Tag Archives: liberty

Our Spiritual Maturity is Evidenced by the Liberty We Extend to Others

6-22-2013_543574_28914537One of the trends in Emergent Christianity and in the other novel expressions that are a part of this run-up to the establishment of Christianity 3.0 is the exploration for greater expressions of love and liberty. As we members of mainline Christianity begin our expedition for something more in our relationship with Christ and our fellow humans we will soon encounter two very different sensations as a response to our search for the hope we have for the next generation of Christianity. We are not people who are giving up on Christianity but we are a people who are desperate to find and be a part of spiritual communities that will love all humans equally.

Romans 8:20-22 (NLT) Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

As people emerge from their traditions they begin to seek Christian thought which is presented in a way that remains truthful to their beliefs but provides fresh expressions and novel ways to communicate the main point delivered by Jesus, our leader of this two thousand-year old movement. That main point being is love of God and love for all other humans equal to the love we have for self.

This sensation that people will encounter is either one of more bondage or one of freedom. As we grow spiritually we are no longer fooled by words. We begin to rely on a deep relationship we have with God who lives and speaks to each person equally on the inside. This voice continually speaks into every little detail in our lives, guiding us on how to bring liberty in every relationship we take part in. From the cashier checking us out at Target, to all of our co-workers including our bosses, to our neighbors and friends we interact with when taking our kids to ball games and to every member of our many spiritual communities old and new, we hear God’s voice saying love deeply.

As we all move from childhood toward spiritual maturity we no longer need the rigid outward rules to guide us. We can live, dress, eat, and pierce or tattoo any part of ourselves and still remain pure in our ability to sense the difference between spiritual liberty or spiritual bondage. Can you imagine the students on a college campus holding on to a rope being led by a teacher to get from one class to another? No we can’t because with maturity of any type there is an implied expectation of responsibility and devotion to purpose.

Jesus made one point very clear. Love is liberty. So if we have a loving relationship with God, one of mind, heart and strength then we will achieve max freedom with God. Jesus also places almost equal importance on this love/liberty that we experience, be at the root of every relationship with any human. And the point He makes is that this experience of love/liberty be shared equally with everyone.

Jesus the master teacher, even while bound by his Jewish tradition, was able to communicate this love/liberty relationship and start a new movement in the fabric of humanity which we have all inherited. Under the tradition of rabbinic Judaism after a disciple has completed his training he can become a rabbi. Like the kings and presidents of old these rabbis were itinerate but they would use their understanding of the Old Testament theology and Jewish law to help settle disputes in their region. Each rabbi had what was called a rabbinical yoke. It was his personal prioritization of the laws according to his understanding and relationship with God. Each rabbi used their understanding to help resolve conflicts of either spiritual or material nature when rendering his judgments concerning these disputes. Also each rabbi would also train a set of disciples that he chose to carry on and advance his yoke. Jesus willingly died that we all might be His disciples.

My encouragement for every Christian, is to more lean on the yoke of Jesus, because he has chosen us to carry on His interpretation of love and liberty. Rabbi Jesus summed the 613 laws down to 2 laws and when asked which of the 613 laws was most important to He responded “love God with all that you are and love everyone else with the same love you have for yourself.” As each year passes we become more spiritually mature and we come to understand God better and the result is that we will come to love and live in more liberty and understand ourselves and God better. Therefore our love/liberty relationship with all other humans should be maturing equal to the love and liberty we each experience with God.

So today in your mind take an inventory of everyone you personally know and then think of every group of people known to you including groups formed because social status, racial, religious, cultural and national characteristics. Then begin over the next few months as the situations rise in your conscience, to evaluate your thoughts, actions and words you express about these people you know and the people who make up these groups. What is it that you say and do with any of these persons. Everyday multiple times a day spiritually mature people work on their relationship with God. So I know we are all always changing in our relationship with God. And this personal change is the main cause of the Christian emergence.

In case you missed the memo we live in a global community. In my opinion the main reason for the move of those that are emerging is that our traditions require us to relate to other humans in ways that we sense remind us of bondage. Jesus however wants us to learn to love until we can see every human we meet as our brother or sister. Jesus does not want us to fall back and become like the enemy but He encourages us to express love and liberty in new ways that will create new lovers of God and lovers of humanity.

So my friends keep emerging by dropping the yoke of bondage and become more deeply yoked with Jesus. We Christians are disciples of Jesus, first and foremost. He alone is our Shepherd, Master, Teacher, Everything, in other words He is our All in All. Our evidence to the fact that we are disciples of Jesus is that we freely give the liberty that we were freely given and personally experience.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

2 Peter 2:19-20 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Acts 15:8-11 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

Matthew 23:1-5 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Church, Emergent, Emergent Church, Evidence, Evidence Locker, Faith, God, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Mystic, Religion, Spiritual, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Branches of Spiritual Life

2014-01-12 10.31.51If one was to pull a big ripe juicy apple from a tree you would have a picture that represents the common understanding of the relationship between God and mankind. By holding that freshly plucked apple we have depicted a separation between the apple and the tree. What is commonly understood is the immediate process of death. As the freshness drains from the fruit so too does the value of the apple. In other words the sooner the apple is eaten the more life it can transfer.

Likewise once the umbilical cord is cut and once the human consciousness is activated we children of God begin to learn that we are separated from God. Even thought that is not true there is nothing in this material realm that has been able to convince most humans that they are more than just sons and daughters of Adam, that they are the apples of God’s eye and that they can never be separated from God our heavenly Father. Just because a physical separation has taken place does not mean that a spiritual connection does not still exist.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Consciousness is simply our translation and perception of reality. Once Adam became convinced that he was separated from God, God in his mercy asked he and eve to leave the garden so they would not obtain eternal life convinced that they were separated from God. Today even the Christian orthodoxy holds to the belief that only after death are we humans again reunited never to be separated from God again.

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

The reason Jesus was sent and the purpose of His ministry was to convince all humans that they are and will always be the daughters and sons of God. One of His important titles and office of great authority is that of “Last Adam”. Jesus became the first human since Adam to possess a consciousness in this material world that would dare to declare that man is a child of God and that God and man are connected as one. His entire demonstration was interpreted as supernatural because from a material point of view there was no visible connection to a life source that produced the “miracles” displayed. As He tried to convince the members of the religious community during the time of His ministry they became fearful that His demonstrations of life would lead their followers away and so we humans conspired and killed Him.

The question of the post is; can we humans change our point of view from our material perspective to one that perceives from a spiritual or kingdom of God point of view and behold the life connection we have with God? God’s spiritual Kingdom gives life to all that are connected however the humanistic material kingdoms on earth gather resources (taxes, tithes, food, clothing etc.) to maintain the life of the kingdom.

John 15:7-8 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

1Corinthians 11:23-25; 28-30 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Taking communion was to be a conscious reminder of the life connection and unity between man and God. Before Jesus there were hints that a day was coming that all would be made new. However because understanding this requires more than an earthly perspective the purpose and authority of Jesus ministry is mostly interpreted as something that happens after life on earth.

Still today most humans respond in the same way as Martha when facing the death of her brother.

John 11:20-24 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

But the truth of all matter is that we humans have an eternal connection to God the source of life now, before death. Jesus understood this connection and embodied it, declared it and demonstrated it for the purpose letting us know we also have this connection.

Jesus declared and his words ask each of us today.

John 11:26-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

If we focus on verse 26 which states “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” We can see the difference between the mind of Jesus and the mind of the average human. The gap is huge. Jesus is not disputing the truth about life after death, nor did our Father in heaven contradict that truth but used it when he asked Adam and Eve to leave the garden before they ate of the tree of eternal life. Eternal life with Eternal God is possible now and it is a reality that our consciousness must embrace.

In John 15:5 Jesus declares “I am the vine, you are the branches…” indicating that our function is to help people understand that they are connected to God’s life source and that life can flow through them as well. As ambassadors of a spiritual kingdom we live and work in this material realm helping all sons and daughters of God to understand that their life source connection to God is intact and may become active even if the illusion is that we are cutoff.

We are called children of light because we can illuminate the truth concerning this spiritual connection that was made available to all humans by the ministry of Jesus. Many are not ready to see or accept but that does not negate our obligation to live the reality of our understanding openly for anyone to see. To conceal this reality is like hiding a lamp under a basket. We each have been given authority to empower others to become conscious of this connection of life. Branches are not the source of life they are just the conduit that makes a path in this material realm.

I want to encourage us because we are of the Wi-Fi generation that understands connections beyond physical boundaries so we are not constrained by religious tradition or political protocol.  Our understanding liberates us to communicate truth of a spiritual nature even if our assignment is bound to this material realm. If we walk in love and speak truth in love we will see life blossom even in the most dark and chaotic places in this material realm. For where the life force of the Lord is, there will always be life and liberty.

Notice how this modern translation below puts the reality of this truth to a point somewhere in the future. How does your bible translation record the passage? Read, pray and ask God is this a now truth or is this only a future truth? If you feel like sharing please comment so I and other followers of this blog may know what God is speaking concerning the presentation of this truth pro or con. Thank You!

Romans 8:18-22 (New Living Translation NLT)
The Future Glory
 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

2 Comments

Filed under Christian, Christianity, Church, Emergent, Emergent Church, Evidence, Evidence Locker, Faith, God, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Mystic, Religion, Spiritual, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Is There Sufficient Evidence That We Are Living Justly?

10-12-2013_1034093_12351166Am I living justly? Most people would not incriminate themselves and would answer to the affirmative if this question was posed to them. We as Christians have this notion that if and when our life is called to be examined we would appear before our Father in heaven with Jesus as our advocate and Satan would play the role of accuser of the brethren. But who has imagined that they would be called as witnesses or to give testimony about the events and the people in their lives? What would the witnesses of our lives say if perjury before God is not an option?

 Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face

As Americans citizens we pledge to live as one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Scripture also states that justice is foundational to God’s Kingdom. Therefore I pose these questions to all of us. Is there sufficient evidence that we are living justly? This should immediately cause us to ask, what proof could I offer to substantiate that I do indeed live a just life?

Psalm 82:2-4 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 82 calls to all humans to live justly.  It also reveals that as children of God it is in the capacity of humans to be just to one another. As humans we are all members to various ethnic, cultural and religious groupings. But as humans we are all the same and aware that we are children of Adam and Eve. However also dawning on our consciousness is the understanding that we are also children of God. This makes us heirs to some remarkable human capabilities and living justly is one of them.

 Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

Our lives as members of the Kingdom of God (KoG) should be showing forth the evidence of justice because it is foundational to our Father’s Kingdom. In August of 2013 we Americans celebrated some transformational victories in the laws that made our culture more just for some of its citizens.  But the KoG is about the transformation of our hearts. So. after 50 years we can watch the constraints of laws being removed as we wonder about the conditions of the heart. Has the heart of the American citizen been transformed to where it does not need external laws or will it revert back to living unjust as it did prior the restraints put in place by laws?

Justice for others will always be a big test, a private test that each of us will continually take. As circumstances change will we do justly to one another or will we seek to fulfill the desire of our lust. Justice’s call requires that we constantly evaluate for every “neighbor” in our society and defend those who need help.  Each of us has this call and God’s design and perspective will be measure by which we are held to account.

 If I am unjust to someone because he or she is not a part of my religious, ethnic, social order then I am missing the point of Kingdom living. I want to encourage us all to remain aware of others around us and judge our attitudes, emotions, and feelings we have towards others. Then we must examine the use of our resources, our affiliations and the motives and outcomes of our votes for political and social issues.

This blog is about the evidence of our lives. Does it reflect the spiritual values of the King of our Kingdom? Or does it reflect the material values of the social order and traditions of our culture and religious associations? Is our field of “neighbors” expanding or are we still limited by the legal definition of American citizenship or the denominational lines of our Christian membership. Is justice applicable to all humans equally? Is God’s Kingdom open to all humans universally?

As Americans we believe that before the law all citizens are indivisible with liberty and that we all get equal justice. We also know however that this is a work in progress. But as members of God’s Kingdom do we attempt to live from His perfection or are we satisfied the imperfection of our social order? We are truly Disciples of Jesus and children of God therefore by faith I believe that our lives are capable and do show forth the evidence of our just living.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18: 1-8 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian, Christianity, Church, Emergent Church, Evidence, Evidence Locker, Faith, God, Kingdom of God, Mystic, Religion, Spiritual, Spirituality, Uncategorized