SOMETHING AND NOTHING IS THE WATER THAT IS LUKE WARM
We are who we are in Christ. Our life in Him is our true identity. We can attempt to boost our identity by advertising our ‘belonging’ with extras. Like designer clothes, membership in exclusive clubs or finding a status and identity in religious groups.
An ethnic identity is as real as ourselves, but even this is has no relevance compared to our sonship in Jesus Christ. In laying the foundation of the Christian Faith, Paul wrote
‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ Gal 3.28 NIV.
We are one in Christ when we are in the one Christ of God, the one Gospel of Jesus and the apostles and in the one Body of Christ. There are other ‘bodies’ which Paul called ‘This body of death’ when referring to those whose stubbornness had retained them in Adam, in the old covenant of Moses and the law.
At the present time many have rejected sound thinking in order to believe what it pleases them to believe. This has occurred where ‘common sense’ has been mistaken for common ignorance and because those with the intelligence and resources to bless the poor have chosen to bless themselves with ever greater quantities of greed and self-entitlement. The deeper reason for the rejection of wisdom is the rejection of the Christ as the Source of life and vision, with the result that there is no vision and the people are perishing along with their foolish leaders and their bankrupt ideas.
‘Group think’ helps to explain why communities of belief can seek security by indoctrinating themselves in myths and fables. Peter called these ‘cunningly devised fables’ implying that their source is the Father of Lies. Jesus declared Himself the Liberator of Believers from the Illusions and self-imprisonment in religious group think when He said,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4.18 NIV. This is why must follow Christ where ever He leads and never fear the truth because he sets us free from the stupor of ‘other gospels’ from which we have been drawing a false sense of comfort and identity. A religious culture can do much to immunise people against truth and life. It immunises them because they make meaning and take comfort from their cultural delusions. The result is that they can neither see light or hear life. But Jesus is clever enough to deal with the fictions we constantly throw up to protect ourselves from the truth. He can enter our darkness and expel it with His light.
Writing on the ability of religious cultures to insulate people from the truth Richard Rohr writes, “If you look at all Paul’s texts on evil or “the problem,” you see that sin for Paul was actually a combination of group blindness or corporate illusion, and the powerlessness of the individual to stand against it (Romans 7:14ff.) along with systemic evil (Ephesians 6:12 and Colossians 1:16ff.). Evil is not just individual nastiness. “Our battle is not against human forces, but the Sovereignties and Powers that originate in the darkness, the spirits of evil in the air” (Ephesians 6:12). We now see that these systems (corporations, nation-states, institutions) have a life of their own, and are usually unaccountable to reason or even law—as much as we try to make them accountable. The ancients were not naïve about such things.” (1) Rohr, Richard. The Universal Christ (p. 196). SPCK. Kindle Edition.