Sunday, March 1, 2009

Flourishing Or Floundering


One of the main tactics the father of lies employs is to convince us that things are all quiet on the religious front, while simultaneously trying to keep hidden from us that there’s an accelerated exodus taking place within organized, institutionalized religion. This is reminiscent of the scene in the movie The Wizard of Oz, in which the fraudulent so-called “wizard”, having been shown up for the fraud he really is, bellows out, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

I’m sure there are more reasons than any of us know as to the reasons for this exodus, but I am wondering if their Heavenly Father is doing what he does best, namely, beginning to reveal and make real His life in them as them, which is totally incongruent with a value or virtue-based approach to life and living.

Is it possible that our brother Paul’s insightful warning was prompted by an inside knowledge of the wiles of the Prince of Darkness?

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart”

Is it possible that even we, His sons, can have a darkened, ignorant understanding which can effectively cut off or alienate us from knowing and experiencing the true source of our only Life?

There will always be a select few superheroes who, due to their “natural” or soul-based predisposition outwardly appear to excel and flourish as they operate within a values (a.k.a. ‘law’) based religious environment, but for the vast majority of us mere civilians it will hit us sooner rather than later that at best, we are floundering!

I am including something from Oz Chambers that fleshes this out with much more insight and detail. You can read it here.

Rich

4 comments:

Alex Blanton said...

Rich -- Looping back from our conversation on: http://oikosnwa.blogspot.com/2009/02/reality-strikes.html -- thanks for your musings here.

I like how J.B. Philipps quotes Eph. 4:19 - "Do not live any longer as the Gentiles live. For they live blindfold in a world of illusion, and cut off from the life of God through ignorance and insensitiveness. They have stifled their consciences and then surrendered themselves to sensuality, practicing any form of impurity which lust can suggest."

God has not "cut them off" in dour judgment of their actions so much as they have allowed themselves to be cut off by failing to respond the reality of Christ.

I think you are correct in pointing out that it seems as if the process of moving from darkness to light, or alienation to full knowing/being know, is an ongoing process in the life of the believer! I feel that I entertained this false notion in the past that whenever I fell short of completeness in Christ, that there was something lacking in my end of the deal - my effort was in question. However, I am beginning to see that this is part of the process of moving forward, step by step, in Christ.

Free Spirit said...

Yes, a mass exodus indicates, to me, a floundering in the Body, at best.

Rich said...

Free Spirit,

In not having any, or continued revelation of Christ being our only Life, is it any wonder why so many are (like fish outa water) floundering at best in man's custom designed aquariums?

Rich said...

Alex,

Experiencing the reality of Whose we are is not in my opinion a conceptual thang, "it's not a seminar, but a revelation."

I borrowed this from a brother's blog I just discovered.

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught us by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.”
Paul, First Letter to the Corinthians

It was a few years ago that I first began realizing that American Christianity does a fine job of polishing its rhetoric to reflect a Christ-centered creed, but its practices are far from resembling Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospels. It speaks of spiritual things and words that have not been taught by the Spirit. Human wisdom has produced a religion founded on doctrines and teachings about Christ… and we are continually being diverted from knowing Christ by way of relationship."