"The trouble with some of us is that we have been inoculated with small doses of Christianity which keep us from catching the real thing." ~ Leslie Weatherhead It is nearly Passover & I have so much on my mind I can hardly hold it all. So let's see? There is Easter from Eostre, an European fertility goddess. Those fur bunnies & chocolate eggs belong to her too & have nothing whatever to do with the passion & death of Christ. Mind you, I've seen some clever & innovative Sunday School teachers come up with some truly novel ways of Christianizing these things. Kudos to them ~ but that makes them no less Pagan. Something about the unclean always defiles ~ a principle found in Leviticus. So I am thinking what we will do this year.
And I am thinking about something the Lord first put on my heart over 3 years ago but which is gradually coming clearer & clearer. It is especially pertinent as we come into the Passover season when we particually recall who is our Pascal lamb & why He was sacrificed.
See what I find with scripture, & what I find with what the Lord Himself gives me, is I end up with something that resembles those beautiful Celtic knots: a tangle than goes round & round without beginning or end but which contains a perfectly balanced symetry & moments of illumination & perfect clarity.
The first principal is that judgement begins with the household of God. If you think I'm wrong just think what has been going on in the church for the past decade or so. What has been exposed? The Jimmy Swaggarts. The pedophiles within the Catholic Church. The Jim Jones' , The Brethren, The Children of God or whatever they called themselves. God has been methodically exposing the sins of His people to the light. He has no qualms about calling a spade a spade, sin sin. We are the reason the world is in the state it's in. If we were even halfway toward being the people God called us to be there wouldn't be so many of those barbed little quips like Ghandis, "I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians"; "Please Lord, save me from your followers!" ; Jesus may love you, but he won't respect you in the morning.
There is one very simple explanation for the derision; we have missed the point. Christ did not die so that we could have a bigger house, a faster car, put our kids in private schools & carry signs condemning the abortionists, the homosexuals, the socialist left & anyone else who takes our fancy.
So lets look at that cross because if we are good little Christians we are goinging to be able to tritely pop out all the right answers: God so loved the world...I am the way the truth & the life....No~one comes to the father except through me...to reconcile man to God ~ & none of that is wrong. What is wrong is that we tend to stop there when God doesn't. God goes on to say, Pick up your cross & follow me; you must lose your life in order to gain it; If you love me you will obey my commandments.
The point was to call out a people prepared to humble themselves for righteouness sake, prepared to strip themselvess of the world in order to acquire holiness that the world might stand condemned of itself. Instead we have tried to have our worldliness & deny it but Christ made it quite clear that no~one can serve two masters!
The judgement has begun. One way or another God will have a holy people. If we will not examine ourselves, if we will not judge ourselves, if we will not walk in holiness then Christ, who is judge as well as redeemer, will move to cleanse us! Us first, because we've been told! To us has been given the revelation. To us has been given the Holy Spirit ~ & it is the Spirit we grieve, the Spirit we quench, when we choose worldliness over holiness.
God's love is not the soft & mushy sort. It did not spare His own son! If God did not spare His own son what should He do with us, who have had more of the truth than any other generation & done less with it, walked more selfishly?
Hebrews is not my favourite part of scripture but these verses are particularly pertinant at this time:
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[b] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb 10:26~31
Time to go deal with the log in my own eye that I may see clearly. Yes, indeedy...