Friday, 19 November 2010

T h e C u r i n g

"The final outcome will be a return to the very first condition,
and the pure, unblemished resurrection,
will be the pure, undestroyed Creation". Man & the Incarnation.

"Behold, I make all things new". Jesus.

It never ceases to amaze me.

When we look at contemporary interpretations of our origins, our teetering continuing existence, and the probable ends of our species meager existence, life all becomes somewhat bleak, gloomy and, if we're honest, all pretty pointless. We can quickly compound that realism if we begin to then unpack the many woes and trails most of us face in our daily hunger to escape the pain often defined as 'the norm' of our short time here,
so, one would hope, when it comes to unpacking the marvel of Christian redemption and rescue,
surely we will find something truly wonderful - a rescue so profound that the trauma of this present agony becomes meaningful, even insignificant, in the light of that marvel.

Apparently not.

For some time now, I've wondered why, in the light of the clear teaching in Romans chapter 8, Christians are not deeply animated regarding the glorious work God is soon to bring about within creation in general.

Genesis begins with the astonishing account of the forming of the heavens and the earth, but this is but the prelude to the masterpiece which is going to appear amongst that order on the day when the full 'glory' (significance) of God's work here begins to become evident on the day of renewal, when the creature (humanity) is raised from the curse of death and creation is freed from its bondage to corruption to share in the new realm of liberation.
Well, I now know why many Christians have no spring in their step about this.
In complete concord with that venomous strain of Gnostic evil which has soured God's living word since Eden, the "way" to read such words is allegorically, not really relating to anything but perhaps some form of final 'spiritual' renewal for the few elect that make it into the distant realm of some ethereal bliss...!

I really wonder if such 'interpretations' take anything spelt out in scripture seriously.
As I've noted several times on my entries here and elsewhere, the only thing which taints and corrupts the goodness of God's handiwork in Creation is the invasion of the malady of sin, and that has truly been remedied by the precious, redeeming work of the bodily death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, so if the only impediment to Creation being 'good' again is removed, why are so many 'teachers' so ready to still expel of it entirely, seeing it as only fit for total destruction?

The only reason for such belief is that the material is inherently seen as entirely at odds with the eternal, but this is certainly untrue. The birth and life of the Lord Himself tells us how much God loves His creation, and the whole work of redemption stems from that unceasing love. It is this work which the book of Romans teaches us bears the most glorious fruit - an order truly rescued from futility and restored to forever glorify its Maker and Savior.

So, the next time you hear 'teaching' which wants to make you look far, far away for some vague, dis-embodied hope of some possibility of rescue, come back to the firm promises of God, made sure in the precious gift of His eternal Son.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

In times of need...

"If the Ten Commandments were not impossible enough, the preaching of Christian behavior, of Christian ethics, of Christian living, can drive a Christian into despairing unbelief. Not happy unbelief. Tragic, despairing, sad unbelief. (It is not unlike the [unhappy] Christian equivalent of “Jack Mormons” – those who finally admit to themselves and others that they can’t live up to the demands of this non-Christian cult’s laws, and excuse themselves from the whole sheebang.) A diet of this stuff from pulpit, from curriculum, from a Christian reading list, can do a work on a Christian that is (at least over the long haul) “faith destroying.”

Dr Rod Rosenbladt - The Gospel for those broken by the Church.

I have been sorely reminded of late just how much we poor souls are in need of the balm of God's unmerited grace in our lives, especially in the context of the 'judgment' (teaching and practice) by those who are no doubt seeking to do good, but actually snuffing out the flax and breaking the reeds.
It is with such a context in mind that I am truly delighted to supply this wonderful link to all who, like me, need the richness of God's abundant grace in Christ alone for their aid...

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on "The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church" from Faith Lutheran Church on Vimeo.