My Struggle


 

Yes, I struggle and those who read my writings regularly already know that.  I struggle with who we have made Jesus to be? 

No, I don’t struggle with who He was, for He was God become flesh!  The Word, the Logos, the manifestation of God to man and much more!

So what is my struggle?  My sense is that, just as the spirit of religion under the law had made God appear different than He really was, we have now done so with the Christ. 

This legalistic variant that evolved out of the Laws of Israel had so diminished who God was, that it necessitated a visitation from God in the man Jesus.   “Show us the Father” was the request of man…“if you have seen me you have seen the Father” was the reply of God!  Compare the God of Israel with the Christ of God and you will witness quite some distance in person and ministry!

Yes, Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the Earth…I believe all this.  God knew His creation, knew the risk of full volition and the influence of the fallen angel of worship, Satan.  He both defeated darkness and made provision for His highest creation to overcome sin and again reflect His image!

All that said, maybe I struggle with what we have made Jesus to be through our cookie cutter attempts to sell Christianity?  Meanwhile, missing the reality that no one comes to the Father anyway except by the Spirit!  Revelation always trumps religion and yet once more, churches through religion have masked the Spirit of the Father in our America!

Jesus was God, born of the Spirit through the seed of a virgin.  Sinless, in that he was not the offspring of man, but rather of God; tempted in all ways as we, He overcame personal sin, powerfully penetrating the venues often frequented by sinners alone, some of those being synagogues!  Who was this man who so loved sinners, delivered the tormented and raised the dead.  What was He after?

He was our model not our idol!  Yet, rather than having the faith to be like Him, we have settled only to worship Him.  Ignoring such powerful insights as offered by scripture:

“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is inside of you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living inside of you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives within you.”  Romans 8:9-11

We too as was Christ, were designed to reflect our Creator through the impartation of His righteousness, and the empowerment of His Spirit.

Yet, rather than truly desiring to be like Him, really coming to know the God that He was, we have chosen instead the less challenging position of simply worshipping Him.  Often offering only time and funding to support the ministries of those few who do attempt His likeness!  In some cases even worse, we all but worship those men and women as well; paying homage one day a week on Sundays, then working the other six as mere mortals!

Worshipping the man Jesus, rather than coming to intimately know and model the God who was Christ, we miss the message of empowerment, now freely our own through His loving sacrifice.

Is it any surprise that we promote a sterile religion, unlike any other in our pluralistic society, void of the miraculous and impotent beyond our well orchestrated Sunday services?

Yet, just as the poet so beautifully declared in my last post…He is there!

5 thoughts on “My Struggle

  1. Mr. Bost. I’ve been following your blog on and off for a few weeks now. I believe we have similar contentions with the institution of Christianity that pervades our culture.

    I might take it a step further and question whether the individuals truly worship God–can what is done be called worship if one is not motivated by the Spirit, by the grandeur of Jesus, by love from his Spirit, by a true knowledge of who he is that fills us with a yearning to be even closer to him?

    There is definitely a pretense of worship. I am saddened by the shell of faith our institutions have become: we have relegated our concern with worship to less than half an hour of music one day a week, we have wrapped our entire understanding of church into an hour of questionably sincere expression/(production?) on Sundays, we have abandoned any concept of community save an individualized ‘get out of hell free’ card and a lifetime membership at an exclusive, but shallow ‘church’ country club, and we have almost forgotten what it truly looks like to serve (diakoneo=minister to) our communities.

    Really great stuff. I’m working through my calling and going to seminary asking ‘how can we better represent Jesus Christ in our faith communities; how can we position ourselves to allow God to use us to fix these things?

  2. I applaud your insights, but wonder at your path. Seminary may have become the support system for the institutional malaise you so aptly described, not the ‘fix’?

    The fix is institutional repentance to include seminary, rectory and pew. Let that begin with my house!

  3. John, this may well be the best thing I have read all week. “He is our model, not our idol.” I will find myself quoting this truth and trying to explain and live it’s truth. Well done my friend!

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