Today in The Age I read about a Mormon man who wrote on the topic of guilt about sex. I am not saying that fornication and adultery do not degrade the self. I am saying that because sexual sin is easy to identify sins of the spirit can be obscured while economic and political sins emanating from a sense of entitlement and wilful blindness go unnoticed.
Living out our Christianity as a religion means we live from a Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil that is innately biased and hypocritical. Our calling is to live out of Jesus.
‘For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’ Matt 7.2 NIV.
The knowledge of good and evil modified - is not the Kingdom Jesus established and never was. Living from Christ our life, which is what Jesus intends means that His life pervades every aspect of our being and spreads throughout society as the Kingdom of God. Jesus wrote in the sand when the woman was accused of adultery for a reason. It may not have been because some of the men had participated in sex with her.
It was surely because the words in the sand revealed to her accusers that their lives were more reprobate than they had realised. It’s not ok to underpay workers, nor is acceptable to rob the government of tax. Both are forms of stealing. It’s not ok to promote lesser gospels in place of Christ’s gospel because its politically convenient and it props up our identity and sense of self. That’s killing people’s spirit and crippling their souls for personal gain.
Unless we are born again we cannot see the Kingdom of God – which is to say that we cannot see that religion is not what Jesus intended for anyone. But that the simplicity of His life as ours is.
Richard Rohr has some useful insights on the first half of life and the second half of life. These halves could be described as old covenant/new covenant, life in Adam or life in Jesus or for some they are life in Moses giving way to life in Jesus. Other descriptions might be life in the Kingdom of this world giving way to life in the kingdom of God which in reality is life in the false self, giving way to life in the true self.
When born again, we become sons of God in truth passing from sons of God in theory to our sonship as our real selves.
OLD SELF/NEW SELF
“This is a “staggering change of perspective”.. so let’s state it outlined and clearly: What dies? Your False Self—and it is just a matter of WHEN, not IF. Who lives? The God Self that has always lived, but now includes YOU. And note that it is a WHAT that dies, and a WHO that lives!” (1)
ESCAPING FAKE NEWS
Should we have contained ourselves in the law on account of the influence of others or by personal choice we will not have been reborn. While standing at the Door of the second half of life we come to realise that while living in religion and engaged in our sincere efforts to attain a semblance of worthiness, WE HAVE NOT BEEN BORN AGAIN. Once we decide to give up, cast ourselves entirely on Christ and invite Him to BE US, we have passed from death to life and from the old covenant to the new.
Some folks live in a law culture all their lives. They never pass to the second half of life, are not born again and cannot ‘see’ the Kingdom of God. This does not mean that they are not loved by God or are not saved. They are saved and will enter eternal life. But they will not understand or minister the Kingdom during their life in the body. They pass on snippets of it and a few drops of water but seldom the rivers of living water that are the result of the trinity releasing the life of God through us and as us.
The non-born again cannot see the Kingdom of God because their predicament is that they cannot see - not spiritually. God uses them to minister at the edges of the kingdom but they are not capable of ministering Kingdom life because they are not ministers of the new covenant.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 COR 3.6 NIV.
True life-giving spirit flows from all who have instead of ‘receiving Christ’ have agreed that they are already received into His life.
Baxter Kruger puts it this way: “Those who embrace Him, who believe in His name, find His Light, His I AM, setting them free to become their true selves, free to live as children of God in the darkness, discovering their origin beyond their earthly parents in the Word in God. And so the Word becomes flesh and enteres the darkness in person, and finds His way within us. And we perceived His true identity, His glory as the only begotten out of the Father, an overflowing fountain of grace and truth.”
Life in the Kingdom is much more than sin management. This life of His has become our life and we in our everyday existence are multiplying from our being the life that is His.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self . SPCK. Kindle Edition.