The cardinal Pell affair is not only about morality. It’s about rigid christianity and what it takes to be a leader in Christ. No matter what part of the church we are in – institutionalism kills the spirit and dulls the soul. The reason – institutionalism is the material culture of the letter that kills. This letter kills Godliness, humanity, love and vision. It is the opposite of incarnation which is Christ’s spirit as us.
Forget about the harmonious development of the mental, spiritual and physical aspects of the person. With one’s spiritual person formed in the law one has no more chance of becoming a well-rounded person or a son of God than a stone has of becoming a human being. This is why Paul condemns ‘words on stone’ as a source of life. This scripture is not about religious principles written on hearts. Gal 2.20, 21 ensures that the correct meaning is Jesus in you expressed as you. This is our post-cross life and it is what it meant by Jesus’ instruction: ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
SONS OF THE FREE WOMAN
An active mind, an understanding heart, the ability to love oneself and others – the status of being a son/daughter rather than a slave and a worker is ours when Jesus is our life. Never when the law or an ideology is what is expressed as the self.
Formed in the law the best we can do is to be a gracious practitioner of religion. But we will remain dulled in the letter and undernourished with the spirit and life of Jesus. ‘Dull’ is a word that surfaces in institutionalism repeatedly because ‘dull’ is a form of death that paralyses the soul, suffocating the spirit and confusing the mind. Indeed it could be argued that in the law we can have a brain but a mind? – not so much. Dull fits the flesh perfectly because it is the negation of who all that is the Spirit of Sonship.
WISDOM AND ACCURATE PERCEPTION
‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’
If we live in the law we will apply legalisms as if they are wisdom. When Christ is our life our ‘word’ is us – sharp of vision, skilled in spiritual discernment we are the kind of leader who is competent to lead because we are of the spirit and not the letter that dulls and suffocates life.
‘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.
We might do a passing job as an earnest practitioner of a Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil. Like being a good man but dulled in his perception of life and crippled in his ability to live with imagination and daring. Or we might just be a mean person, full of self-condemnation, judgment of others and a control freak who attempts to instill righteousness by manipulation and abuse. And this because we are practitioners of an ideology – a legalistic ideaology rather than being a person whose life is Christ.
CUNNINGLY DEVISED FABLES
If our religion is a delusion we will have to prop it up by keeping out the truth. As a result perceptive Truth-Tellers with penetrating minds and spiritual discernment are excluded from key positions in administration while the dim, the thoughtless, the intellectually challenged and mediocre are harvested and put in position to hold up these walls of illusion and humbug.
As a result much of the institutional management tends to be poor and misguided. It’s not easy to tell if some of these personnel are bad managers or just plain stupid. Stupidity is making headway in society and government in England and the United States for the same reason that it flourishes like mold in parts of the church. Jesus did not leave us religion to make out with until He returns. He has placed Himself in us. Incarnated with the trinity we are more than a match for the stupidity of religion or the institutionalized semi-death that is ours when anything other than Jesus is our life.
Live from the law and we will have the discernment of a marrow and the mind of a mouse. With Christ as our life we will live in the spirit of wisdom and revelation, igniting all we touch with spirit and life.