As followers of Jesus it is important to live from the Christ of God and not some Christ of personal invention – in other words a false christ.
In their book, The Social Construction of Reality, Berger and Luckmann, show how our version of truth is moulded by the system and culture in which we have chosen to live.
Jesus declares Himself the custodian of reality and John writes that as the logos, He is reality itself. Paul declares further that reality is Christ and that in Him we live, move and have our being. This means our sense of being - the truth of who He is, the truth of who we are and the truth of the nature of the Kingdom of God is known as we live in God and more precisely as we live in the gospel of the Kingdom and not some revision or deviation from Christ and His offered life.
There’s a lot in “being.” Paul writes, ‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ Col 1.17 NIV. Here Paul is saying that the logic and physical coherence of the universe is found in the person of Jesus. This is to say our being as persons and the nature of existence is known and experienced authentically (in spirit and in truth) in the person of Christ. Being is about the truth of who we are and who we can become. As such being is about the nature of the gospel of the Kingdom as compared to other gospels and deviations from the apostles teaching.
Thomas F Torrance writes, “Rationalistic fundamentalists are those who think they can treat biblical statements as independent from the ultimate Being to whom they refer. Once this move is made they can then apply preconceived rational structures to fit biblical statements .. into a dogmatic system.
But this would be to commit the error .. namely to impose our own systems of logic on the subject matter of enquiry rather than letting it teach us its own inherent logic. Such systems of doctrine tend to be legalistic constructs of our own minds .. that do not really set people free in Christ.” (Taken from: Participation: Journal of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, 22-23).
Torrance is saying with Paul that there are ‘gospels’ that are no gospel at all. JUSTIFYING FALSITY
Torrance is saying that it is far too common for Christians to impose their own grid; their own construction of reality on the Reality that Holy Spirit is wanting to reveal through an encounter with Christ and His spirit of wisdom and revelation. Should we do this, we immunise ourselves against the witness of the Christ of scripture and the Spirit. We construct for ourselves a version of scripture and a fabrication of our own devising and create for ourselves a version of God and a gospel in our own image.
Satan precipitated the fall with a twisted narrative. Purveying an almost christ or a bent christ is a favourite ploy of demons. They know that all new creation life flows from Jesus’ person. Thus if they can manufacture a look-a-like and a false christ, any culture that grows from this caricature will be similarly distorted and crippled. They have found a way to inhibit the Kingdom of God with the ploy of an almost kingdom. Doctrines of demons are quite clever. They lead us to believe that we are sharing in the one loaf when we have a different christ, another gospel and an illegitimate bakery. Thus rather than being marinated in the fullness of Christ we find ourselves soaked in cunningly devised fables.
“So obsessed was Gina in maintaining her identity and sense of self in the religion of her father’s that her every thought had become a rationalisation of what she had always believed. She had developed a habit of denial, of ducking her head and plodding onwards on her well defined track, whenever enlightenment flashed near to her eyes and whenever an encounter with an unadulterated gospel assaulted her ears.
Gina was a prime example of the 2 Corinthians 4.4 person. ‘The god of this age has blinded her mind, so that she cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’ She believed she had a right to her ‘other gospel’ and could justify this with proof texts. Gina had accommodated herself to a lesser gospel and a smaller christ. She had convinced herself that what to her was a comfort and her home – actually ‘this body of death’ – was what Jesus meant her to live in . She had become adept at manufacturing rationalisations that propped up her lesser reality.
Until things changed.
Jesus appeared to her in a vision and said, ‘Gina, you need to cease living in your Christ and live in Me.’ ‘Who are you Lord’ replied the Gina. ‘ I am the Christ of God, whom you have been ignoring’ smiled Jesus. ‘Come to Me and be at rest.’