Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Greater than He

“For the ear tests words as the palate tastes food”—and having heard one too many Christians quote John the Baptist’s words: “He must increase, but I must decrease”—I  came to realize their misuse or misunderstanding of these words in light of other words spoken concerning the Christian (Job 34:3 and John 3:30 respectively, NASB).   Christ declared concerning John: “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!  Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11, emphasis mine, NASB).

John was filled with the Holy Ghost while still in his mother’s womb, but became, in adulthood—at the zenith of his life—the friend of the bridegroom  (and not part of the bride which is comprised of all born again believers).  And born again believers are distinctly those who came alive in Christ after His death and resurrection happened.  The greatest born of women is an appropriate term for John, but if it is a moniker we wear, we miss the mark. 
Certainly, all those who are born-again are of necessity also born first (and, of course, from a woman), but not all that are born of women become born-again.  The pinnacle natural and limited man cannot reach the ground or premise of the spiritual and illimited one.  But the Christian is foundationally and fundamentally different from the natural man; the rule of his new creation is a reign from another world—one in which God is the light without a shadow of turning and Adam simply the black backdrop from which God shines forth.

Increasing and decreasing are gray concepts shrouded in mystery; reality, however, is black and/or white, dark and/or light.  God, of course, is the ultimate reality, and He casts no shadows, has no inverted gravities, no twisted or bent lights, and shines perpetually at a magnitude no star could ever sustain.

We cannot allow our limitations to pervert or misinterpret what little we see or understand; our context is far too narrow to see the real height, depth, and breadth of anything.  We must die and He must live is an all or nothing black and white stance which allows no degrees of increasing and decreasing.  Freemasonry—for an example—is all about degrees of light, and they are a false religion.  Likewise, all manmade religions are about degrees and are therefore false by reason of mixture and impurity.

True Christianity is death to self and the image of Christ resurrected and inserted where once self animated us; Christ in us, “the hope of glory,” the rule of the new creation disposition in us, is an all or nothing stance and rule (Colossians 1:27, partial, NASB).  Though our capacity, or Christ within us, grows larger and larger as we mature in Him, it is not an increasing and decreasing thing; it is only an increasing thing.  The second Adam lives and grows within the empty space the first Adam left behind when it was displaced by the regeneration process; the first Adam is dead and can therefore no longer pulsate or ebb and flow with life (in other words, it can no longer increase and/or decrease).  From the inception of our rebirth we are seated in the Heavenlies, but many fail to realize this except by degrees (thus many Christians are duped into thinking it ought to be by degrees since their experience proves they awoke incrementally rather than all at once). 

Capacity, however, is increased only by growth of the seed of Christ within our spirit outward into our soul; it displaces the old nature which hangs dead and dark around it.  Thus, Christ, the full breadth of light (even while yet in infancy), matures and widens his beam of the fullness of the breadth of light within our wholly darkened heart.  As He matures within us, from seed to full revelation, the light shining out of darkness increases its scope and decreases our frame; nevertheless, all light is His and all dark is ours (thus increasing and decreasing are relative terms only useful for limited perspectives).  An eclipse might hide the sun from someone’s perspective, but the sun was never lost nor did it ever leave off shining.  A perspective is but a rivet holding a cogwheel that turns the entire machinery; integral and essential, but incidental to the overarching purpose that will always remain unclear if the rivet becomes and/or remains the focal point.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Inherent evil is the cornerstone of righteous government

The ironic sublimity of our founding fathers’ words juxtaposed against the reality of their actions in regards to minorities and women is a stark example of the need for a full incorporation of the very principle they themselves devised in having “checks and balances” built into America’s governing model (Tindall & Shi, 2007, p. 182).  Having so recently thrown off the British imperialistic tyranny, and having desired to avoid the abuses of power resident in the few, our white founding fathers fell right into something else they feared: “the tyranny of the majority” (Tindall & Shi, p. 180).  Not a majority of numbers measured against all women, African Americans, Chinese, and Indians, but a majority of might by pedigree and learning that—although initially unavoidable—was not fair in the long run when all the wrongs of subjugation could have been righted.  Perhaps, like speaking words of affirmation before corresponding habits are formed, so our nation had to speak well before it performed well.  Before any habit takes, there are many intervening starts and stops—intermittent periods of vacillation—before another war solidified the hearts and immortalized the words about the equality of all men.  Only when acknowledgement is made that the words written in blood are the words of all mankind, to include women and men of all colors, do the words begin to blazon and crystallize.

Our founding fathers understood sinful human nature, and to prevent the corrosive effects of too much power falling into too few hands, they crafted a government that would prevent this from happening.  Starting with the fundamental fact of sin as the foundation, they erected a governmental philosophy that never lost sight of this fact.  The only problem was that they too shared in this sinful human nature.  These “checks and balances” ingeniously ensured the division of “sovereignty within the government” (p.184).  This revolutionary idea of “vesting ultimate authority in the people” was about finding a way to exist around a still needful central power to rally people (p.184).  The compromises that had to be made created a healthy tension between the two predominant yet opposing ideologies of Federalism and Republicanism.  There was a definite need to centralize certain functions of the newborn government after the mold of the Federalist mind; likewise there was a need for democracy to grow outward after the mold of the Republican mind.  There were strengths and weaknesses inherent in both ideologies; by absorbing the best of both, the compound ideology that emerged was stronger than either separate ideology could have ever developed into by itself.

Despite the omission of “charity to all” that was a later addendum to our country—that took Lincoln and a civil war to accomplish—our founding fathers were best suited to originate the revolutionary idea of self-governance.  They were the superior minds of their day—in no small part because of the education they were able to obtain by being white and male.  This is not to say they were inherently smarter than women or those of color, but they were, for wrong or right reasons, the educated, and thus, the serviceable minds of their day.  The government they built had learned the lessons about the abuses of power and by establishing a government that lay upon more than a few white men’s shoulders they inadvertently laid the foundation for transferring it to all shoulders in the future.  By the time Andrew Jackson came into power in 1828, our independent spirit began to fully democratize our governmental conventions, but as Jackson once said: “Equality of talents, or education, or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions” (p. 278).   Though human institutions could not produce equalities, they certainly could produce inequalities, however, and women and minorities were perpetually kept subjugated and voiceless.  Into the void that their silent voices created is today’s sound; like a Joel’s army of unprecedented impact, so minorities are mounting the loudest and shrillest war cries.  Where will the balancing checks and the checking balances take us? 

Ultimately, how does one ensure the ideal of freedom for every person?  Anarchy would certainly cause the strong to dominate, or even eradicate, the weak.  Manmade governments, no matter how democratized, has historically still oppressed some.  Having established our country upon the knowledge of the intrinsically sinful human heart has been the key that has made a yet fluid framework stand erect.  Individual liberty can only be expressed within the context of society and one’s inalienable rights are never so inalienable or so autonomous as to allow their expression outside the confines of societal norms.  In other words, as I pursue my own freedom I must be careful not to infringe upon my brother’s freedom; any freedom that does has simply become license.  Our government, “of the people, by the people, for the people” that “shall not perish from the earth” (excerpts from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address) will indeed perish if we do not overcome—in some measure—prejudicial and sinful views.  Social reform is of no consequence if the heart remains defiant; prejudicial eyes look out from turbid hearts, and an unclean mainspring knows no freedom.   We cannot be fooled by racial and gender equality measures that have been enacted to strengthen our union (however good they may or may not be); it is sin in the heart of mankind that topples nations, and it will topple America too if she continues to remain foolish and unrepentant before God.  It is useless to “check and balance” those who refuse to fundamentally acknowledge inherent sinfulness; what is there to repent from or to be checked and balanced over to when we become the central ton of everywhere we stand?

Tindall, G.B. &  Shi, D.E. (2007).  America, a narrative history.  New York: W.W.
Norton and Co.


We, desiring an uninhibited flow
of form both liquid and solid
in matter and matters beyond
our capabilities seeking and probing
unexplored topics and topography
everywhere our heads dictating our feet
where we move unabashed and bashing
every party and funeral visiting
those gone and going inside
scurrying about like insects
squashing and treading wrath
grapes of our wine and whines
fueling the hollows of our thought patterns
breaking and static waving riding
to the shores and store windows
shopping and peeping through glasses
beyond mannequins into a sea
where the living swelling and cresting
souls’ content is near finishing
populating the earth.