Spiritual Shifts are Always Unnerving to the Religious

It’s New Years eve, a time of reflection but also a time of looking toward future application of newly acquired learnings. My 2014 goal is to be open and impactful.

For me, the spiritual learnings of the past year have been huge. Partially due to immediate observations made of well-meaning people within the religious community, some overly occupied with partisan politics.

As well, just a few days ago, I began a new cycle in my read through scripture, thus many of my thoughts are now centered around Genesis. We are a broken people, “every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.” (Gen. 8:21b).

So, if people are that broken, I must become suspect as to our big picture interpretation of scripture. As well, Moses’ record of ancient history was handed down orally for centuries (Tanakh). However, this is not meant as a challenge to the literalist, but a personal expression of the mystery behind these ancient writings, still so representative of contemporary man-kind. As well, the beautiful and prophetic revelations of the coming Messiah tucked away from the very beginnings of these sacred Hebrew writings and the parallels with what now seems to be occurring on this small globe are convincing. To me all these things add reliability to the concept of God-breathed.

To disarm those with whom I am most aligned relationally, some overly protective of impending heresies, the Old Testament religious requirements and prophecies of the Messiah so align with Jesus, that it seems impossible for me that someone would miss Jesus as the Christ. For those just offended by that statement, I would encourage that they too remain open.

The thing that seems to have been missed by so many, is God’s covenant to all people…all, being the descendants of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Again, if we take the history of Moses as being in anyway accurate (not my argument), all those prior to the flood were dead, with only these three sons germane to our discussion. “Then God said to Noah and to his sons, ‘I now establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you…’”(Gen. 9:8). Those descendants include everyone, Jew, Gentile/Christian (latitude necessary here) and Muslim, assuming the three sons of Noah were the fathers of all mankind.

Later, as the Genesis episode unfolds, Noah overly imbibes of the fruit in his vineyards. He then curses Canaan (who’s offspring will later be wed to Hagar’s son Ishmael, so revered by Islam), while he blesses the God of Shem (Judaism). Pay close attention here (perhaps even reread the text), for the offspring of Japheth (eventually European Anglos ) are prophesied to “occupy the tents” (the property & and possessions) of Shem (Jewish descendants), and Canaan’s descendants would be their slaves.

My thoughts immediately go to the Holocaust, segregation days in America and now the ongoing controversy of Palestinian occupation, supported in part by America’s both Anglo and African. The conflict is even more exacerbated as some Arab nations refuse to reference Israel as a nation in the text books of their schools. Need I mention the generational memory of the Crusades, carried out against Muslims under the name of Christ, though far from His nature.

I hope I am not reading too much into the scriptures, nor sounding defensive any particular religion,just trying to be open to the challenges of a pluralistic community with which I am called to engage, considering current events and the political tension in America, particularly among Christians.

To me, though less than skilled or scholarly, these scriptures more than adequately communicate spiritual cause for both the growing favor toward Muslims and the residing fear among some populations both here and abroad.

The growing number of theophanies (a visible manifestation to humankind of God) among Muslims, as described to me first hand, on my recent trip to Turkey and Lebanon has also caused me pause as to what YHWH might be up to! Maybe this is just the beginning of a long and much needed transparent and trusting dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims? Again, remember the goal of 2014: open and impactful.

I believe that we are in a moment that will soon challenge Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as the One G-d of the ages, whom I still believe was Christ, reaches to all people groups and religions, many of whom seem to contribute a heightened degree of division more often than peaceful remedy?

Add to this, right-left politics in the name of justice, and religion becomes a dangerous game. Thankfully G-d sits above this universe, unchanging in his covenants with Creation and renowned for periodic shifts and transformations that challenge the foundations of all our faiths.

About John Bost

John and his wife LaDonna have lived in Clemmons for over 16 years, along with one daughter, Summer Bost Jackson, who is now an Assistant Principal with the WSFC Schools. John, LaDonna and now Summer have a combined service as well, of over 60 years in public and private education. John holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology, a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Community Education & Resource Development as well as an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S) in Leadership & Administration, all from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He served seven years on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning Board and is a former three term Mayor in Clemmons, NC. He has been active in various Early Childhood initiatives, the Infant Mortality Coalition, Healthy Carolinians, Assembly Terrace (HUD 202 independent living facility for seniors), Reynolda Rotary, Winston Salem First (church deacon) as well as several Community Development Corporations, to include the hugely successful Goler Depot Street CDC in the downtown of Winston-Salem. Formerly the Chair of Leadership Winston-Salem, where he now serves as a board member. John is also President and owner of Master Counsel and Associates, Inc., which offers real estate acquisition and small business development services.
This entry was posted in Post Christian, Prophecy, scripture, Spiritual Revolution, Transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spiritual Shifts are Always Unnerving to the Religious

  1. Very thought provoking! It was kind of like a spiritual shot of caffeine. Ha! The heart of what your saying seems to be that Jesus doesn’t suffer from “islamophobia” and neither should we. I believe God is challenging our views that make him out to be a “real estate agent” looking to close the deal on a piece of land (Israel) for his “favorite” ethic group.(Jews) As I see it from the OT to the NT God has desired ALL the nations (Islamic ones included) to worship Him in spirit & truth. Its emphasized over and over again by the prophets, Jesus, & the apostles. May sound blasphemous but I’m praying that I/we can be the “theophanies” (divine manifestations) within in the states. I’ve been building with with a young muslim teen for the last 2 years and I sense God’s presence so strong every time I’m interacting and sharing with him.

    This paragraph was fascinating….”Later, as the Genesis episode unfolds, Noah overly imbibes of the fruit in his vineyards. He then curses Canaan (who’s offspring will later be wed to Hagar’s son Ishmael, so revered by Islam), while he blesses the God of Shem (Judaism). Pay close attention here (perhaps even reread the text), for the offspring of Japheth (eventually European Anglos ) are prophesied to “occupy the tents” (the property & and possessions) of Shem (Jewish descendants) and, Canaan’s descendants would be their slaves (descendants make up many of the African nations).”

    I’ll have to chew on that some more.
    Grace and Peace

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