#0090 Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Scripture relevant to today’s posting…
The Parable of the Weeds
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Matt. 13: 24-30 (NIV)
Today’s posting is part IX of an excerpt from the book I am currently working on. This article looks at the difference between an hierarchy-based community and a community which is NOT hierarchy-based; this type of community would utilize concepts and principals of egalitarianism. The reason I’ve been talking about this is because, although Jesus’s message was filled with elements of the egalitarian principal, the Church continues to operate within the well-worn hierarchical structure, embracing and pushing its principles. Today we’re talking about the long-term ramifications of the hierarchy-based structure. I promised to talk about movements outside the church which seem to be striving for equality and Godly love imperatives to be reintroduced into the culture. I got sidetracked a bit; but what I cover today I hope will better set the stage for that discussion next time. Once more I’m using the Parable of the Weeds and I hope you can see how it ties in with the rest of today’s posting. I begin with some of the last post to help with context.
(Continued from Sunday 5-8-16)
All is not lost, however, as the concept of equality and Godly-love seems to be making a comeback. It’s not making a comeback in Christian circles so much; but we are seeing this concept being revived in pop-culture, especially in the U.S. This is happening in political and social movements throughout the land and in other areas around the world. This isn’t new as certain world events, which can be identified as such, have taken place in the recent past and some even within the span of my lifetime (65 years). In a moment I will list a few of them; but before I do I want to speak a little bit about why these events haven’t registered within religious circles as possessing much, if any, divine significance. Despite this fact—or maybe because of it—the workings of the Holy Ghost can be identified in each of these events if someone is looking from a Kingdom perspective. From this Kingdom perspective we are able to see efforts or manifestations moving towards equality, Godly-love, forgiveness or any other such egalitarian directives. Religion perspectives do NOT value these as primary Christian goals; they see them as secondary or minor goals because their doctrinal views won’t allow them to. The reason for this is simple; the Christian narrative has as its foundation the doctrine of salvation and when all is said and done the salvation doctrine is self-serving and very narrow in its scope. It can’t, by its very design, be too concerned about things outside the sphere of saving souls and all of the rigmarole that goes along with that.
29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.
30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Matt. 12: 29-32 (NIV)
In this scripture; who is the strong man Jesus is referring to and what does the strong man’s house represent? Could the strong man be the Holy Ghost? And could his house be the Church? Is the intruder Evil (the devil) and might the ropes used to tie up the Holy Ghost be doctrines (i.e.: the doctrine of salvation)?
Before we draw any conclusions let’s consider the next part, one piece at a time…
30 Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Let’s assume that Jesus’s message wasn’t even about salvation and all the rigmarole that goes with it. Assume that salvation is just available to everyone who desires to be a part of it—without conditions or any strings attached to it. If this were the case, then what would even be the purpose of Church—why would anyone want or need to go to Church?! In that vein, what if the point of being involved in Church was to interact with other people in productive, creative and fun ways?! What if the best way to interact with others was in a community formed in an egalitarian motif?! What if, in this egalitarian community, the Holy Ghost was free to access people directly; without having to use priesthood channels or fumbling with the rigors of doctrines?! And lastly…what if the biggest obstacle standing in the way of people creating such a community; or recreating such a community within the Church was the well-worn belief that says: “It’s not supposed to happen that way.”?! Wouldn’t this misconception, in essence, be a doctrine acting as an impenetrable barrier as long as people continued to believe and practice it?! At this point we are not yet claiming this to be anything other than supposition; but if the Church were called to be in the egalitarian community briefly described in Acts 4: 32-35; and if it got off track in the pursuit of building such a community; then doesn’t the rest of this scripture make a lot more sense as we read…
“31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
The Divine truth Jesus is bringing out about the Holy Spirit (Ghost) seems quite daunting…
…anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come
But if considered in context with the Kingdom perspective; it begins to sound more reasonable and it even supports the case for the egalitarian community. The word blasphemy is the key. In simple terms the word blasphemy means: to shut out or not accept. So what Jesus is saying here that if someone shuts out the Holy Ghost, they are unable to understand Its message and therefore not be able to perceive Its forgiveness. In the case of those groups who create barriers of doctrines designed to promote their conditions for salvation are, in a very real way, creating a barrier with those doctrines between themselves (their group) and the Holy Ghost. At the end of the day—if their doctrines are wrong— how is the Holy Ghost supposed to get past them to correct their minds and their hearts? This is where the blasphemy comes into play.
If you have a question or thought about this or other postings please feel free to send them in. As always, thanks for reading.
TBC: Sunday, May 15, 2016