These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Cor. 10:11-12
There is too great of a discrepancy between what the church* says and what the church does. Christians too often quote platitudes from the Bible, but then conform themselves to the world’s standards. Christian groups cannot get together in productive unity because they point out and compare themselves against the deficits of others instead of combining their strengths. When there is a difference between the church’s accepted behavior and that endorsed by the world, the church will eventually capitulate and change; and even its Biblical platitudes begin to take on the sounds of secular humanism. The altruistic spectrum of humanism, and even atheism, can produce beneficial philanthropic services in love that exceed that of many churches — churches who seem to be more centered around protecting their doctrine than helping someone who isn’t one of “their group.” As a result, the church fractures itself more and more, not only into different competing groups, but also in the generational transfer of spiritual knowledge and wisdom.
The church is missing the mark while it claims that it can see the target. That is dangerous, because the signs of the times indicate that the harvest is near, and productivity will be determined by God’s measuring rod, not ours. The church, and Christians, will not be measured using standards of the world, but by standards that are not of this world – standards that are not limited by 3-dimensional space and time.
The church has predominantly been geocentric and neocentric – centered on earthly things that occupy physical space and “new” things as measured by our human concept of recency in the continuum of time. The church has interpreted the Bible using this temporospatial limited thinking to justify its use of the world’s standards of comparison instead of God’s standard of righteousness and holiness. That’s why the church is increasingly becoming irrelevant to the intrinsic needs of the human heart — placed there by God. This hidden need is locked up by the human spirit, represented by Adam, but there is a key to this lock, which has been given to the church as the caretaker, or steward, of the kingdom of God on earth. The church has the power of the Spirit of God living within it to use the keys of the kingdom to unlock the inner need of the human heart for God, bound up by the fleshly nature of the physical realm, and to free the human spirit to receive the power that only comes from God – the spiritual source of enthalpy to break the chains of physical entropy and death. The church falls short of recognizing that it holds these keys, the pearl of great price, the treasure in the field, the coin of great worth, because the church is too geocentric and neocentric rather than heliocentric. The church is busily and complacently occupied protecting its doctrines from being adulterated by other groups. The church would seemingly rather fight over its traditional human opinions rather than recognize the one Lord (Eph. 4:5).
One way of approaching the process of peacemaking between conflicting marital partners is to ask the question, “Which is more important to you – your marriage or that you be right? It’s one or the other; make a choice.” When both partners choose “their marriage,” there’s something you can begin working with. But it has to be both partners, not just one. What if one were to ask this question to different church groups – “Which is more important to you – your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and His body, the church, or that your doctrine be right?” Most groups would probably say the parts of this question have the same answer – the church and their doctrine are the same thing – and they are also the only group who knows the correct answer. The institutionalized church does not know the plan of God, and it is showing pride and rebellion. When reckoning comes, groups will be trying to deflect the blame to one another when the descendents of Ishmael are beating down the doors. A modern day book of Revelation might be written — “To the 10,000 different divisions of the body of Christ.”
It’s not about what we are doing wrong; it’s about what we are not doing right.
The parts of the above statement are not just a reversal of the same thing. Because we do not understand the eternal plan of God, we focus more on a fear of doing something wrong than on a faith and love to do something right. And, in so doing, we compromise our own spiritual transformation in this life and our eternal fellowship with God. This is missing the mark of the high calling – of Jesus in the heavenly, “unseen” realms and putting the mark on our human selves, instead.
God help us to see the eternal.
This web site, and its companions**, createdtobelikegod.com and the imagodeiresearchinitiative.com, attempt to describe the foreordained plan of God, made before the formation of space and time, and how the purpose for everything that followed in created space and time –the universe, the church, humans, Christians, the history, the present, the future, and eternity — all fit into that plan.
* “the church” is defined as the body of Christ as God sees it – it is probably a part of every Christian group that has separated itself from the body because of (virtually always) disagreements between Christians over issues out of the flesh. We (the church) have been declared perfect in the heavenly realms because of Jesus Christ, and we accept by faith in God’s Word our standing with Him. In the earthly realms, we are to keep eyes on Jesus as the Holy Spirit transforms us into the likeness of God. We race toward Jesus, leaving imperfection and sin behind, because we have been freed from those encumbrances, and we help one another to be Christ centered and not sin-centered. If, instead of helping one another with our weaknesses, we compete by pointing out each other’s weaknesses, we look at sin instead of Christ. This blog addresses the church as a whole, not as any one group. Groups may think they are better than average and that some descriptions don’t apply to them, but the witness to the world is from a united body of Christ.
** many of the posts from “created to be like God” and the “Imago Dei research initiative” sites have been moved to this site.
Go to: In the Image of the Creator