#0091 The strong man is the Holy Ghost and his house, of course is the Church
Link relevant to today’s posting…
Scripture relevant to today’s posting…
The Parable of the Tenants
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Today’s posting is part X 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. I’ve been talking about this 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 are taking a deeper look into the effects hierarchy, in the form of priesthood, has had upon the Church and indirectly on the world. We will talk about how doctrines and priesthood have pushed the Holy Ghost out as the rightful seat of authority in the Church.
(Continued from Wednesday 5-11-16)
In this way the Holy Ghost is rendered powerless and useless to both God and to humans. This is what Jesus is talking about in Matt. 12:29…
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.
The strong man is the Holy Ghost and his house, of course is the Church. In using the illustration of tying Him up, Jesus is talking about blasphemy or the shutting out of the Holy Ghost. How this shutting out is accomplished is by simply displacing the necessity of inspiration the Holy Ghost offers to people—ALL people—with doctrines and priesthood! Doctrines and priesthood have effectively usurped the very concept of God guiding and directing the Church by means of spiritual revelation, which is the Holy Ghost’s em oh and they now reside in the seat of divine authority. And because things have been in place and done this way for so long the concepts of doctrines and priesthood have become interwoven into the very fabric and culture of Church. They sit in the seat of divine authority at the head of the church without being questioned or even 2nd-guessed. This is how the strong man has been tied up. Additionally, this is why Jesus says anyone (any group) who’s speaks against (has usurped authority from) the Holy Ghost will Not be forgiven (because forgiveness itself can only be purveyed through the Holy Spirit).
What are the ages to which Jesus is referring?
…anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come
This age refers to life on earth and the age to come refers to the hereafter. The point here is to underline the severity of the consequences of the act of speaking against the Holy Spirit; however the traditional interpretation is misleading. Even the words and the phrasing of this statement seem to intentionally paint God as the one unwilling to forgive those who speak against the Holy Spirit and to further indicate that He can hold a really long grudge. We know that this can’t possibly be the case by virtue of God’s essential nature—which is love, unconditional love. And we know that the backbone of unconditional love is forgiveness. So what IS this scripture telling us? Perhaps a better word to use in place of “will” might be “can”; so the phase would read: “…anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven…” If we think about it this way the whole message takes on a new meaning it removes the unwillingness to forgive from God’s shoulders, transforms it into the unwillingness to be forgiven, and places it on the shoulders of the people who’ve spoken against the Holy Spirit. To my ears, that seems to carry a much better ring of truth to it. Going back to verse 29 again…in the last sentence: “Then he can plunder his house”…what is the thief after and what does he successfully plunder? The answer of course is the strong man’s authority or identity. According to the traditional narrative, the only way to find God or interact and be in relationship with Him is via the channels mapped out by doctrines and the permitted by priesthood. In the new narrative we are attempting to untie the strong man and give him back the possessions that are rightfully his. The only way to accomplish this is to bring a new, different and better interpretation to the scriptures; one with a Kingdom perspective which holds egalitarianism as one of its prime imperatives.
Over the centuries having the strong man tied up has had long-term and accumulating effects upon the Church and the world as a whole. We’ve been focusing on the Church and how it’s been robbed of the vision to build the Kingdom of God; but have strides been made in the direction of egalitarianism outside the Church? Have there been incidents in the past which might be seen as the strong man struggling to get free of his fetters? Yes. No doubt there have been several; but one such event took place over 100 years ago. It’s referred to as The Christmas Truce of 1914.
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: Wednesday, May 18, 2016