Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Real Human Being.

The gospel was never intended to turn the world upside down. I've heard so many pastors and speakers say the message of Jesus was so controversial and opposed to the teachings of this fallen world, that His kingdom was literally turning the world on its head.

As if the One who created the world was opposed to its intended operation. 

For one second suppose that you made a table, or a canoe, or a birthday cake. Now take the thing you've supposedly made and turn it upside down. How well does it work? If you created something to work a certain way, turning it upside down usually means it won't.  If you discovered someone turned your table upside down, however, there is an easy way to remedy your problem.

You turn it right-side up.

The way the world operated before Jesus' birth wasn't the way it was supposed to be. At creation, when man had perfect communion and shared God's glory while walking with the Almighty in the garden, all was right with the world. It was operating the way it was designed to operate. Then, pride and selfishness entered the world and turned everything around. People's efforts to find God became like trying to grab water. They made up laws and rules that, if kept, would assure them of right standing with gods they carved out of stone. They tried their best to regain what they, in their hearts, knew had been lost. 

Ayn Rand, a philosopher and author that has gotten a lot of publicity recently from how much VP candidate Paul Ryan seems to like her, once said that Christianity is a contradiction. She said the "Christian" idea one's personal salvation is of upmost importance, but to achieve salvation one must live a life in service to others was a contradiction which can't be made to work. The problem with her statement is Christianity is not about achieving salvation. It's about making things right. 

This idea of earning your salvation with doing good works for others is another example of humans trying to grab water. When you try and fill your life with something in order to find "meaning," you are guilty of the same thing. I know the feeling. When I try to find my identity or my meaning in girls, or friends, or money, I'm grabbing water hoping it won't slide through my fingers.

It's not supposed to be that way.

N.T. Wright writes in his book Justification: God's Plan and Paul's Vision, "That is because the whole point of the Gospel is to put the world--not upside down, because that is where it already is, but the right way up."

Jesus shows up, and the world is shifted back on its feet. Reality is that the world has already been made new, the old way has passed away, and heaven has already come to earth. It may not seem that way to you right now, but that's the thing about reality, it doesn't require your acceptance. When I am searching for meaning or acceptance through what the world tells me is important, I am buying into a synthesized reality, a false reality, a reality that ceased being true 2000 years ago.

Jesus came so that you could be truly and gloriously human, because a real human being is the thing God created you to be. A real human being in perfect communion with the burning white heart of God. When you see people on the street, you are looking at luminescent spirits housed in bodies designed by God for good works that speak to the new reality He has created. 

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.