#0039 Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone; but who are the other foundation stones lined up next to Him upon whom the Kingdom will build? 5
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.
46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
Matt: 21 42-46 (NIV)
- The cornerstone is the reference point for building the Kingdom of God. Jesus is that cornerstone.
- What qualities is He looking for in a foundation stone?
- Are these qualities found in the religious imperative of salvation or does there exist a dilemma—disqualifier made up of conflicting interests emanating from the denominational religions world?
- Are there non-religious persons or groups that fit the profile of a foundation stone?
- Are there persons/groups out of history that fit the profile?
- What might religious persons do differently in order to get a piece of this action?
A few weeks back I posted a series entitled Donald Trump and the evangelical Christians (Gog and Magog II); in that series I brought up that in the past 40-50 years different ideas have been bandied about as to the identity of Gog and Magog. Such speculation of their identities was strongly influenced by what was happening in world events at the time. At the beginning of the Iraq invasion by US troops, Bush Jr. made this statement: “This confrontation is willed by God,”…”who wants us to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.” With this statement President Bush was inferring that the Iranians were one of the two world axes of evil to which the scriptures were referring. Many conservative Christians were, no doubt delighted to hear such a statement coming from the president because, in doing so, he was speaking their (Godly) language. With such a statement he was guaranteed to get many such Christian conservatives behind him in this preemptive attack on God’s enemy. Caught up in their excitement over the idea that the president was willing to go to war for such a divine campaign, they didn’t look any further and blindly started supporting him in this hawkish action. “Of course these people were God’s enemies, they didn’t believe in Jesus, so the president’s assessment must be correct!” In that series we talked about how the progression of events that brought us into the war in Iraq served to eventuate into not solve anything, but only to make matters worse. I further brought out the idea that the war in Iraq was directly responsible for the spawning of a new evil fruit known as ISIS/ISEL; but I didn’t get into the discussion of what Gog and Magog might actually represent. My focus in that article was more on why the recent speculations (made by Presidents Regan and Bush) to their identities were not correct; but I didn’t pursue at that time, who or what I thought they represented. I’m ready to begin that conversation now.
Yesterday (Friday) a series of terrorist attacks were perpetrated on innocent people in Paris, France. These attacks were organized and coordinated in 6 separate venues in and around Paris 129 have been killed and 352 have been injured (so far). ISIS/ISEL has claimed responsibility…
As horrific as this incident was (the president of France says that the French people consider this a declaration of war) one would be tempted to jump to the conclusion that ISIS—with its accumulation of evil acts it is manifesting and perpetrating upon the world at large—may, indeed be representative of a Gog or Magog. My view is that ISIS/ISEL is only a fruit of the evil that is at large on the earth. Gog and Magog symbolize two different sources of evil and they transcend any political, national/regional or cultural force no matter the depth of evil it radiates. When these two forces or energies come together and are brought to bear on the world the effects will be unimaginable. Just like I keep indicating in many of my postings that God’s love and His grace and ability to forgive alongside the size of His creation and His realm are much, much bigger and mind-boggling than Christian doctrines have the capability to accurately represent; Evil is in many ways proportionally equivalent in size and scope to Him. Because of this I see the evil that Gog and Magog symbolize are philosophies or beliefs, not actual groups of people who aspire to them (e.g.: ISIS/ISEL, Al Qaida communists, Muslims, or LGBTs, etc.) The philosophies and beliefs are evil because they project the illusion of being good to those who have chosen to follow them—their dictates and doctrines. The beliefs to which members of Al Qaida or ISIS/ISEL prescribe make their terrorist behavior seem as if it is a good thing because from their point of view they are in a war against the infidels (non-believers). All people from liberal/western cultures are included in this group of infidels and are believed to be unclean in the eyes of God. The mission of a radical Jihadist sect like ISIS is to purge all unbelievers from the earth—from God’s presence. That is why they have and will continue to performed radical and brutal, cold-blooded murders in the name of their beliefs. Carrying out these horrible acts fits with their interpretation of the Islamic doctrine; while other Muslims are able to interpret the Islamic doctrine as one of peace.
In my previous posting we discussed another radical group of believers who subscribed to their own violent and brutal response to the infidels of their particular yet different doctrines. This group is the conservative Christians. (Click link; scroll down to the video; wade through the commercial; then go to approx. 6:16 on the timer and let it play from there.)
This is the same sort of conviction and energy (or spirit) that drove the jihadists to perpetrate the massacre in Paris on Friday. The only difference I can see is the ISIS terrorists in France had the courage to act on their convictions and the conservatists such as Kevin Swanson have not. At least not yet. This energy is generated from the passion and the fixation on doctrine and literal scriptural interpretations. It doesn’t matter what the specific doctrine professes if it is designed to wrangle its constituents into an exclusionary position and perspective, it’s wrong and it is apt to become a vehicle of violence and evil. The Jihadist doctrines of ISIS and conservatists like Kevin Swanson, et.al seem to be manifesting into the personification of a powerful evil—one which has lately been seen rearing its ugly head and has begun to roam the face of the earth. This monster isn’t somebody else’s—it’s not the creation of some band of foreign radicals that is encroaching the shores and borders of our homeland; —it’s ours and potentially it’s us!
Next time I will cover the other axis of evil in the in the Gog and Magog puzzle and will talk about other positive non-religious persons and groups (past and present) who fit the profile of a foundation stone. Hopefully we will wind up this series with that. I will be putting the book on special by Thanksgiving.