“Dislike of dogmatism, hatred of controversy, love of tolerance, the call to close our ranks, and the spirit of ecumenism – these are some of the modern tendencies which are unfriendly to the purposes of this book. But the Christian Church, whether universal or local, is intended by God to be a confessional Church. The Church is ‘the pillar and foundation of the truth’ (1 Timothy 3:15). Revealed truth is thus likened to a building, and the Church’s calling is to be its ‘foundation’ (holding it firm so that it is not moved) and its ‘pillar’ (holding it aloft so that all may see it). However hostile the spirit of the age may be to an outspoken confession of the truth, the Church has no liberty to reject its God given task.” - Rev Dr John Stott
— 'Christ the Controversialist' (1970)
Materialist Sociopath Encounters Creator
The RESURRECTION Changes Everything!
The emphatic nature of these two verses leaves us gasping for any breath of possible compromise. The word for 'correction' used here is epanorthosis (ep-an-or'-tho-sis) and it is a compound word which derivation gives us a better nuanced understanding of word we 'anglo's' translate it to; 'correction'.
In our Western Post-modern Culture 'correction' is seen in an increasingly poor light, as it presumes at worst, an error or at best denotes a need to rectify or adjust! This is proving increasingly more difficult especially when we are perpetually reinforced to 'trust our feelings and make your own way' and consequently any objective or even external 'benchmarks' and 'plumb lines' are being denied, dismissed, dispatched or denigrated!
Yet error and brokenness remain, even if these pejorative (by pop-culture standards) label's are removed the consequences of this brokenness and error are inescapable. Most thinking people know 'something is not quite right', but we are rapidly losing the tools to define and articulate that sense of disquiet.
However, God has given us such a vehicle, and despite cultural 'recalibration', it remains very effective, particularly if it is used contextually and with Divine wisdom... the epanorthosis, more distinctly speaks of the "straightening up again - a rectification", but in its totality it connotes 'reformation'. This is where the emphasis lies, not in simply finding error, articulating it and trying to put a mistake right, but more, a bringing about what is needed to facilitate profound and deep change on a more holistic level..
Does Christianity Need to Change?
Make it up as you go along!
The Popular Egocentric Revised VERSION
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love suffers long and is kind, if the rewards are adequate and gratitude is forth coming—Love does not envy, unless of course it is unfairly overlooked.
Love doesn’t parade itself or is puffed up—except when required if due attention has not been paid. Love doesn’t behave rudely unless of course the setting warrants it—Doesn’t seek it’s own unless it really shouldn’t be missing out. Love is not provoked except in unreasonable circumstances.
Love thinks no evil nor rejoices in iniquity—unless the individual really deserved it and or course, love rejoices in the truth, if palatable. Love bears the tolerable; believes most things, hopes when evidence is sufficient for such and endures when the reward is appropriate.
Love for the most part succeeds, when all the environmental factors are conducive to such.”
"All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth - Go therefore and implement your personal vision amongst the nations, oh, in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost of course. Teach them to dream big and observe all the things that will assist them in actualizing their anima and reaching their goals. Remember, I am here for you to use at any time to help you make your life a success."
Ephesians 4: 1-6
"I therefore being captivated by my personal agenda and passion, beg you to live a life that shows the world we can do this life more successfully than they. But try to do it under the guise of lowliness and gentleness where practical and goal accommodating - condescend and tolerate, but don't engage with, those who haven't quite got the vision you have. Make an attempt at a peaceful unity with those 'flying' with you. These collaborators are the true body! Remember, one master (me) one team (ours), one club membership; these are above all and through those who have 'The Vision'."
James 1: 2 -4, 12
“Count it all joy when you receive accolade, affirmation and award, for by it you will be energized and motivated to perform more, procure more, and produce more – all parading your good deeds and demonstrating Divine favour…v12 God will bless you if you don’t give up your dreams of success, ease and comfort – you will lack no material blessing, which is God’s highest end for you.”
2 Corinthians 10: 5
“We can tear down every negative idea, sentiment, attitude, or message that opposes our goals, success and triumph, which is the first priority of Jehovah Jireh. Taking, as your right, Gods resources we control all our environments and ensure all potential impediments to our goals are under our feet, because we are the Head and not the tail.”
The Parable of the Social Elite and the inept social Conservative (Luke 18:9-14)
Two patriarchal stereotypes went up to a religion conforming facility to pray, because they were trapped by an antiquated concept of institutional worship. One of these ‘males’, a high achieving and culturally superior elitist, the other a very unsophisticated, mouth breathing pariah – a conservative, by the socio-political interpretations.
The social elite stood and gave his version of ‘god’ an inventory of both what he is and does, self-aggrandizing his deservedness of divine favour – but no need for forgiveness!
The inept and simple working class ‘conservative’ did not have the capacity, worth or vocabulary to engage with the Divine in an egalitarian mode, as did the ‘better’ beside him. So, like the dumb ox he is he was self-deprecating and begged in the most embarrassing fashion, all in a futile attempt to attract but a mere morsel of the kudos only marked for social sophisticates!
Je-zeus declared, ‘I tell you this fool could have learned a thing or two from the social elite, if he bothered to grovel after him and begged for some life coaching tips – remember NOONE is justified by self-abasement in this post-modern and post-truth world, only those who embrace their inner Zen and ‘take’ what is owed them!
© Shane.W. Varcoe - 1990
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