Jesus does not always cast the money-changers out of the temple or immediately cast us out of a money-changing mode of religious captivity. He did this in principle at the cross when Satan was defeated and all who marketed religion were defeated with him.
In this age, ‘placing all things under His feet’ can be a work that is mainly ours, since He lives in us and manifests as us.
Rather than pump up ‘un-gospels’ and rationalise their existence with self-generated fictions we are called to pull down strongholds of wrong belief that hollow out the integrity of what is meant to be the gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
If we are addicted to false identities and false selves, “God's intervention usually entails some sort of tragedy or emotional and intellectual meltdown. God pulls the rug of their spiritual presuppositions out from underneath them. The philosophical, theological, intellectual, and spiritual infrastructure that they have devoted their lives … comes collapsing down around them … It is our faithful Father who engineers these things to hopefully save us from ourselves.” (1)
The old covenant has favoured the selling of salvation as indulgences, it’s culture promotes proprietary gospels or the promotion of denominations and ministries as mediator of God’s grace. Some are brash enough to name themselves ‘Stairway’. Other’s style themselves as an additional revelation when the one and only revelation has come and is in us: Christ in you.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
There are communities of religion that deny that Christ has come in the flesh. Not overtly of course. Either their ideology has come in the flesh or their withdrawal into the law contradicts the reality of Christ our life. Thousands of Christians spend their lives in half-gospels and ‘other gospels’ of the kind that cripple their spirit and dull their soul.
The common theme that links forms of godliness is not sin but old covenant living in the new covenant age. In this kind of existence Christ is not our life. We are our life and we attempt to enlist Jesus’ help to live it. We attempt to build a self through a contractual relationship with God in which ‘We do this so that God will do that.’ It’s old covenant, it’s manipulation and it’s the core of every false religion. Jesus, the cross, the resurrection and the Spirit say, ‘I have done this so that you can be daughters and sons in spirit and in truth.
JESUS OUR LIFE
Unless we follow Jesus into our new covenant living way we remain in Adam where the deadness of spirit and dullness of mind inhibits our ability to see and hear the truth of our kinship with God. Thus we are contained in the assumptions of the fall and actually extend it as a form of Christianity. As indicated these forms are judgmental, sin obsessed and attractive to the spirit of religion. It fosters leadership that is mediocre, incompetent and often just plain stupid.* Any mode of living that is not Jesus come in the flesh is the flesh come as religion – as a false christ and a pseudo godliness that is a not so cleverly concealed mystery of iniquity. By personally making Christ our life we are casting the money changer spirit out of ourselves and out of the church.
* As the Trump administration illustrates there is a kind of absorption in one’s own ideas that is anti-knowledge and anti-truth.
(1) Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 1429-1433). . Kindle Edition.