Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Some Absolutes in Being A Follower Of Jesus

I am not entirely sure where I am going with these thoughts – I assume that is the reason for “blogging” – it is another way to burp out stuff best not revealed in polite company. I know my Grandma Pemberton disapproved of gas release of any kind in public and would likely feel the same about these blogs.

I am in the middle of a series on sin and faced again with the apathy of many followers of Jesus and the majority of those not followers of Jesus toward delineating truth from falsehood. The most common phrase heard in this regard would be, “Well, what I believe works for me and what you believe works for you,” or, words to that effect.

I confess to being a reductionist when it comes to my faith in God. I like keeping the absolutes to a minimum so that the semi-absolutes can be more contextual. Because I accept the absolute of believing that Jesus Christ is the son of God the semi-absolute of reading His life and teachings is made more palatable and even enriching.

Because I believe I am absolutely required to trust God only for your salvation it makes the semi-absolute of presenting Him to others less stressful.

Because I believe I am absolutely required to accept all people as God’s children whether they have acknowledged him or not I am free to accept the semi-absolute to extend grace to even the most dissident agnostic I meet. There are more – but – that is a good place to stop.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Consider His Head

Colossians 2:9-10
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Since the head is the source of all that is in the body – we – who are the body of Christ – need never fear being over run by an opposing ideology, quenched by a political force, or, neutralized by rejection of society. His presence is our purpose writ large. Power is only powerful when its purpose is Christ’s and authority only governs when its roots are in Christ.

Colossians 1:18-20
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Because Christ is the head, the source, the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth of the church – the church draws her vision, information, warning of falsehood and right to speak only from Him.

Ephesians 4:15
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

From his head flowed his blood on Calvary – it was not the blood of His opponents – it was the blood for His opponents. When we, the church, forgive and serve out enemies, we then declare our covenant with the headship of Jesus.

Colossians 2:18-19
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his un-spiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Because our very beginnings come from His head we can never be other than the church. We are not a political party. We are not the moral police. We are not pure and unsullied few. We are the redeemed who do not need government power to serve up grace to a hurting world. We are the reconciled who are like Him in as many ways as we can muster, yet with sin. We are the adopted who were the ugliest of all the orphans in the line – yet picked by Him for His purpose. When we, the church, relinquish our connection to His headship – we are just another group of people with a good idea and no way to carry to fruition.