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I've been witness to a debate among christians, about the finer points of legalism, liberty, and sabbath day observance. It has not been a pretty sight.
Kierkegaard said that "Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close."
You can say that again.
I have been witness to a rash of (chiefly non christian) blog posts about intentionality, authenticity and all that jazz. Something I have always sought, and felt strongly about, and never really brought to bear on my faith ... or should that be the other way around?
And it strikes me, that there is a vital link here, which I have missed.
If I am a new creation in Christ, then from that moment on, my life must be authentic, intentional in every degree ... I cannot, I must not, depart from His call on my life ... and that call, is individual, it is to do with the awesome depth and breadth of the Holy Spirit.
So, do we pick and choose from the Scriptures? That's the charge levelled by one of the protagonists in the aforementioned debate, that we are legalists and worse, we pick our laws.
But wait a minute. What if GOD is picking and choosing?
What if, for my life to be authentic, I need to focus on certain elements of what He is, but for you, it's different? If that's the case, then the very last thing we should do, is spend our lives debating the point. He may lead one to mark the sabbath, and one not, He may lead one to a healing ministry, and another not. And hard as it may be (unless we are poor in spirit) we need to just let our brothers and sisters pursue their own authenticity, in and with God, while we pursue ours.
After all, the lives of the patriarchs, or the apostles yet, did not look identical.
And whatever that thing is, if you are called to be a juggler, a fishmonger, or a bus driver, what matters is to trust in Him and know that this is YOUR life, and you go wrong, the moment you turn to a fellow christian and say 'don't you think though, that in the light of scripture, we should be jugglers?' That 's' - that's where it all goes wrong.
It isn't about hammering it out, it isn't about who's right and who's wrong, it isn't about a consensus or a statement of faith - it's about doing everything with a living, intentional authenticity - the christian phrase for which is 'wholeheartedly, as unto the Lord' - in the sharpest of focus, the brightest of light, your breathing the cadence of an amazing dance in creation, even if you're washing up!
If you had that, would you even care to examine so closely and pick at another person's life? And to get to that, do you not have to wipe out yourself, initially, in the most immense act of faith, leaving yourself open to that ultimate make over, make yourself a blank canvas and then marvel at the work of art appearing before you, with you, in you, around you?
Or maybe we should all just talk about who is right about Sunday.


Dorothy said...

LOL! Okay, now I get it!

'What if GOD is picking and choosing?
What if, for my life to be authentic, I need to focus on certain elements of what He is, but for you, it's different?'

EXACTLY. Our lives, for example, Jackie, are quite different. But that's the way God planned it. He gave each of us different inherent strengths, passions, experiences etc. And, through the Holy Spirit, He then called each of us on a unique individual path to use them for His Glory.

Some of us heed that call and pursue it wholeheartedly. Others stand at the sidelines criticising those who are following God's call on their life.

Or as my Granny usd to say: 'Some people are doers. Some are complainers.'{g}

So many Christians want to try to BE the Holy Spirit in the lives of others. They aren't.

Dorothy said...

By the way, I meant to say this to you today:

May the 4th be with you.

Ellen said...

VERY well said (or written, to be pedantic), Jackie. And I needed to hear it. Not that I've been legalistic about others and their calling(s); I've been less than gracious about *my own*!

PlainJane said...

Good words Jackie. We are all growing in Him at different paces. No sense wasting our time making mountains out of mole hills - let's stick with what really matters for eternity.

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