Monday, April 30, 2012

How should new covenant people fast?

Ok, so we’re looking at the New Covenant prophecies, specifically lately, Isaiah chapters 40 – 66. I am going to posit parts of Isaiah 58 in a bulleted list, and I would invite you to look at all the bullet points and consider the church as you experience it today, and perform a mental inventory to see if most of the list actually fits your experience. I am going to eliminate the verse numbers and just place it in a bulleted list:
  • Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?
  • "Is not this the fast that I choose:
  • to loose the bonds of wickedness,
  • to undo the straps of the yoke,
  • to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
  • Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house;
  • when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
  • Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
  • and your healing shall spring up speedily;
  • your righteousness shall go before you;
  • the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
  • Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
  • you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.'
  • If you take away the yoke from your midst,
  • the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
  • if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
  • then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong;
  • and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isa 58:5-12)
There is a whole group of evangelicals that are fasting and praying all the time. They have shut ins and group fasts. Perhaps they would do well to look at this bulleted list. How much of this list could just as easily be applied to evangelical Christianity, especially the Pentecostal wing. Is it just me or have self righteous people always been angry, judgmental and cruel?

Removing the pointing of the finger could be universal to both the Pentecostal,  and non-Pentecostal evangelical institution. Evangelical Christianity as a whole is pretty judgmental and they base it on their particular read of the scripture. More often than not they do not even consider that they perhaps are reading scripture wrong.  Likewise, it would be prudent to consider Matthew 25:31-46 and Matthew 5:16. Jesus encouraged them to let their light shine before men that others may see the good works, and thereby glorify their Father which is in heaven. I am not saying that there is no group in institutional, evangelical, Christianity which promotes social justice, but they are far more rare than should be the case… especially given the above scripture passages. Is it possible that fasting as practiced today is an attempt to manipulate God much like in the day of Israel?

What if we really are new covenant people, completely under the new covenant? What if much of current Christian doctrine and dogma is in fact the strong delusion mentioned in 2Thess 2:11? What if now is the ripe time for the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God? Not some supra holy group of people that follow all of the biblical laws to a tee, but rather, men and women, boys and girls that are certain that they are children of God… that they love God so much, and are at complete peace and rest with him, that they begin to love supernaturally. The supernatural love is the characteristic that makes them the obvious (synonym for manifest) sons and daughters of the living loving God?

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