Setting the Captives Free

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

He told us specifically to *not* lord over one another ... it's what the Gentiles, those who do not yet know God, tend to do -- it is an unction of the ego. Christianity has become (no, always was) ego-writ-large, and institutionalized.

Simple church (i.e., house church/organic church), in missing that, simply does the same thing, on a smaller, more intimate (often more damaging) scale.

Jesus taught us, through His life and actions, that nothing brings down the walls of division as much as acceptance does. When we learn this, when we can go to those we deem to be "sinners", those who we label as "errant", and give them the gift that Jesus gave (understanding and acceptance), we enhance their and our own spiritual growth. We can dare to see more worth in others than they can see in themselves -- just as Jesus did, and does, with us.

Change that's rooted in non-love doesn't solve anything -- have we not learned that? Have we not yet learned, throughout church history, that when we meet a problem with the same level of awareness (hate vs. hate, anger vs. anger, fear vs. fear), we only exacerbate the problem? Have we not yet learned of our penchant to act out of our own carnal/egoic desires, and to project it onto God, as if HE led us to exhibit hatred and sanctioned our self-righteousness?

Have we not yet learned that external conflicts are only mirrors of our own internal struggles (hence the mandate of how to contend with logs and specks)? When we see an external conflict -- particularly in one whom we deem to be errant and in need of correction -- it's an outward sign of what's going on within ourselves..! It's a message that we're in need of healing. We only see the "error" in another one, because of what's already within our own hearts. We project our own stuff onto others, because we don't *want* to see it in ourselves ... if we put it "out there," we get instead to scapegoat, blame, malign and cast out (we do this most dramatically with the devil) ... but the reality is we still have that very same error within our own hearts, only now we believe our own "story" that we got rid of it ... ensuring that we're all the more blind to our own stuff. Do we not see that this is the very hypocrisy that Jesus came against? The only thing that Jesus came against...

We have to come to see that the oppressor and the victim, the sinner and the sinned-against, the weak and the powerful, the evil and the righteous -- all exist within ourselves.

It's not overcome by a battle (a carnal/egoic thought in itself), but through the process of absorption ... darkness is a no-thing/nothing ... when Light is shined upon it, it evaporates, being absorbed by the Light ... so too is evil a no-thing, the shadow of resistance to God who is Omnipotent ... not a challenge to God, but only a challenge to our minds. As we think in our hearts, we are. We can change how we think in our hearts, as we look deeply, see the shadows, and allow the Light to shine, transforming us from the inside-out. Transformation happens by the renewal of our minds, not by the correcting of our (or anyone else's) behaviors.

Christianity has long been obsessed and fixated with fixing up the outsides of ourselves and others -- while ignoring the inner wounds that need healing. We shoot our wounded, and call it "ministry". We point fingers while ignoring what's going on within us. We tend to scream the loudest about that which we most strongly deny within ourselves.

Jesus met the sinners where they were, in the thick of their sin, looked deeply into them, saw what was there, loved them, embraced them, accepted them ... and only *then* said "go and sin no more"... after the assurance of *no condemnation*. Only then, only when we know that we are loved and accepted *while still sinners*, can we come to see that we no longer need to seek acceptance through counterfeit means, no longer need to seek identity through carnal/egoic means, no longer need to numb out self-hatred through self-medicating means ... when we know, really KNOW how much we are loved and accepted *while we still perceive ourselves to be God's enemies,* the darkness of our self-deception is obliterated and absorbed by His all-consuming Light, and we see ourselves - finally! - -as HE does, as the beloved, as the offspring of God that we always were (as Paul affirms), as the ones Jesus came to liberate from captivity -- and what holds us more in captivity than the very lies that we unknowingly believe...? (as Paul affirms, we are only enemies "in our minds")

He came to set the captives free ... to show us that we belong to God ... He still (& always will) leave the 99 to seek after the one (or one billion) who is lost ... seeking not until it's "too late", but seeking until He finds them. And when we are found by Him, what more do we need?

Maybe most of us don't yet know, really know, how much we are loved, how much we are treasured ... maybe most of us don't yet know that He has found us...?

If we knew, if we really knew ... how would we live? How would we respond to God? How would we see ourselves? How would we treat all others ...?

I love the opportunity the blogosphere affords to read the thoughts and opinions and experiences and transformations of others. One of those people is Dena, who I have been acquainted with for years via Lifestream and The God Journey etc. I just love what she shared here, and so I had to share it with you :)

You can read the whole post here, at her blog Shalom.

1 comment

  1. "Maybe most of us don't yet know, really know, how much we are loved, how much we are treasured ..."

    That's it, isn't it?

    Lots of blessings, big ones...



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