God is known as God is through Jesus Christ. Jesus who is the Light and the Life of all is the lens through which God is known and the lens through which we are known in relationship to God. Eternal life – which is our life in God is knowing God and Jesus Christ whom God is sent (John 17.3). It follows that limited and distorted life comes to those who bind themselves to a distorted lens. There are extra-biblical frameworks for describing God. These involve interpreting the New Testament through the lens of the law or more generally through the miasma of moralism. In response we need to establish ourselves in the truth of who God is and who we are in the lens of God – meaning through the lens of Christ in us and in those who are the expression of Christ. We are talking being particular about the Gospel of Jesus and the apostles. PERSPECTIVES One of the themes of Wonder Woman 1984, is that something is not true just because you want it to be. The movie is a comic send-up of popular and silly ideas. Perspectives on God and ourselves in His Plan are not true because we are sincere or because they are old any more than the world was not flat because everyone believed it to be so. Who God is and who we are as saved people included in the Family that is God is revealed in the Presence of God. Truth is revealed by the Spirit of Jesus in the Church. For this reason, we are advised to give more credence to scripture and statements like the Nicaean Creed than we do to post cross additions to the Gospel and purported prophetic revelations. If our Gospel does not align with Reformed Theology and the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, it is not Christs theology. OBEDIENCE Obedience and disobedience can involve entire communities of faith. Alan J Torrance writes, “In the context of the reconciled community of the Church, and as this is to be identified with God's presence, any attempt to step outside this and establish conditions upon God's speech must .. involve a form of disobedience, a failure to think out of God's freedom and therefore a failure to let God be God.” (1) In other words, you can’t just make it up because you want to have distinctives of your own. CORRUPTED OBEDIENCE
Thus, should we preach moralism as the essence of our Christianity, even though Christ is God’s pre-occupation and salvation for the world, we are disobedient. Disobedient because we are not in Christ and His Gospel.
Christ has presented Himself as our life and the salvation of all mankind. Jesus is the solution to separation from God and resulting sin. When we form God in our own image by presenting Him as the Head Legalist, rather than the grace and life of God manifest in Christ, we have curbed God’s right to be the I AM of Himself and disobeyed the command not to make god in our own image. A legalistic god is a tree of the knowledge of good and evil god.
I AM IS I AM
We have not assessed God as God is, simply because we have discussed Him. It would be wrong to assume that because we have joined together a chain of texts that these describe God as God is. Wrong since God is communicated through Himself and we know Him to the extent that our pureness of heart equips us with the sharpness to perceive God as God is rather than what we need Him to pump up our denominational ego. The pure in heart see God as God as is. The double minded make God up.
A view of God made from our need to justify our version of God will not be the God who is. This will position us to embrace cunningly devised fables as if they are God’s Truth.
Alan Torrance following Barth, observes that according to Barth, “Any recourse to God .. conditioned by .. absolutized dogmas, is analogous to believing not only that God-talk but that God himself (since the Word of God is God) is conditioned within the human domain by what may be described as established 'software applications' (foundational formal instructions) on the one hand, or 'saved data files' (the truths of the 'tradition') on the other - to use contemporary computer-jargon!” (2). In blunt terms we can weaken our spiritual life by being among those who ‘make stuff up.’
The willingness to believe what suits us - because ‘what suits us’ gives some validation to an extra-Jesus identity, that we don’t want to let go - is too easily supported by others who have brainwashed themselves over the years in doctrinal delusions or as Torrance writes, “Semantic naivete too easily endorses a 'social construction of reality' (to borrow the expression used by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann ) rather than the theological reconstruction of our sociality! (3) As a result we end up with a false gospel, a false christ and a false us. Why be among the blind leaders of the blind when you can be alive and sighted because Christ is your life?
(1) Alan J Torrance, Persons in Communion – Trinitarian Description and Human Communication. P 26.