The gospel has not only opened my heart to the truth of God’s everlasting love for all humanity, but also the impermanent shifting of the human mind and it’s connection with divine truth. (“be transformed by the renewal mind…” Romans 12:2) Learned conditions have been fed to all of us through human culture, traditions and society. As many believe, due to the bombardment of subliminal messages and doctrines of falsity woven within the threads of a fallen nation, we are subjected to dangerous influences! Throughout New England, there has been a significant drop of religious membership, especially within the Christain traditions. Many of the nation’s “religious nones” live in New England. Only one in three Massachusetts and New Hampshire residents put themselves in the “highly religious” category and about one in three say they are religiously unaffiliated (Leins, April 2017 USA News). As a follower of Jesus and a Christian Trinitarian (non-denominational), I don’t see this as a bad thing. This is largely due to the mixed messages being preached and practiced among such a variety of denominations. The most concerning factor is the hypocrisy among Christain leaders within our region, but also around the whole United States. The political oppressors, knowingly or not, have ensnared our church communities with false “law-based” grace, rather than the grace through the love and faith OF JESUS. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference”
(Romans 3:21) It was the faith OF (not “IN”) Christ which brought the righteousness of God to light in the Gospel. A glorious truth – but one so often overlooked by many. We find this repeated in several other passages of scripture in various forms. For example in Galatians 2:16. You may be thinking, yeah, yeah, we all know the corruption within the churches, but my faith is strong, so, who cares?, I just “take what I need and leave the rest”. So why bother addressing this issue? Afterall, it’s a free country, let people believe what they believe and go where they want to go for their spiritual growth, right? Actually, it does matter. It is the MAIN MESSAGE of the gospel that Jesus preached! Paul continued to bring this home to the Galatians when they started mixing grace with works. Not to mention, nowhere in Paul’s gospel does he even mention any afterlife in “hell” where there is NO CHANCE of escape. There is no fear within the love of God. “Perfect love casts out fear!” (1 John 4:18). Being half in and half out or taking what you need, and leaving the rest wouldn’t matter in relation to a cooking class, a mandatory seminar on economics or a lecture on civics. But we are talking about religious freedom, community building, morality themed lessons for our children. How can we participate in a system that feeds only half, or even partial truths? My point here is not to do with denominations or various theories about small parts of the bible. I am concerned with the foundational beliefs being taught in Christianity today. This is where the perception of a hyper manic, hot tempered, sadistic “God” evolves. The perversion of the gospel, used to manipulate people into worshipping out of fear instead of love, which only encourages the enemy who comes to “seek, kill and destroy…” (John 10:10) and who was “a liar from the beginning” (John 8:44). One cannot doubt this religious fear-based / legalistic system must in fact be a depiction of the allegorical, “Beast from the Sea” outlined in the book of Revelation and from the book of Daniel the prophet. The false indoctrination that took centuries to fully blossom into what has become mainstream, traditional belief that God decides to send many of his children into an eternal fire of endless agony, after blessing them for their entire life here on earth, needs to be dismantled if we want to see more revival happening in the church. We are the salt of the earth! (Matt 5:13) and it is our responsibility to be responsible for future generations. Let go of old belief systems that were flawed to begin with, and be like Abraham and Noah…. go against the crowd and do what is right in God’s sight. As he has showed us over and over in scripture, he never wanted sacrifices. (Hebrew 10:8) Those were man’s wrong views on God. “My thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not you ways.” (Isaiah 55:18).
Let’s continue to pray for God’s guidance as we move into 2020-2021 year of Epiphany and set the captives free! As Paul states to the Colossians, that we were only “separated” from God in our own MINDS (Colossians 1:21) Every since we see Adam and Eve hiding in the bushes after eating from the tree of death (rather than the tree of life/ JESUS). God knew where they were but, like a father playing hide and seek with his kids, he pretends he does not know and asks, “Adam… where are you?” (Genesis 3:9).
Listen closely. Is God calling out to you? Are you holding onto a religious work in order to please a God who is already pleased ? Are you hiding from a God of condemnation and retribution? Are you still trying to earn your “rewards” in heaven? If you are, then you haven’t yet accepted God’s FREE gift of Grace, through the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ and him alone. He finished the job, so you don’t have to. “God was IN CHRIST, reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19) not punishing Jesus for your sins. That is the big lie of separation among the triune God of pure LOVE.
Listen . Is God calling you to repent (Metanoia= change your mind) ? God want’s us to know him for who is really is. Jesus is the perfect image of God. So when in doubt, look to Jesus and what he DID. Don’t get lost in symbolic or allegorical language expressed in parables, because those were specific way of story-telling within a Jewish culture and context. The times have changed, but God hasn’t. He has and always will be perfect love. His holiness makes us holy and his righteousness is our righteousness. His death was our death and his resurrection life, is our resurrection life! (Romans 6:4)
Galatians 3:28, NIV: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” … Galatians 3:28, KJV: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Where do you see “Separation” from God or any Penal Substitution? Where do you see God punishing Jesus for our sins? Does that make sense? Did the father beat the faithful older brother before embracing the prodigal son in order to “Appease his wrath?” The one verse from Isaiah was taken out of context came from St Augustine’s Pagan origins. The early church never believed this distorted view of the father. Saint Athanasius teaches that Christ died, not to appease God the Father, but to rescue mankind (you and me) from death! That was “to whom” he sacrificed himself – the existential/ontological reality of death; that,
“through this union of the immortal Son of God with our human nature, all men were clothed with incorruption in the promise of the resurrection. For the solidarity of mankind is such that, by virtue of the Word’s indwelling in a single human body, the corruption which goes with death has lost its power over all” On The Incarnation; page 35.
For an excellent orthodox visual explanation of the true gospel, click below….