November 22, 2016

Church Cleaning

Prior to the start of the worship service announcements scrolled through on the video screens in the front of the auditorium. One scheduled event had the caption “Cleaning the Church” and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself when the image of Jesus arriving at the temple in Jerusalem on cleaning day flashed through my mind. “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” (Mark 11:15-17 NIV).

2 comments:

Steve Corey said...

Gail;

-----I often think the church has needed a good cleaning since, well, maybe about the third or fourth century. Maybe, considering the early heresies, the second century could have used a little scrubbing, too. And it always kind of miffed me that nobody has ever cleaned up the church. But only kind of. Because nobody’s hands are near clean enough to scrub in His Holy Church. Nobody’s heart is pure enough to sort through God’s field, plpucking weed by weed, and leaving His wheat standing. But like you see, Jesus’ hands are clean enough, and His heart is pure enough. But even He currently leaves weeds in the field until harvest.
-----And even the wheat, every stalk of it, is flawed in its character and false in its flesh, though true in spirit, favoring the Spirit from the heart and choosing the Lord in the mind. Still, none are actually righteous. Not one. However, “…through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” (Eph 3:10) This is interesting, seeing the church is all fractured into a thousand walled off denominations of faullty little souls, at which, unlike what Christ prayed for (John 17:21,) the world denies God sent Him having seen no unity amongst His followers. What’s the gig?
-----I may not be right about this, but over the years, it has come to make some sense to me. It was asked Sunday, “Why the Millennium? What purpose does it serve?” That question is related to what might be up with this church gig. We can see from Eph 3:10 that amongst God’s purposes in history is one of making stuff known to His angels, “the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” They never knew sin until Lucifer gave it a shot. They saw his single spark of sin spread by its distorting influence. But could that weed, Lucifer, have been plucked up from the field of holy angels without undue destruction to them? Did they know every last scintilla of sin had to be annihilated for life to be eternal? Were they willing to choose that annihilation knowing it meant the loss of their dearly beloved Lucifer?
-----Is the misery of this temporal life a demonstration of the importance of annihilating Lucifer and the necessity for each soul to favor such annihilation? There has been four paradigms of how man has related to the problem of sin on the one hand, God on the other, and how righteousness might become complete again. From “the bite of the apple” until the flood, men had known about God and were left to act righteously. Cain, although a murderer, was protected against any vengeance, kind of like there wasn‘t any law. But they didn’t do right. In a big way they didn’t. So that arrangement failed, as Satan wandered. From Noah’s sacrifice after the flood until now, God commands men to avenge murder, governing one another through law. Still murder and mayhem thrived as Satan wandered. So God chooses a people to live amongst and demonstrate His reality and love through His power to secure and bless. But even those people who saw truly great things done by the Lord failed to regard neither His Law nor His presence amongst them, and murder and mayhem continued as Satan wandered.
-----So God grants grace and takes up dwelling within His people, making their spirits alive by reconnection with His Spirit. Still they bicker. They fight. They burn each other at the stake. And they generally abuse one another daily, as Satan wanders.
(continued…)

Gail Marvel said...

(…continued)

-----God has left man to his own devices completely, has called man to govern himself, has come and dwelt amongst man doing great works of wonder, and has even given man a get-out-of-jail-free card and taken up residence within the freed ones, and still murder, mayhem, chaos thrives. It’s time for the capper, the punch line, God’s thesis statement to man and all His angels: unless all sin is non-existent, eventually all things would become sinful (in other words, all things must be turned over to Christ, who is our righteousness and the truth.) Therefore, the spewing little source of sin, Satan, is chained up and thrown into the bottomless pit. Then righteousness, peace, and joy spread across the earth in more than great bounty, even as a most natural way of being and simply part of the environment. And notice, not only is Satan no longer wandering, but Christ is now present and ruling. All those who chose Him before are eternal and perfect beings assisting His rule, being full-up with the Holy Spirit. And the mortals are in agreement with Him because they’re seeing systemic righteousness instead of systemic evil.
-----It is rather commonly thought that the first generation of these millennial mortals believe in Christ and give birth to a generation who rejects Him, because towards the end of the thousand years, every one launches an attack on Jerusalem and Jesus. Maybe that is an element in the mix of it. But the demonstrated point is that Satan has been loosed and evil has returned. His evil spirit is once again crafting influence in the hearts of the mortals, and he crafts fast and to the point ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK! Splat! Game over. Demonstration made.
-----Every being who is to reside with God forever, whether it be man, angel, or otherwise, has seen that sin spreads from a source -Satan. The only way eternity can be perfectly righteous is if there is no possibility of sin or error or another Satan. These must be written out of the “laws of spiritual physics”. God could not have just summarily vanquished evil as soon as Lucifer created it, because God is not a Nazi. He extends free will. Moreover, He is a Father. He creates to give, being a giver. All men who accepted Christ have lived through evil and have pled with God to vanquish it. All angels who chose to remain with God have watched the poor children slog through the mires of wickedness and plea for Him to vanquish evil. All His beings together, having seen the effects of even the slightest scintilla of evil and from where it comes, ask the Giver to write evil out of the laws of spiritual physics. And forevermore, even the slightest mistake is a non-existent possibility. Nor did a Nazi do it. A Giver did, because His loved ones saw its necessity and asked.
-----Or so it seems to me. It just kind of appears like why God’s manifold wisdom is made known through a bunch of forgiven rapscallions until the wheat’s brought home and the tares are burned.

Love you all,
Steve Corey