Divine Expectations

This is Christian Mysticism.

There is a very strong reason I play loosey-goosey with theology: Your brain cannot contain divine truth. God does not work in the brain in that sense; He works only in the heart. You convictions, written in your heart, are the fingerprints of God and your only connection to His divine moral character.

There’s a paradox we have to deal with. On the one hand, nothing in this world, and nothing that humans accomplish in this world, will even be remembered once Christ returns. Eternity will hold only dim recognition of how bad it was to live in a fallen state. At the same time, we have a critical mission in this world — so critical that there are no words for it. That’s because some of what we can do here in his fallen world does register in Eternity. And the only reason it registers is because it imprints on our eternal souls, not on the world itself.

You and I are obliged to use this fallen existence as a context in which we imprint on our souls the right things, and push against the wrong things. It’s the age old question of defining good and evil: Do we go with revelation or do we work it out for ourselves? Revelation says it’s not a question of what we do, but a question of what it does to us. It’s the morphing of our moral character. What we can know or do is a manifestation of that character, and that manifestation must be true and accurate. We must walk according to our convictions. That is the standard. There is no way we can objectify the standard to a body of information against which others can compare. Your convictions apply only to you. Whatever it is in your heart, your self-honesty and strength of will to obey your own conscience is the standard.

Thus, revelation includes a critical element in how we handle the inevitable differences between each other. There is this damned madness that envisions God as objectively consistent in what He demands, that somehow we aren’t holy if can’t come up with an agreed upon standard of knowledge and practice. We get the idea that we haven’t tried hard enough if everyone doesn’t get the same idea and actions. That’s a blasphemous lie. God most certainly does make us different from each other because that’s part of our design, His design. It’s part of the broader background of human existence against which we are driven to higher things.

Heaven is not some divine conformance. Heaven is not having to worry about conformity.

Union in Christ does not quell all the variations in what’s inside our heads. He didn’t die on the Cross to save our minds, in terms of intellectual context. He didn’t rise from the grave to grant a uniform orthodoxy and orthopraxy. He didn’t ascend to the Father so that we could all inherit the same brains. The Holy Spirit’s “mind” is not like that. It’s a “mind” in the heart, a uniformity of commitment to Christ. The variations that cause so much division in Christian religion is built into our earthly existence, and there is no solution. The only “solution” is to ignore the differences because they don’t matter.

What matters is the ability to obey and do what you find in your convictions. And a critical element in that is the commitment to God’s terms of peace with your fellow believers. That peace is not found in sterile uniformity of thought and action, but in defining boundaries and sufficient space between each other to avoid interference. Holiness is not removing friction, but handling the friction gracefully.

So the requirement from God here is learning how to live with the natural level of tension, to be graceful in bouncing off each other. It means taking a certain amount of emotional bruising from each other as essential to being alive after the Fall. It means ditching the childhood dreams of having a best buddy who is your mirror, who thinks and acts just like you. Sure, you might come close to that for seasons of your life, but don’t count on it. Take it as a blessing when it happens, but don’t pursue it as a goal. Learn to live with a certain sense of isolation from others in the flesh. Once you stop demanding an almost sexual level of communion with others, you can move beyond your instinctive disappointments and keep the peace and love of Christ alive.

Do I need to explain how human sexuality, and not just in the physical, but in the moral realm, is all messed up because we don’t understand how it’s supposed to work? Do I need to explain how our perverted longings interfere with the entire gamut of our social interactions with the whole human race? When we stop idolizing something that doesn’t exist, we are free to live sanely, according to how we are actually designed.

Meditate for a moment on all the sin in our lives that would evaporate if we simply got a better, clearer image of what God really expects of us.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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2 Responses to Divine Expectations

  1. Iain says:

    The only “solution” is to ignore the differences because they don’t matter.
    I agree with that one wholeheartedly. It was the reason I got involved in the church I belong to. Sadly, the man responsible for that small church being a jewel retired, he was 79 at the time. Now it’s just another Evangelical Church that, I rarely attend.

    Like

  2. Jay DiNitto says:

    Kind of reiterating what you’re stating here: a lot of conflict arise simply because we put too much value on certain things. That’s stating it objectively, but in reality it’s because we don’t value the same things God values, which in reality is very little. We hold things too tightly that can be squandered or attacked, and putting less value on those things leads to an abundance of peace.

    Like

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