I would like to make two different observations in this blog that should make us relook at them, and hopefully dig deeper into our understanding of them.
My first one is the story of how and why we are where we are right now in our religion or christianity to be specific. My gut reaction to this statement is I know what the people’s answer will be. “It is not all about who or where we got our beliefs from”, “we received our understanding from the scriptures,the word of God”. But alas, our belief’s have been handed down thru family tradition, thru society, thru ‘as a matter of fact’ or thru our pastor of 37 years or it is just the way things are. Let’s look at our circumstances that we have now in our world. We have over 130,000 denominations in our country that can be different because of one minor different belief than another one, but yet it has created another belief that has separated people and God.
This issue can be found in a major crescendo of time and events of the 16th Century of Martin Luther’s reformation from the Catholic Church. There were plenty of other minor blips on the screen from the first century to the 16th century but the Luther’s revolt of understanding of the scriptures was the opening of a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of religion.The age of Enlightenment also took part of this ‘box’. We are entrenched in our own understanding of the scriptures to the minor upon minor of things that can set us apart, set us apart like 130,000 denominations can.
But it is not about the 129,999 denominations that are wrong in their beliefs and the one that is right but that the one thing that can bring all these people together in body,spirit and belief is totally different than any of them are proclaiming!
It is that their God, of which they are all talking about is “Now” the ‘God of this world and He is the King of All in All’. The Resurrection of Jesus the ‘Messiah’, is the ‘New Creation’ that is apart of this ‘New Kingdom'(this means all other kingdoms are now old and not in demand,people,organizations,governments, ideals, and denominations) This concept is apart of the phrase that is used in Heb 2.8 –YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.”
For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
This is a subtle but glaring reference to Israel’s commission of becoming a light upon a hill in the old testament which it was supposed to do, but will finally ‘see’ their vocation from God to be this light to all.
This is the installing of the new King but ironically the original King and kingdom back into power, and that has forgiven the subjects of their mis step of going another route of a different leader.
Heb 2. 8 is as it seems, very plain and straight forward. This is always the case if we don’t really look closely of scripture and go deeper into it. It is deeper than we humans always give credit to it. God has given ‘all authority to Jesus’. Did he not already have it? Yes and No. He had authority, but it was in the ‘Heavenly Kingdom(government)’ it is God’s ‘way’ of doing things. Not of the earthly or human things is the norm of our ways, but of God’s. God is now the ‘New Sheriff in Town’,He is the King of all Kings, Lord of Lords of the Earth, as it is in Heaven.(Sound familiar -Matt 6.10) God’s reign is now on earth, sound familiar again? Sounds alot like the Garden of Eden!
The second point, is the definition of ‘church’/’Church’ and its reality. Let’s tackle the Large C first which should make the small c more clear when we get to it.
The Large C , the ‘Church’ has been used as the whole group of ‘believers’ of God,God’s people. Although I think this is where maybe we have gotten confused in our practice of it. If we are the believers of God, this characteristic should stand alone as a fact. We are a believer in God as our God. Period. There are no qualifiers to this stance in belief. It would be as I would proclaim that I am a ‘McCall’, my name says that I am, It is that I become a McCall when I go to a family reunion of the ‘McCall’s’ that I could only be a McCall. It is the part of the identity of the whole that I can be identified in. This is Church/Body of Christ/God that we are identified in, and He in me/us. It is not a place. This was used only in the old testament, to show the Israelites that God was still around with His people, his ‘light’ on the hill. He was not giving up on his people, still hasn’t to this day.
Now with that said, let us talk about mini ‘c’. To be identified with Large ‘C’ we would have to have the same characteristics as it would. So the mini ‘c’ is just a smaller picture or we could say a ‘cropping of the larger picture(C)’ that could be used. But remember it is still apart of the larger ‘C’ picture, same characteristics,same identities,same qualities as Christ/God . His paradigm is for the Large ‘C’ of the whole world.
So where and how do we go wrong with this paradigm? It seems we allowed a sliver of information to be in our paradigm, that taints it, so that it becomes ineffective. Now, don’t go crazy here on me, when I say this, but the scriptures bear me out on this in it’s design of God’s Kingdom.
If we are to be God’s people(believers) becoming his body, why then do we have non-believers with us?
This after all was the charge that God gave the Israelites, for God gave them ‘different rules’ to follow, fleshly,spiritual, and Godly rules. This set them up as being ‘different’ in the people and god ways.
I find it ironic that we fail to see this in just normal and everyday things in our lives but we don’t take it’s relevance to heart. And it is this, how many times do we as individuals point out to a friend or colleague that ‘joe’ is something else, he’s different, he goes to a beat of a different drummer. He stands out from all the others. You and your friend then say I wish I could be like him, in normal life or work life. What if you are apart of a team of sports of some kind and you just can’t seem to work well with each other that makes you good or successful (this is just for example purposes). We then go and be with that other team to see what they have that we don’t. It then becomes a ‘light’ on the mountain example that we were proclaimed to be our vocation to God.
With this said, now don’t you sorta find it weird,crazy, and funny that you have all this kinds of religions that have difficulty in keeping people in their fold? What is with this church hopping too! I thought God was in ‘all’ church’s. Did you not like that God in your previous church? Is there better God at the next church?
Now is the time for ‘Man’ to come to an ‘understanding’ that something is wrong in this paradigm. Not a program,person, facility(God’s house, how dare you say you don’t like it, or the parking lot!) or the people in the church(I thought they were also God’s people,if you both were then you would both love each other). These issues are not because of program or way of doing something, it is paradigm issue, it’s not the right one!
Where did it go wrong?
There is a theme in the whole entire bible, not just four books of the bible, we need to include all the bible(old testament continues into the new testament) in our understanding of God’s word.
Now we should search the scriptures, our hearts, our minds, and God, with prayers and direction in all the things we do and say to be apart of the Big ‘C’!