Friday, September 16, 2016
Root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant
See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
(Jeremiah 1:10 KJV)
It is time for a little deconstruction. It is time to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down. The goal? To build and to plant. I used the word deconstruction aware of its philosophical meaning, and yes, it is appropriate, but I am also using it in the sense of the opposite of construct. In this sense construct means to build and deconstruct means to tear apart or unbuild. For roughly two thousand years now, orthodoxy has been constructing Christian doctrine. It forms the presuppositions that most theologians adhere to. I realize that there are those theologians who have deconstructed in the strict philosophical meaning and have also deconstructed much of Christian doctrine in the way I mean. However, to use an appropriate overworked cliché… they have thrown the baby out with the bath water. My purpose is different. I want to present a cleansed baby. I do not want to remove the mystical. I do not want to diminish the Holy Spirit to superstition. I want to try to uncover the significance of the cross, the gospel, and the resurrection within the frame work of the meaning of the first century authors. I want to identify their cultural beliefs, their historical context, grammatical context, and from that recover their intended meaning.
I do not simply believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a good man, a prophet, and an agent of social and religious change. I believe that there was spiritual significance to his death, burial and resurrection. I believe that it held significant benefit for mankind. I believe that Jesus was indeed the Savior of the world. I also believe that while he brought a way of natural salvation to the first century Jews, one many of them rejected, he, on a larger scale, brought spiritual salvation to all. I believe that he accomplished this by the working of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with his death, burial and resurrection. In fact, the Holy Spirit used and uses his death, burial and resurrection as a means of assuring us that we have been reconciled to God. Further that we have been brought back to the awareness of God’s view of mankind that was expressed in the ancient text in Genesis 1:31.
However, the larger problem looming today in Christian circles is the doctrine/dogma that so many have called orthodoxy. Much of Christian doctrine was constructed over the years to simply control people for the benefit of the clerics. We should not be surprised by the multimillionaire televangelists of today. After all, the popes over the years had wealth at their disposal way beyond anything that the modern day wealthy religious leader have. I should add that not all of the control is meant to acquire wealth in the name of Jesus and the church. A lot of it is to simply sustain the clerical position of control over people to get them to do what they want them to do, whether it is to pay for buildings, or attend services. A whole lot of the dogma is there simply to sustain the institution.
It is because of this that deconstruction is so important. Many advocate just letting the Holy Spirit direct people to the truth. The problem with this is most are so indoctrinated that it is difficult to even hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine and dogma is so entrenched, and so debilitating that it is very difficult for anyone to break free of it. Most people sadly believe that they too must throw out the baby with the bath water to get free of the clutches of Christian doctrine. There are so many people in bondage to the way that orthodoxy has interpreted scripture. It is difficult to escape for most people. This is why I have devoted so many key strokes to presenting a paradigm shift that will allow one to read the scripture and reject the oppressive rule of men and women. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a way to look at and interpret scripture that will present the baby cleansed and vibrant.
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