life – which Paul advocated and which is not only a possibility, but the new and living way – we will collectively be the expression of His person. We will be the body of Christ in spirit and in truth. Being the Body of Christ is the effect of our possessing our inheritance of union with God.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. Being of the Body in spirit and in truth is found in actively and concretely realizing and agreeing that we and Father are one.
PART OF HIS BEING
The Body of Christ is Jesus incarnated as we who believe. We are not one with Him because we have done something. We are one because God has done something. We have union with the trinity – they indwell us and manifest in our flesh because they have done something. They have guaranteed our belonging in God.
All belonging stems from Christ and our agreement with His achievement for us. Our agreeing is that we declare and live the reality that He has received us into His life. Our oneness with His person is found in the reality that is Jesus come in our flesh. Together, because Jesus is manifest in us we are the body of Christ and the church Jesus builds without human hands. These Believers are literally the expression of Christ in the world. One with Jesus they are the manifestation of those who live in the reality of their sonship. As such they are agents not of ecclesiastical structures but of the new creation. Verna Dozier writes of a conversation about her book that is implicitly about the difference between union with God and .. well.. union with ourselves.
PEOPLE OF GOD
“It’s is going to be about how I think the institutional church has missed the mark of what it ought to be about,” I replied. ‘The institutional church?” he puzzled. “What other church is there?” ‘The people of God,” I replied. ‘The baptized community.” “But how would they function without an institution?” he smiled. Aye, there’s the rub, as Hamlet would say. The little band, the church of St. Paul’s day, needed an organization, a structure, an institution to maintain itself but the institution took over the little band.” (1)
All can be defined as the people of God. The sons of God are those joined in spirit and in truth to our Father in Jesus. We live in fullness as sons when Christ is our life. In partiality and weakness when intervening things dilute this life. The institutional church that took over the simplicity of Christ in us is the mirror image of those who have not relinquished the law but live in the letter. They ignore the new covenant and cling to the imaginary solid ground of words on stone, of religion and structures.
The institutional church is the manifestation of the letter, just as the religious person is a manifestation of the letter. But in this age your privilege is to be a manifestation of Christ. Christ is your life. He lives in you by the Spirit and manifests through your being. You alive in His life in spirit and in truth. In this union, you manifest as a son/daughter and the church manifests as the Kingdom of God.
WHO IS THE BODY OF LIFE?
The Body of Christ is the community of those whose being is rooted in the trinity – because Jesus has made them one with God. The body of death is the existence we once had in the regime of Adam, known as the law of sin and death, the knowledge of good and evil and the old covenant. The church Jesus builds is the manifestation of Himself in people without the intervening, synthetic mediation of the law, and the Christian Industry. The Body of Christ, Kingdom of God is no less than those who eat His flesh and drink His blood. They are one with Him and one with God.
(1) Dozier, Verna J.. The Dream of God: A Call to Return (Seabury Classics) (Kindle Locations 47-53). Church Publishing. Kindle Edition.