#0097 There are two polar forces at work in the world, the Spirit of God and the spirit of Evil
Link relevant to today’s posting…
Scripture relevant to today’s posting…
Story of the Word
1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being 4 through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. 8 He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light
In the next posting I will begin a new series outlining another section of the book I am working on. The focus of the book as well as the series of postings has to do with differences between the words of the Bible and the Word of God as it is described in John 1. In preparation I have been posting some excerpts from The Jesus Clone which might be helpful in getting us ready for the topic. Once again I want to mention that the main thrust of the new book is to offer a new Christian narrative which I certainly believe the Church is overdue for. Today’s link highlights examples of the energies of God (good) and Evil that I reference in today’s post. These energies are busily at work in our current presidential campaigns—the question for us: which is which? Who’s who?
The deification of the Bible
Our relationship with God is either based upon unconditional love or upon fear! When Jesus cried out from the cross: “Forgive them Father; they know not what they do!” He was forgiving all transgressions for everything and for all time. At the same time He was establishing a precedent for those who first acknowledge and second accept this forgiveness to do the same for those who transgress against them. Those of us, who claim to be followers of Jesus, cannot find out how to do this or we refuse to do it, we lose our way. If our beliefs aren’t based upon this kind of God-love (featuring forgiveness), then it’s based upon fear.
As a life-long Christian you may say, “But I do try to live within the parameters of this principle!” Do you really? Let us examine the nature of the Christian heritage at large. Let’s begin by asking a fundamental question: “Why would people claiming to be following Christ separate themselves into subdivisions of distinctive doctrinally-based groups; one group showing little or no regard (or worse) for the others? These groups are called denominations. There’s even a group called non-denominational, what up?! Why would there be so many denominational Christian groups if these groups weren’t basing their faith (relationship with God) upon fear? Why would there be so many areas of separation? There can only be one possible answer to this question…they are all fear-based plain and simple. If it seems I’m being too harsh and not willing to consider the individual stories of the different denominations then ask a second question: “Why is the quest for the most correct or accurate doctrine utmost in the minds of each group?” The answer has to be…
- They are trying to make themselves more pleasing to God or
- They are fearful of God’s reprisal for getting it
When it’s all said and done, it doesn’t sound like these groups are responding to the voice of Jesus crying out from the cross.
His voice represents the unconditional love He has for us. Unconditional—that means no conditions! What is a denomination made up of…a whole boatload of conditions! Conditions are a set of rules that are about as subtle as a pull-down graph paper chart up against which someone stands to establish how they measure up. Denominational conditions are meant for one thing, judging oneself, fellow in-group believers, out of group believers and non-believers.
The Spirit of unconditional love isn’t concerned with who is in the correct denomination—who believes in God correctly—but how we channel this love that we receive from Him; how we take it in; how it goes out and toward whom we direct it. This opportunity is for everybody, not just for those who have professed His name, or for only those who’ve been baptized into a body which wears a denominational label that reads Christian.
Love comes totally undeserved. We can easily fall into doing a routine of things we believe will earn us love. We get to thinking that the things we are doing are making us more deserving of God’s love and blessings. This mindset comes out of a fear-based faith; fear that we are not good enough—we haven’t done enough to deserve God’s love. So we get busy trying to earn God’s love and God’s grace but it doesn’t work that way. As a matter of fact, it works in just the reverse.
If your relationship with God is based on love, you won’t be restricted or shackled to certain scriptures. There are many scriptures that speak of God’s love and His desire to pour out His grace and salvation upon His children; denominations tend to skim over these and not focus on them. The reason for this is it makes it sound like having a relationship with God is too easy. It doesn’t make for good church politics. It doesn’t help with keeping the membership stable or getting outsiders to come in. If churches spin this kind of perspective, they risk the possibility of putting themselves out of business. Jesus once counseled some people…
29 “…And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.
31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Luke 12:29-32 (NKJV)
From those caught out in denominational theology comes a reply… “No, we don’t know that it’s Your good pleasure to give us this Kingdom.” And as such, we continue to live in fear while we try to earn our way back into God’s graces. What has gotten pushed out in this era of the post-Jesus God is Jesus’s message of the Kingdom. To get back to any meaningful discussion about this Kingdom we first must lose this puny, inaccurate concept of God’s Kingdom which denominational churches, by their very natures will project. In Chapter Nineteen we will begin talking about systemic evil; in this discussion we come to see how God’s unconditionally loving Spirit is everywhere; at the same time we are admonished to remember that evil exists as an entity which has infected the world at every level and at every station. The goal of evil is to distract people away from a true and accurate sense of God’s kingdom!
For people who are very churched they would do well to go back to basics and acknowledge that there indeed exists evil in the world. Go back to the story of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve and the apple. The apple, aka: the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Its name infers that once Adam and Eve ate of this fruit, they would know good and evil or to more accurately put it, they would be under the influence of good and evil. The objective of God’s plan from that time forward would be such that Adam and Eve and subsequently each one of us would be living in a condition or an environment wherein we’d be exposed to good and evil! A further component in God’s plan concerns our challenge to learn through the process of living what good is and what evil is. It is our fate to learn what good feels like and certainly to get to know evil and what that feels like. Then, when it’s all said and done, to choose good over evil. In this process we must learn to discern between the two. Many of us are still trying to figure it out. Many living under the spell of organized religion have believed for generations that others, not affiliated with their particular denomination, are unable to discern the correct doctrine which, in essence is saying they are unable to tell right from wrong.
Summing up…there are two polar forces at work in the world, the Spirit of God and the spirit of Evil. These are two distinct fields emanating two different and opposite energies. Which one will we respond to? Which one feels right to us? It’s not so much about extensive lists of Biblical do’s and don’ts denominations tend to herald; it’s much more basic than all that stuff. Jesus described these energies as God on the one side and mammon on the other. Evil is tricky and has designs upon all people, not just so-called sinners, non-believers or those outside our own treasured denomination, but upon us as well, including you and me! In working the agenda to distract people from God’s kingdom, Evil uses many weapons; among them: derision, confusion, fear, grief…anything to steal our attention away from God (the Jesus God) and His desire for us to become engaged with enterprises having to do with Kingdom-building.
Evil is busy in the world! Its most effective ploy, in my opinion might well be its use of the Bible and churches to keep believers distracted and far from the quest to build God’s Kingdom. The effects of this ploy are far-reaching, indeed; It keeps those most potentially dangerous to Itself in a benign state by keeping their collective attention on lesser and petty things. To bear this out consider a third question in our examination process to determine whether or not our faith is fear-based. (It is more of a logic challenge):
- If you are a member of a certain denominational church and…
- Your church is founded on the Bible, however…
- There are others just like you who are members of one of the 1000s of other denominational churches and…
- Each one is claiming that same Bible foundation, but…
- Because those people outside of your particular doctrinal group must have been led astray through the scriptures and the misinterpretation therefore…
- The Bible can be misinterpreted, hence…
- How can the Bible be the infallible word of God?
In conclusion: Why would God intentionally leave us such a fickle and untrustworthy resource for His people when it is a matter of such importance…even to the point of our salvation being on the line? How can it be thought of as the infallible word of God?
Consider the Bible’s track record…recount all the carnage and evil fruit it has spawned throughout the years, throughout the centuries and is still doing today. There is the too common practice of people judging one another based upon interpretations of scriptures and passages in the Bible. The Bible is too often used like a weapon with the goal of substantiating the prejudices of the ones doing the wielding. And quite often they drag God into their attack by prefixing their shots with, “God says…” or “God wants…” or “God hates…” In this way they inflate the importance of the issues. In reality the issues are important to them because of their own subjective experiences. Selfish and perverted interpretation of scriptures are born out of the evil tactics of pain or hate or fear then fueled by the evil tactic of pride and self-righteousness. Satan did that very thing in the Garden of Eden! He took something really beautiful and put a negative spin on it and Adam and Eve paid the consequences for it.
The Jesus Clone Pp.: 163-166
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, June 08, 2016