A grave effect of an addiction to our own ideas is the shrivelling of ourselves as persons and the dumbing down of entire cultures. An effect of not being open to truth is the folly that we see today in political parties and government.
The current ineffectual leadership in places like Australia, the United States and ‘Ungreat-Britain’ is in part the result of democracy gone to seed - where everyone gets to have a say no matter how misguided they may be. But the folly that we see in the United States and Britain is not random. It has a deeper source. The cause is in the fact that people refuse to retain God in their knowledge. Too many who call themselves Christian have made a religious culture that is the fruit of themselves rather than Christ in them.
ETERNAL LIFE – TO KNOW GOD
To know God as He is - is to know Him in Jesus Christ. To know Him from the Christ incarnated in ourselves and to know the Christ of God as the I AM of Himself rather than from personal notions of Jesus or religious constructions of who Jesus is. The most warped conceptions come from a law-based lens and the most enlightened revelations from the witness of Christ within when we have made Him personally our life. If there is no substitute for Christ our life, there is no substitute for Christ our light.
God is personal and defined by relationship and never an abstraction or ideological construct as can be suggested by the law and the culture of legalism. Thomas Torrance wrote,
“According to the Nicene theologians it will not do to speak of God in empty negative conceptions for two further reasons. On the one hand, if we do not think of the Father in his relation to the Son, but only in contrast to what he is as Creator to the creatures, then we inevitably come to think of the Son himself as one of God’s created works, and thus to think and speak of God in a way that is not personally grounded in God himself, but in an impersonal way far removed from what he is in himself. Moreover, if we try to reach knowledge of God from some point outside of God, we cannot operate with any point in God by reference to which we can test or control our conceptions of him, but are inevitably flung back upon ourselves.” (1) Of course. There is one Christ and one gospel of the Kingdom.
Either we have a personal relationship with Jesus or we have a personal relationship with religion. If the latter we will eventually throw it away as the mirage it is or will be propelled towards the new birth and the second part of life where we live in new covenant union with God. Should we be tied to the law we have never been reborn. Should Christ be our life we will be sons and daughters of God. What belongs to Jesus becomes ours. His life is our life, His relationships our relationships and His humanity our humanity. Baxter Kruger writes,
“Dear brother, either Jesus is in us or we are separated from him. If we are separated, then we must find a way to him, either through the mind with the Greeks or through the law with the Pharisees.” “Or through some sophisticated system that is a combination of the two,” I responded, proud of myself, as a wave of peace washed through my entire body. I started relaxing. I thought of Jesus’s words: “Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” That’s it. Rest.” (2)
The only real rest, the only genuine Sabbath life is, the one and only divine rest for human restlessness. This is the rest that is Christ our life. This is the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (pp. 50-51). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
(2) Kruger, C. Baxter. Patmos: Three Days, Two Men, One Extraordinary Conversation . Perichoresis Press. Kindle Edition.