To be a disciple of Jesus is to be a Truth Liver and a Truth Teller. As disciples our calling is to live the truth and be the truth. Sure, we can get by as a religious politician, we can rely on rationalisations and erect fictions to hide our culpability from ourselves – but we will not see God, or much of Him and not enough to be equipped with spiritual discernment. Not much eyesight because we are so beholden to our own way of seeing that if we could, we would subvert christ to thinking along our lines and urge Him to adopt our gospel so that he can belong to our body. Or not. Then again we may see God and know God because we participate in Christ’s purity of heart.
Baxter Kruger observes that Jesus says, ‘I have come so that those who are in me will not remain in darkness’. Jesus has received us into His life/light. He is the light. We are the blind ones. But He is shining His light into our life. Will we insist on our darkness, which is our gospel and demand that Jesus repents of being the light and the life? Will be accept Him as the light or will we insist that he accept our ‘light’ as a valid gospel? Are we about setting up an ‘industry’ or the Kingdom of God?
“There is no such thing as a non-political Christianity. To refuse to critique the system or the status quo is to fully support it—which is a political act well disguised. Like Pilate, many Christians choose to wash their hands in front of the crowd and declare themselves innocent, saying with him, “It is your concern” (Matthew 27:25). Pilate maintains his purity and Jesus pays the price.
Going somewhere good means having to go through and with the bad, and being unable to hold ourselves above it or apart from it. There is no pedestal of perfect purity to stand on, and striving for it is an ego game anyway. Yet the Pilate syndrome is quite common among bona fide Christians, often taking the form of excluding those they consider sinners. Jesus himself strongly rejects this love of the past and one’s private perfection, and he cleverly quotes Isaiah (29:13) to do it: “In vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as if they were doctrines” (Matthew 15:9).
Many of us seem to think that God really is “back there,” in the good ol’ days of old-time religion when God was really God, and everybody was happy and pure. Such is the illusion of many people attracted to religion.” (1)
Not only the illusion of those attracted to religion, but the deception of those retained in a cultural bubble that perverts our view of God, cripples ourselves and imprisons those for whom Jesus died.