Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lifeless Protocol


I’m sure that might have been one of the many thoughts (religious nut case) crashing into the world of those who were making a huge profit by merchandising the souls of the people in the following account:
In the Gospel of John chapter 2 it talks about several things, but the one I’m focusing on is the cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem.
After this cleansing Jesus said; "Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business."

Jesus is then challenged by these religious mercenaries; “The Jews then said to Him, "What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body.”

I would love to hear any feed back on what others might see in what I’m processing here.

As I am continuing to read, The Naked Church by Wayne Jacobsen, I came upon this. “But his words of destruction (regarding the temple) were still directed at the physical building in which he stood. For the temple was more than just a misused place of worship; it was the heart of a theological system unworthy of the new covenant which Jesus had come to inaugurate. The temple represented God in a box, neatly packaged and removed from the mainstream of human experience. This is not what God intended when he gave Moses plans for the tabernacle. He wanted them to know that he lived among his people. Jesus now wanted them to know that God had come to live in them.

So he challenged them to destroy the temple-if not the building itself, then at least what it had come to convey
.”

I know our battle, warfare is NOT with flesh and blood, and so what is the Father wanting to establish if it’s not just another religion called, “Christianity”.
I am inclined to believe that from the fall in the garden, what was established as a substitute for relationship with God the Father was ‘religion’, and this all came to be through the father of lies-religion. What we have at best apart from Christ in us as us, is a form of godliness with NO power!
Religion at its best has always devolved into trying to reduce and keep God in a box.
The spirit of religion is infused with the very spirit of the father of lies, and as Jesus said, it takes only a little leaven to totally corrupt everything.

I see as a result of the Truth, Christ in us, making the life of the Father real in us, the church which IS His body, the visibility and clarity that is beginning to permeate us, is drawing a sharp and vivid distinction between a lifeless theological system and that which is vibrantly alive.
Earlier in this entry, I quoted the following: "The temple represented God in a box, neatly packaged and removed from the mainstream of human experience." The modern institutional church is no different from the ancient temple in that it has given rise to ‘God in a box’ religion. This religion is trying to usurp the rightful place of the Father of our spirit being the only one we are to answer to. In temple times, people could not come to God Himself. They had to worm their way through protocol. All that ‘protocol’ has been removed in the finished work of God for the believer.

It was for freedom you were set free, therefore, stand fast in your freedom, and no longer allow yourself to be enslaved by any religious oppression.

Rich

Additional thoughts from The Naked Church.

"Do you see why Jesus was so passionate that morning at the temple? If he couldn't break the mentality of God-in-a-box, he couldn't inhabit their lives, which is exactly what he wanted to do. This is true spirituality, the transcendent God living in us, involved in our affairs and leading us to an abundant life in his love."

"The thought of being a temple of the Lord, Paul said, makes everything else in this life look like the rubbish it is. His ultimate passion was to know Jesus in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings. Who in his right mind would not want to live every moment to the will of God?
His desires for us are "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." (Ephesians 3:20)

2 comments:

Amy said...

Rich,
I've read "He Loves Me," and I'm wanted to read "The Naked Church." I know that it's no longer availabe in print, but I can download it online. I just need to set a block of time to do this. I wish, in some ways, I had it in book form, as I'm a tad "old fashioned" (hee hee!) in the sense that I like having books that I can physically turn the pages of.

In any case, I love what you said here:
"I know our battle, warfare is NOT with flesh and blood, and so what is the Father wanting to establish if it’s not just another religion called, “Christianity”...from the fall in the garden, what was established as a substitute for relationship with God the Father was ‘religion’, and this all came to be through the father of lies-religion. What we have at best apart from Christ in us as us, is a form of godliness with NO power!" - Rich

Amen.

And I loved Wayne's words:
"The temple represented God in a box, neatly packaged and removed from the mainstream of human experience. This is not what God intended when he gave Moses plans for the tabernacle. He wanted them to know that he lived among his people. Jesus now wanted them to know that God had come to live in them." - Wayne

And finally yours again:
"I see as a result of the Truth, Christ in us, making the life of the Father real in us, the church which IS His body, the visibility and clarity that is beginning to permeate us, is drawing a sharp and vivid distinction between a lifeless theological system and that which is vibrantly alive." -Rich

Blessings,
~Amy :)
http://amyiswalkinginthespirit.blogspot.com

Rich said...

Amy,

I agree, I too like the feel of a book in my hands, where by I can mark up-highlight what jumps out at me.