Cunningly devised fables take root in the human heart because our hearts are already disposed to believe lies as a result of the Fall. The initial lie generated a deep distrust of God that has born fruit in many variations of the original lie ever since. Indeed some versions of Christianity sustain the major premise of the fall.
Speaking of the fall of humanity, Jeff Turner writes, “A legend was born that day in the garden. A volume of mythological ideas about God began to be written upon the twisted tablet of man’s soul. The unveiled God of beauty, life and love became cloaked in the shadows of human fear. It was this fear of the divine that spawned every one of the world’s false religions, along with their angry, bloodthirsty deities. Mankind as a whole lost its grip on reality and began helplessly careening down the crooked and destructive path that results from false God concepts.” (1)
PRIMITIVE GODLINESS OR HUMBUG
Our Godliness can be an expression of God and aligned with the mind of Christ or a reversion to primitivism – but not primitive Godliness. Just a rehash of the culture of the fall and an extension of the tree of evil beyond its time.
Heathenism was not the only source of depraved gods imagined as depraved. Very early in in the new testament era, the truth that God had become one with us in the sense that the human race became interwoven with God and God with the human race –degenerated into life in religion a ‘christianity’ that implied separation from God and a disguised and continuing version of the fall in which we strive to be like God in separation from God: Separationism taught as sound doctrine.
Such religion – institutionalised and burocratised presented itself as the way to become accepted by God.
In the 19th century, a new and more acrid version of self-effort came into the world. This was the belief that Jesus came to help us keep the law of Moses: a negation of the effect of the cross and a denial of the new covenant. The law and temple illustrated separation from God. God as the Son of Man is the union of humanity with God.
THE FALL UNDONE
The human disfigurement inherent in a separationist parody of the Kingdom reduces Godliness to words and observances while hiding the fact that Jesus’ life - through the incarnation - becomes our life. The latter is a life for kings and priests. The former a life for peasants and slaves.
The issue of the ages is not some battle between Christ and Satan or whether the law can be kept. The issue is the RECREATION of humans as sons of God and the utter trustworthiness of our Father. Both are declared in spirit and in truth in the person of Jesus.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’GAL 6.15 NIV. That’s you, that’s us, that’s the new earth. MYSTERY OD GODLINESS
The result of any ‘Other Gospel’ other than the Gospel of our Father, Jesus, Paul and John is that for the most part - the incarnation is no more than words on paper. In this paper gospel, ‘Belonging to the body of Christ’ is a notional position rather than an ontological interwoveness with God. Often a genuine union of persons and the church is displaced by the construct of institutionalism that is itself a subtle form of legalism. The Christian Industry is no more a tree of life than a pile of wood is a tree.
Satan has never been a match for God in power or in nature. The life and love of God makes God limitless while the separationist nature of Satan and evil are reductionist, withering and innately belittling. Christ manifest as His daughters and sons is infinitely life-giving and an unfolding resurrection of individuals and people.
Satan has some power. There is a power of control in evil that appeals to carnality that is well exposed in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. There is a finite power in lies, delusions and deceptions. Particularly is the power of evil subtle and embedded in the soul and religion when we are deceived and when we call this deception truth and label the genuine gospel error.
The power and sovereignty of God is infinite compared to which the power of Satan is puny. The Enemy’s power depends on the extent to which we let him control us. We give him this influence to the extent that we believe his lies. We give him this influence through any attachment to false doctrine and ‘other gospels.’ Christ has no rival. The law and its keeping was never an issue. The issue is the sonship that is yours in the person of Jesus.
Prior to Satan’s words, we were already sons pf God. The original lie was directed towards Father and Sons. The ‘has God not said’ part undermined trust in our Father and the ‘be as gods part’ undermined our faith in ourselves. Satan’s lies are mainly directed towards ‘identity’ and the undermining and degradation of the self. The main ploy is to shift our identity in Christ to some self-made entity – either a mistaken sense of uniqueness in community or a hotchpotch of teaching that amounts to a false gospel.
But here’s the thing. Jesus victory was not a victory for God. It had nothing to do with law-keeping. This was the victory of humanity over the lie of the Enemy and powers of darkness. In the one person Jesus revealed the nature of our Father and the nature of human beings. Jesus revealed the love and integrity of Our Father the real nature of ourselves. We are the sons of God.
The cross was the undoing of the fall of humanity and the rise of the sons and daughters of God. Jesus’ cry, ‘It is finished!’ declared the end of our self-generated separation from God and the re-boot of our innate sonship in Father and the trinity. ‘By man came separation and death. Also by man came union with God and eternal life. Don’t be an adherent of an ideology when you can live out your inheritance as a son/daughter of God.
(1) Turner, Jeff. Saints in the Arms of a Happy God: Recovering the Image of God and Man (p. 26). Jeff Turner. Kindle Edition.