Sometimes I almost despair of explaining how radically different is the postmodern Western worldview versus that of the ancient Hebrew. We have two millennia of Christian history built on lies-in-effect because the words of Scripture are read through hostile alien eyes. The writings of the Early Church Fathers gives evidence that they had already ceased using their hearts to guide their minds. They succumbed to the lie that it was necessary to adopt whatever was the secular mindset in order to spread the gospel message.
The initial pressure for this came from the Judaizers, a manipulative trick to sidetrack true faith from the heart. Over the centuries more secularizing influences washed over the organized churches and by the time the leadership was confronted with the invading hordes of Germanic tribes, they simply made one more intellectual shift to accommodate an alien worldview that became the foundation of Western Christianity.
They had all forgotten what Paul had written about how God does the convicting and changing of hearts, that God alone can awaken spiritual awareness. The doctrine of our fallen nature was so thoroughly watered down that the Church leadership openly taught that the human intellect was not fallen, a flat contradiction to Scripture. The same burning desire for political power drove them to insist that faith could not be individual, but must fall under the control of religious leadership. The entire range of understanding of the Spirit Realm became superstitious woo-woo, a superstition the church adamantly embraced as a powerless orthodoxy.
While they used the same wording, the Church flatly denied the very real power of the heart-mind and its very real connection to the Moral Realm of revelation. The Western Church talks about heart-religion but had disemboweled its meaning and power long before it even became organized enough to publish the canon of Scripture.
Thus, any discussion of what constitutes a “normal Christian life” is so deeply stained with falsehood that we dare not accept any part of it. Rather, we are forced to rebuild the whole thing from our own individual heart-mind contemplation.
For example, when I tell you that you are obliged by the gospel to defend your dominion, you should naturally know that it encompasses the whole range of human possibilities. There is no one proper and orthodox response to a human intrusion into your divine calling. Your heart knows if you will listen, but it could be anything between silent resignation to active violent resistance. To exclude the latter end is a peculiar Western perversion that takes the teachings of Jesus out of their historical and moral context. Jesus the man would Himself reject the notion of “propositional truth” because it was alien to the assumptions behind Scripture itself.
To assert that physical violence itself is a sin amounts to slapping God in the face. We can surely assert with confidence that most human physical violence is wrong, but not because of the action itself, but the sinful motives. This whole debate comes in the same package that labels God’s Old Testament character as primitive an barbaric, as if our Western Civilization with all its prissy hypocrisy is somehow what God actually meant to create in the first place.
The real answer is that we refuse to engage in physical violence when it is inconsistent with His revelation. It’s a damned lie to insist that all violence is wrong. It would be more accurate to say that “most violence is wrong.” That’s because it’s not our default in broad terms, nor was it the default in the Old Testament. But to assert that the people of God did not actually know Him is beyond insane. To assert that He could not possibly command Israel to engage in what we now call “genocide” is also passing judgment on God Himself. Western Man, get over yourself.
As we seek to restore the God of Creation and the Father of Jesus Christ to our lives, it is not inherently evil to yell angrily at someone who goes too far in promoting evil. If your mind is not open to letting the heart choose that as an unpleasant option, then you are denying God and His revelation. People keep forgetting that Jesus cracked that whip in the Temple. They keep trying to explain that away. The Bible differentiates between a noble and just defense and violence as an evil reflex. We can’t use it for the same political ends as secular human culture, but we must follow the example of Our Savior in resisting — even if only symbolically — blasphemy. We always hold our redemption, but only on God’s terms.
Stop redefining God by the prevailing secular culture and get to know Him as a Person through the sensory heart. Don’t let your intellect rule, because that is the Fall in itself. Be cautions but not fearful. Accept the consequences because faithfulness starts with obeying your heart. We must dismiss the notion of making a heaven on earth, and seek to redeem each moment by pointing to things in a higher realm. Not some airy-fairy imaginary realm, but the Ultimate Reality that is more real than this world. Your heart is the only part of your consciousness capable of touching that Ultimate Reality.