A LIFE PERSON TALKING
We can live all our life in the first half of life and never be a son. Sure, we are sons notionally but not in spirit and in truth. The latter - the second half - is the reality. Sonship begins in the Second Part of life when we are born from religion into oneness with Christ. The First Part is the shadow. Moving from what to many appears as substance to spirit can appear to be a journey from the real to the insubstantial. Unless we have eyes that see, we will not discern the Living Way of Life. Christ come in our flesh is entirely the realm of the Spirit where we grow into our true selves in our re-born life.
New Birth begins when we die to religion and rise to oneness with Christ. If you have been following these posts, you may have seen that we can imagine we are born again in the Kingdom sense when we are not. New birth is not a transition from an immoral to a moral life. It’s leap from a life in ourselves and our religion into the entirety of Christ our life – a life that is entirely His, yet by grace ours - by His indwelling Spirit.
IT'S NOT RELIGIOUS
Being born again can be a challenge to the religious, who have been used to seeing their religion as their saviour. This is the fantasy of the knowledge of good and evil masquerading as the Kingdom. No. The Kingdom is you alive in God. Not you attempting to copy God or ‘be like Christ.’ The Kingdom Jesus began is Christ living in us manifesting His life for us and as us.
People can live respectable lives in the knowledge of good and evil with Jesus’ help syndrome. This is because Jesus really does help even when we have not got it and persistently walk in drops of the water of life rather than be swept downstream in His river of living water. They can construct a theology that looks good – to people who have never moved beyond the old covenant. They can add to their conversation flecks of grace and drops of the Holy Spirit. Yet they live a religious life of integrity rather than the spirit and life of one for whom Jesus is entirely and exclusively Himself manifesting as Jack and Mary.
We can live contained in the first part of life like a ship in a bottle – never being a real ship and not attainting to our potential as a real son. Here we are castrated in our being because we are so busy maintain our present identity and so glued to our cultural family that we are not worthy of the infinite life Jesus has for us. Our unworthiness is entirely due to the fact that, we have preferred what we have to the adventure of moving past our personal and denominational fence into the unlimited spirit life available to us in the inheritance of all the sons of God.
MINISTERED BY THE NEW COVENANT
Richard Rohr talks of moving beyond the first part of our life. This equates to moving out of the old covenant into the new or moving from the knowledge of good and evil to a life in God and more – to a life that is the presence of the trinity manifest as us. Such is not the possession of Christian super-heroes. Incarnation is the inheritance of all. It is this inheritance and the living of it that makes the difference between workers and sons and flesh and spirit. But this way requires revolution because it is indeed an entirely new and living way.
BORN AGAIN WE SEE THE KINGDOM
Richard Rohr writes, “Jesus talks frequently about metanoia: turning around, or changing your mind. I remember having problems with that myself. I thought, “What am I supposed to turn around?” I’m baptized, I’m confirmed, I’ve gone to the Eucharist, and I’m even ordained! Why should I turn around? I’m right. I’ve got the truth and the education to prove I’ve got it.” How foolish. That’s precisely the blindness Jesus is talking about. That’s why some people in high religious positions can be the blindest of all. People the most obedient to commandment and church formulas can very often be the hardest to convert. They’ve taken the symbol for the substance. They’ve taken the ritual for the reality. They’ve taken the means for the end and become inoculated from the experience of the real thing.” (1)
(1) Rohr, Richard. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (pp. 50-51). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.