Thursday, July 26, 2007

Glorying In Our Divisions?

That's it. It's happened in my own bible study group and again, almost ad nauseum, I find myself discussing one of the most cancerous problems in the body of Christ; that is, following men instead of Christ. Whether it be the pope, Mennon, Arminius, Calvin, Luther or on and on and on. Paul warns against that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and most of christendom is instead happily and proudly mired in the very error.

1 Corinthians 1:10-25 (New American Standard Bible)

"Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"

"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void."

Preach the cross like Paul, not the man-made doctrine that the brightest christian minds in the world can't even nearly agree on.

Jesus Christ became to us wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. What else matters? Hundreds in the bible who witnessed Christs birth, death, resurrection and ascension, and the hundreds of thousands who testify of them, simply point to the cross. Anything that ushers in division or quarreling about doctrine is not from God but from the flesh. Paul says anything of that sort can ultimately make the cross void. And today we see christians and their clever speech not only being unable to hold their own and know scripture as well as their athiest adversaries in public forum but even amongst themselves as they wrangle together over highly coveted doctrine. We've made a public sport of it.

"For consider your calling, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh."

Does he say that he whom men deem to be the wisest theologian is really the power of God? Or that, therefore, that theologian and his adherents may then boast before God? No, he says the opposite. And secondly, men can't agree on who they would deem the wisest theologian to be anyway.

The power of God and the wisdom of God is Christ. "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. "
So where do all of the numerous, quarrelsome, man-made doctrines which men untenably lord over one another as being the real truth fit into all of this wise counsel from Christ through Paul; apart from giving the destroyer satan the advantage in dividing God's (self-satisfied) household?
I'd like to suggest that it's out of a disrespectful disregard to plain scripture.

"Has Christ been divided?"

Yes, Christ has been divided.

But as members of the Body of Christ we could be mindful of Paul's words and begin to correct this damage.

"until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. " "Built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."

Or simply ignore Pauls exhortations as most of our church fathers have grievously chosen to on their watch.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nicodemus/"Reborn of the Spirit"

A remarkable christian brother of mine prompted me to think about, among many other things, how many of the most learned and esteemed theologians of our time simply cannot get the rest of the body of Christ to buy into their personal proclamations of the true meaning of Christ's own words. On and on some of them persist even to the point of effectually wrangling, quarreling, showing a "morbid interest in controversial questions". Luckily, to help understand this, I thought of Nicodemus.

Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, who could not even accept Christ's own testimony at first due to it seems his own eyes being clogged with poorly rendered Jewish theology, finally had the reluctant wisdom to come by night and ask Jesus some awkwardly simple questions, and had them answered fully with what was to be an offer to himself as well, through Jesus, to enter into the kingdom of God. Hopefully Nicodemus left satisfied, went back and studied his scriptures further, and then did not let any man tell him differently.

We see Nicodemus again further on in the storyline, not denying Jesus, and soon to recieve the news of His resurrection, His ascension, and amazingly even recieve his own rebirth, with his new heart and mind now beholding the revealed King and Kingdom.

What an lesson in taking Christ's words for what they say.

Moreover, Nicodemus' recorded encounter with Christ is a passage from which, about a year and a half ago, I was moved through the love from God contained in that passage to try and form a lyric that would fit with a tune I had recently made up, wherby the rich passage could dwell in me also now in song form, and continue to instruct me as well as allow me to sing with thanksgiving to the Lord. needs a little fine tuning, but give it a try.


There was a time, it’s written to see
The Maker of all, made our hearts to be free
Made them much like His own, in His image He’d sown.
And He fashioned a temple out of flesh and bone.

He told it one day, His word to obey.
But He already knew, that heart was drifting away.
So He sent forth His Spirit, Who to make the way clear,
The path of redemption, down which our hearts He would steer.

To believe in His Son. For behold He has come.
To be placed on the altar, that His justice be done.
To turn the hearts of His children, from their own earthly ways,
To the things of the promise, for whom the Son he obeys.

The wind it does blow, right where it wishes, we’re told.
And you may hear the sound, but know not wherefrom it goes.
Such is the one, who’s been reborn of the Spirit,
And just as the wind, unto the Kingdom, you’ll draw near it.

Then His beautiful son, said He just could not stay.
Said the world that we live in, is just passing away.
But let your heart be not troubled, when I’m gone from here,
Cause the gift from the Father, of the Spirit will be here.

Because the Spirit will come, and dwell in each one,
Who asks of the Father, for His will to be done.
He’ll be a Light to your pathway, and teach you to see,
That My Word is Truth, and My Truth sets you free.

What the eye has not seen, nor the ear not yet heard.
What’s been shielded in mystery, within God’s holy word.
What has never before, to the heart entered in,
Has now been prepared, for all of those who love Him.

(3rd part-choral)

In through the eyes of your heart you will see,
The Light of the world who wants all men to recieve,
The Spirit of Truth Whom the Father did say
Will know the way home, and will help show you the way.

The music I cannot play yet. It's done, I simply can't get through it respectably yet. It's a little complicated and a little bigger musically than I am right now. Thankfully, the Lord provides for us to grow up in all aspects into Him. So I should have a completed rough version of it late this Fall.
I've since learned it and updated with a link to the playing of the song here.