Friday, April 10, 2015
Philip Yancey’s latest book, “Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News?” opens with a verse out of Hebrews either misquoted or taken from a Bible translation unfamiliar to me. Having never a “King James or the highway” kind of believer, such initial rearrangement of the Word does not bother me. For me, the subject in question equates to Christ “in” me; and, if such possession isn’t “fresh” and “alive” in my own life, then there’s no great mystery as to why it isn’t flowing out of me unto others. For the author, there is query concerning a Church that appears more enflamed about its own demands being enforced on the world around it than it is about sharing the Holy Ghost it claims to know abiding within its framework. That’s not a blanket indictment, of course, but there is enough evidence in abundance to warrant an investigation; and the first place to examine, it seems to me, is our replication of what the Pharisees did with the Old Testament portion of the Book. When religion is no more than a theology set in concrete, not much more than a doctrinal idol we, ourselves, have created to assure ourselves of salvation, a blunt weapon in our hands with which we arrogantly utilize to convince others that we, alone, possess “truth, do we not resemble those “whited sepulchers” whom Jesus labelled “hypocrites? As a friend recently posted on Facebook, “You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” Preceding such thought was a suggestion that two lies adopted by our culture are (1) disagreeing with someone else’s lifestyle means we must fear or hate them; and (2) to love someone requires agreeing with them about everything they believe or do. I would only add that, as Christians, we need “reprogramming” as to the reality of His resurrection within us being the source of anything good we accomplish in this. If who we are and what we are doesn’t flow out of His Spirit, then guess who yet has the helm and is undoubtedly operating out of “self”…..
Posted by Jim at 2:02 PM