‘This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were [self-centered, insensitive, dull, anti-life and] evil’ John 3.19 NIV.
I remember Mr Hautingly, the art teacher at the university. He seemed eccentric and was. In my youthful arrogance I saw him as less than a great example although a reflective and informed person is what He was. Another lecturer, a man of imagination and daring rebuked us and asserted that this man was no joke and that he had an intellect that penetrated the fog. There’s lesson here. Don’t expect to be brilliant as an inmate of the status quo. Such apologists never are. They repeat old saws and don’t advance beyond their mothers ideas. But they do excel in strengthening the system’s iron and bars of fear and small thought. As a proponent of conformity expect, despite your best intentions, to become inanimate and dull. This may win you a place at the head of an institution of the flesh but never admiration among the living or the inhabitants of heaven. Life is not always valued by the respected for what it is and many really do accommodate themselves to darkness and resist the light.
‘Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also’ John 15.20.
There are of course people who are eccentric and mad. And many who are zealous but entirely without discernment – not because they could not have had it. But because they are either arrogant enough to be slow learners or too timid to embrace the rawness of life and its extravagant abundance. If there is anything that distinguishes the life of God from religion it is excess!
In Jesus we get every manifestation of life because He is life to the full. We must be one with Him to see His creation and participate in the up-welling of life that is Jesus for us and the trinity in us.
‘Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
There are people who are not intelligent enough to see through false religion and cut through it with the sword of their being. They have become dull enough to live as functionaries and sycophants of the system. Religion and legalism shrinks the mind.
Like crows these functionaries feast on the scraps of status flung to them by those deformed by conformity and the spirit of anti-christ. Let’s be clear. There are people we are sometimes tempted to laugh at or not take seriously because we think they are not quite with it. Actually they may be more with it than we, more astute than we and have more discerning minds than we do because they have penetrated the illusions we call our life. They are living from the vision of Light itself.
‘For, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ’ 1 Cor 2.16 NIV.
The mind of the climate change denier is not the mind of Christ. But is is the mind of those who cry ‘From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created’ 2 Peter 3.4 NIV. If we are as dull as this in the natural we cannot expect to have any real discernment in the spiritual. The self-centered person is cursed with eyes that cannot see and ears that do not hear. Lets not ever imagine that we are filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit if we are climate change deniers. Could it be that non-believing people who love society and the earth have a higher morality than those Christians who are continually bleating about the supremacy of the economy?
‘Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear’ Jer 5.21 NIV.
A person in the Spirit is different to one who is not. In religion we are ghosts of our real selves. In the Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ, we are who we are. Because Christ has come in our flesh, the Son of Man is alive in us and we are grow into the realness of our humanity because we alive in the Spirit. Never a shadow of ourselves we are our real selves because we live in the reality who is Christ. We are potent and life-giving. In addition we are accompanied a supernatural spirit and light that is the law of the spirit of life.
So we are free to choose. As a functionary of religion we can be a servant of anti-christ. With Christ as our life we can be emissaries of our Father. We are free to choose whether we will be carcasses of conformity in the valley of rattling bones or whether we are spirit and life because Christ has come in our flesh.
Poets, artists, writers and actors have the ability to convey to us this ‘greater life.’ Although sometimes characterized as ‘other worldly’ their poems, novels and movies influence to the good many who would otherwise be dead or comatose because they have been swallowed by the un-reality and illusion of a life without Christ. Many of these people are not Christians. But they frequently bear witness to a raw reality unpolluted by convention and diluted by vanity.
Recently the daughter of a good friend passed away. I was telling my own daughter than Jayne was a person who lived unconventionally and despised religion. She remarked, ‘You and I don’t like it either.’ People like us can can imagine ourselves surrounded by the blind and the dead, and frequently are. There are people who chose religion over life out of timidity or because they have chosen to work at self-authentication in their own strength. They worry away at in the imagined safety of their flesh. Their conformity wins approbation in some quarters. But such status leaves them personally more blind than they should be and far less alive than their inheritance allows. There is a penalty for rejecting the fullness of Christ. It’s called death.
‘To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead’ Rev 3.1 NIV.
‘When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins’ Col 2.13 NIV.
‘He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving’ ‘Isa 6.9 NIV.
‘The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small– and for destroying those who destroy the earth’ Rev 11.18 NIV.
‘Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land’ 2 Chron 7.14 NLT.