Monday, November 6, 2017

Tipping point or turning point

I believe we have reached a new norm in our country. It is driven from the top down and is fueled by individual imposition of rights by force of will. It is rooted in the conviction that my opinion is the correct opinion simply because it is mine and features perpetual anger, the dehumanization of any and all opponents, resolute refusal to listen and devotion to ideology over humanity and the common good. 

Jesus, on the other hand, taught a way of life that stands diametrically opposed to the norms of His day and ours as well. His way must be recovered if we are to move forward. Speaking out from the pulpit is not enough; simply knowing about Jesus changes little. A renewed focus on discipleship is required-a new way of living and interacting with one another based following Jesus as Lord, undertaken to produce the personal transformation (or sanctification, if you prefer) seen in the Christian Scriptures. The stakes are high but the reward is great. It is time to put politics aside and come together. The ancient way can and must be recovered. 

“To whom will he teach knowledge,
and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk,
those taken from the breast?
For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.” (Isa 28:9-10, ESV)

Isaiah repeats this refrain two times. Many commentators believe the words in the original Hebrew may be gibberish; the point being since Isaiah’s hearers believed his warnings nonsense they would hear true nonsense-in a foreign tongue as they are being led away into captivity. Isaiah’s words also have a modern day application-line upon line, precept upon precept may be understood as the way of discipleship, or the way foolishness (cf. 1 Co1:18-31). 

I suggest we (and especially me) might begin with an extended meditation on Phi 2:1-11. If we are ever to eliminate our incessant desire to have everything our way all the time, this is the place to start. Several days minimum would be good; a week or more is not out of the question. Remember, we are not accumulating knowledge here but learning a new way of being. I would even be so bold as to suggest reading Ps 130 before and Ps 131 after your meditation. I would love to hear how this works for you.