Some of the things Christians believe come into the category of myths and misunderstanding resulting from poor teaching and lazy ministry as well as the inability to believe that Father can be as good as He is. Strangely many settle for a mean view of God that is more in line with secular rulers and the human penchant to take ourselves too seriously. A God contained in bi-polar thinking and binary propositions is likely to be a god of our own making and a god we are utilising to establish our own merit on account of some distinctives we have adopted or that we have acquired in order to establish ourselves in an identity that pleases our self-image.
In contrast, in the Kingdom of God you are who you are because you are a son of God who has joined Father in His Family.
Curiously in this category, it’s not impossible to find ‘other gospels’ presenting themselves as orthodox representations of Christ’s gospel - when quite plainly they are not. Their principles and dogmas define them as seriously diluting the apostles teaching in the name of extra biblical revelation. Sometimes diluting it to such an extent that less charitable commentators have seen fit to describe the culture of belief as semi-cultic if not a cult.
COMMUNITY OF ONENESS
The Body of Christ is the community of faith that is joined to Christ and the truth about Himself our Father and ourselves. It is possible to be part of this Body and live robustly in the person of Jesus since we have embraced the incarnation as the primary truth, the foundational grace and the soil in which the gifts flourish. It’s also possible to be part of this body as in dwellers in a house with many rooms – each of which contains treasure and riches of various kinds. Even so we live in poverty. Ours is an outhouse with no facilities other than toilet paper and a roof. But there are other rooms overflowing with gold and precious gems. Nevertheless we ignore them because we have been socialised into living in a humpy of scant comfort and amenity under the lie that we are living in a palace. This is the situation of people contained in the old covenant and the law striving to make a life in the body of death.
Actually there is one Body of Christ and one universal church. Fellowship in it is ours when we embrace and possess it. Not when we mumble, , 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.’
GENUINE BELONGING Thomas Torrance observes that,
“At its deepest level the catholicity of the Church has to do with its commitment to the universal range of the incarnation and the atonement, for he who became flesh in Jesus Christ was identical with the very Word of God by whom all things visible and invisible were created and in whom they continue to consist. That implied that the Gospel of redemption through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ proclaimed by the Church had a completely universal range.” (1)
It implies also that there is one gospel not many gospels and that the notion of plurality does not apply to Christ’s gospel. This is to say that it matters little if one is baptised in a river or sprinkled in a chapel, but it does matter if one attaches to a gospel that is not His Gospel but ours.
A complete and all-sufficient atonement is basic to our belonging in Christ. This is the foundation of the incarnation which itself is the substance of our fellowship with the trinity and with each other.
Genuine belonging is based on the ontological reality of persons: The truth that we are woven into God and God is woven into us so that we are sons in spirit and in truth rather than sons positionally and by the letter that kills and smudges out our identity.
Agents of a foreign power can dress in the uniform of a nation they wish to overcome by subversion and military endeavour. But wearing their clothes does not make them belong. Similarly in the Kingdom, belonging to the Body depends not on making assertions and citing scriptures but by being interwoven into God. This has nothing to do with the law and everything to do with the fact that Christ is our life and that we live in agreement with this.
‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 284). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.