One of the curiosities of religion or more accurately an atrocity of religion is the instinct to oppose life when more life is revealed and shown to be on offer to all. The response is too often, ‘You are a hard man and I like it that way.’
But what the man who leaves his inheritance buried in the ground does not tell us – because he might not know Himself - being spiritual ‘discernment challenged’ - is that he will not receive the scandalous generosity of God because it detracts from the self-worth he thinks is owing to himself as a result of his self-effort. What our friend the ‘life misogynist’ is saying is that he prefers the ‘box ticking’ unlife he has in the knowledge of good and evil to the unlimited life that is his is when Christ is our life.
YOU AND GOD WOVEN TOGETHER
Paul spoke of Christ our life and John certified Christ come in our flesh as the foundation of new testament Kingdom life. They were both speaking about the incarnation – the result of which is Christ as us. This is the ultimate grace in which we are both forgiven for our sins in Jesus and made the new creation person in Jesus.
ROPES OF SAND
A woman once opined in my hearing that she needed the law because the law gave substance to her righteousness. What delusion!
It doesn’t work in practice. Not only because Godliness is not doing good things. But since its impossible to fulfil all ‘righteousness’ people habitually choose one or two iconic virtue signals and ignore the rest - clinging to some fundamental that gives them an identity and a ‘name.’
There’s no substance here. Just mirage. But there is substance in the fact that Christ becomes you and as a result you are holy because God is Holy. We get to be Godly by incarnation – meaning that God weaves Himself into our being.
Certain people ‘killed life’ when life appeared as Jesus Christ because the identity and life they thought they had in their culture and its beliefs, trumped in their mind the life that was on offer in the Christ who had come among them. It is still happening today. It’s not uncommon for some to oppose life as their Christian perspective.
Bradley Jersak observes, “I confess I’ve had one real downer in reporting our immensely encouraging findings. When we hear the very best news that we’ve all been hoping for—when our wildest hopes of God are confirmed—something odd happens. Instead of bringing relief and deliverance from old assumptions that made us afraid of God, a wall of resistance arises from certain quarters of American Christendom.* Why?
The possibility that God is that good—as kind and loving and gracious as Jesus—may create panic because that God is unfamiliar to us. Through their own fears or stiff resistance from their peers or leaders, the very folks asking for hope may retreat back to the oppressive god they’ve known for many years. Perhaps they imagine their old certitude gives them a measure of control. When you ‘know’ something, questions become bad. Those who question doctrinal certitudes are considered dangerous. The watchdogs, mistaking themselves for watchmen, start barking and blogging.” (1)
It's sad. It’s anti-life. It’s sad that sincere teachers give their lives to put the best gloss on beliefs that are essentially a lie.
(1) Jersak, Bradley. A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel . CWR Press. Kindle Edition.