*DISCLAIMER: THIS WORK REFLECTS MY ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND MY CALL TO MY FAITH. I SHARE IT WITH THE NOTE THAT, WHILE SOMETIMES INSIGHTFUL, IT IS SOMETIMES MISGUIDED AND POTENTIALLY HARMFUL IF NOT VIEWED IN SUBMISSION TO A MORE DEVELOPED BIBLICAL THOUGHT PROCESS. THOUGH IT WAS A PART OF MY SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT, I DO NOT CONSIDER THIS A COMPLETELY DEVELOPED BIBLICAL TEACHING. UNTIL I TAKE TIME TO RECONSIDER CERTAIN POINTS, I WOULD NOT USE IT AS ANYTHING MORE THAN AN INTERESTING HISTORICAL NOTE OF MY DEVELOPMENT.
We are the freaks. We know something is wrong with the world and we refuse to sit idly by and watch it slip into oblivion taking with it humanity and the things that we hold most dear; the things that we love. Nature calls to us that life is about survival of the fittest and humanity echoes it without thinking, but we know better. Death haunts us day in and day out shaping the way we live our lives down to the minute details. We all lived to escape something the mass consciousness has deemed as the very act of living; death. In spite of this, we rebel in seeming disarray of the design; we are anomalies of the system. Seemingly thousands if not millions of us exist connected by a single acknowledgment, a statement of faith, hope, and love summed up in what becomes the standard of truth.
The truth of our rebellion lies in its simplicity. It lies in its ability to be absolute. No extensive hypothetical or theories could give credence to our particular pathology. The one supposition that we follow, the one fact presented by our ranks is perhaps the most unforgiving and judgmental reality ever presented, and it is with such sincerity and conviction that it must be presented. It is the essence of truth that those who agree with it are either with absolute certainty correct, or they are unmistakably insane. This is the position we adhere to, this is the line we walk. Believe what we believe and nature and all of its facets will seek your destruction. Live the way we live and you will be a foreigner in your own country.
We are the outcast, dispersed by intelligent design from the system, that there might be a remnant until the nature of death turns on itself, that even in death there might be life. Our battle begins in the soul and extends to all of its parts outward. After the soul agrees with the truth, the mind must be taught how to restructure human nature to its original state. The soul fears in reverence and awe, and the mind acknowledges its proclamation, and what was once a life of dying, becomes the practical outworking of life everlasting. We emphasize the soul and its need for the truth, and we demand the body evidence this conversion, but we leave the mind to wage its own battles with temptations and lies, usurping its purpose and cheapening its functions. Our minds must be ready at all times to give a defense for what the soul knows as truth, but how many of our people know why they rebel against death? How many people know what the truth is? How many of our people stand at the forefront of battle with an outstretched sword but not the knowledge of how to hold it, or the skill to wield it.
When we were an openly persecuted people, we had no choice but to understand the nature of the battle, its weapons, and its beast, but its methods have changed. The once outrageous and blatant atrocities became things of myth and legend and eventually fiction, but they are very real. With less and less need for defense of brutal attacks, there was less and less need to learn the defense stratagems and skills to defend them, until they too faded into fantasy, but they too are a reality. The brutality of the beast didn’t disappear, it merely assumed a different form, one of subterfuge. Instead of outright engaging our ancestors who walked with our Lord, he waited until they died leaving a generation of soldiers who had only their faith to uphold the lines of defense. He has been waiting and waiting, and he is still waiting. He has waited so long that most within our tiny rebellious camp no longer see him for what he is, but a red devil with a pitchfork and horns or a being of pure darkness, and when he finally attacks, we will not recognize him without much discernment.
The need to be prepared for what was once urgent, to know why and how and when to fight are now no longer seen as a need, but as a choice. And as one of the billion choices processed every minute, it is often swept to the wayside. We may have dropped our guard over time, but make no mistake when the beast attacks, he will not have an army that is untrained and unready for the fight. Within their camp, they have been learning the skills necessary to fight us on a different plane… a mental one.
We believe that our salvation lies in the soul, and indeed it does, but the soul can not be accessed by just any means. The beast cannot fight for your soul because it is to guarded. You would never give that up willingly, but the mind is readily accessible, meant to assimilate any information that it is given, and it is on this front that the battle is waging. It is a front that is hidden from both your soul and your body. Thusly if you take the mind, then both soul and body are revealed.
The beast has not come out and revealed himself, but through his followers he is actively seeking to delude and convolute our minds so that they will be ripe for his coming. When he comes, how many will have such control over their entire assimilation process, that they will be able to make their claims with lucidity? Better yet, how many of us soldiers are ready now? What responsibility do we have to our fellow soldiers? I would submit that we have a responsibility to wage war here and now (militis est pugnares) with our minds, in our minds. We must teach our soldiers to see with lucidity if they are to fight with lucidity. The war has already been won but the question is how many of us will be left standing when victory is tasted. We can watch God’s plan unfold, or we can be unfolded. We can affect the world for the will of the Father with purpose and conviction or we can succumb to our own desires. We do have a choice, but it is not whether “to fight or not to fight?” but rather on which side we will fight. Our plight is nothing more, and nothing less. We cannot escape our involvement in the outworking of God’s will but we can choose whether to be Judas, or Peter. This is the time to stand up and choose what you will be counted for. The time is now. This is a call to arms. This is Lucid Apologetics.
The Idea of Truth
Part one WHAT DO WE FIGHT?
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the absolute authority on the condition and fate of mankind, and that reality itself rests on the shoulders of its messiah, Jesus. The confession of faith is doctrinal and essential to the validity of the bible and it is this point that must be examined. At the central issue of any argument lies its truth in life, and our ability to give in to that proposition is called faith. Thusly faith as the central outworking of truth requires that an absolute value( or truth) must be established. In other words, a true discussion of faith and its implications would not necessarily be whether the object of faith is worthy of it, but instead, whether there should be anything that is worthy of value. Since value maintains an absolute judgment of worth, a true discussion of faith is not at all about abstract theological ponderences, but rather about truth itself.
This is witnessed in the implications of every Christian ideology or doctrine. It is present in everything from the fall of man, to the resurrection of Christ, and apologists have argued these points for years by virtue of faith and scripture recitals. Their work was instrumental in helping to further doctrinalize ideas such as the “Trinity” and the “deity of Christ.” They were not arguing at the heart of the arguments, but rather on the basis that what they believed was, and is in fact a more superior wisdom than what was philosophically present. To put it differently, a person does not always propose an argument believing that he is correct, but rather that the other party is wrong. Thusly to argue that your position is right only seeks to justify the position that the argument which you are opposed to is not right, but does not in itself address your position as the plaintiff as being right. If someone argues against you faith, but cannot prove, or provide a viable replacement, he very rarely succeeds in his attempt to educate you. Although this is beneficial to leaving your faith in tact, it will not dissuade the plaintiff, but probably encourage him that there is no sanity in your logic. The only time that this may have a different effect is when the plaintiff has already come to the same conclusion as us, and is seeking holes in the theology itself, which in itself is an acknowledgment that he agrees in the existence of such things. An example of this is Atheism which denies the existence of anything related to a god of any type, and yet is consumed with justifying that idea. This is illogical because if God didn’t exist, than they would already feel justified in their stance and would not need to prove it true, but in trying to justify their claim, they have made themselves into a reaction when they claim to be without a catalyst. In like manner, the agnostic claims to not have defining knowledge on god, but purports to be an authority on his lack of knowledge, on the very subject he claims to know nothing about. There must always be something to react to if a reaction is to occur. Thus, these people they already know the truth of the theology, but like the plaintiff they simply don’t like it. To these people, the writings of the apologists apply. These were people who were angry with what they had been told, and through miscommunication and hypocritical actions were told something wrong. Their problems were addressed in a way that was necessary for all to hear who had faith, acknowledged or otherwise, but the argument of scriptures validity is a very different enemy, and thus a very different fight..
We as believers have been addressing since our existence the issues brought up by these people, by reaffirming our theology but very few of us have tried to address them using their reality. They ask us questions to toy with our psyches and reaffirm theirs like, “Could God create a rock that he can’t move?” and then they laugh as we try to illustrate to them a faith based answer. The problem with that question is the same as the problem with our answers. Simply put, you cannot imply one reality while enforcing the rules of another. Questions like this are faithless, they are bent on destroying absolutes, not dealing with them; thusly, a faith based answer would never be an appropriate answer.
The Christian community at large is stunned and horrified to even try to deal with such questions. They cop out with statements like, “The Bible just doesn’t teach us certain things,” or “We just have to have faith.” These answers in no way address the needs of those who need God, they in fact dissuade even more the questioner, who is now convinced that the church does indeed lack the absolute truth. It is my firm belief that it is our responsibility to these people, over and above those who know the truth, whether acknowledged or not, to seek to answer these questions. Christ himself said that he was here for the sick, not the well.
My mentor, a semi-gray haired Irish preacher, who happens to be my father, terms these types of questions as “theological nonsense.” I would take that concept one step further to call them “logical nonsense.” Not because the question itself is preposterous, but because the building blocks of the question are lacking sense. This observation is almost always the key to answering a question of this sort. It should give us an idea of the way that we should answer it. When something is nonsense, it is devoid of sense, as in what can be determined by the senses. We thusly have the form of the question, and the path that it breaks down. We can follow this path by deconstruction to find the true meaning and thus the answer of the question. When a question of this nature is asked, it has been my experience that one usually points out that the person asking doesn’t truly want an answer. I would say to those who would believe this that the very presence of a question demands that some sort of justification for a point is being sought out. I believe that they are looking for an answer, but what is more likely is that they don’t believe that they will get one that makes sense, and this is because their question is built on a faulty premise to begin with.
Therefore to answer this question without showing the faults in the question, is to not give an answer at all, but rather to encourage the faulty premise it is built on, as if there is no answer to obvious paradoxes. Deconstruction is then the first step in answering any such questions. In order to demonstrate this, let us use the earlier question of, “Could God create a rock that he can’t move?” as an example.
The first step of deconstruction is observation of the construct itself. What is the question asking with all of its hidden intended clauses in place? If I were asking the same question a different way, I would phrase it like so, “Could an all powerful God, bring something into existence that He is powerless to control, such as a rock?” When stated this way, a couple things are brought out about the question. Firstly are the contradictory intended clauses such as, “all powerful,” and “powerless.” Second is the existence of two realities coexisting at an equal level: There is the reality of faith, and the reality of empirical truth. The intended clauses are obviously set up in the construct of the question in order to create a seemingly contradictory reality which is witnessed by the equal existence of power, with impotence concerning a rock.
The second part of this process of communication is the actual deconstruction itself. It is safe to say that the question itself does not work semantically as it has been constructed, and that the nature of the implied clauses support that not only does it not work, but that its inquisitor asked it for the reason that it appears to show that faith and truth cannot work together. Thusly the question that is being asked is not, “could God create a rock that he can’t move?” but rather “Why is an all powerful being seemingly powerless in certain areas?” This is the lucid reality of the question, not weighed down by the disguise of needless verbal dressings and unrelated inanimate objects. When the question, broken down to this level, it can be reassessed and addressed in such a way that a useful answer can be given to a question that is seemingly nonsense. The question, of “Could God create a rock that he can’t move?” is a question not of faith, but of truth. Within the question is an implied idea about power; that power cannot be held back, or in submission to anything else, and thusly God would be powerless if he could and or couldn’t follow through with the task in the question. Therefore the truth being presented by the question is that God is powerless because power cannot be submitted. Herein lies the fault of the question. The answer doesn’t lie in our faith in God, but rather in our understanding of power through empirical truth. Power is an ability, a freedom to apply a constant, and an “all powerful” being, would be that constant. Submission of that power does not change whether that power exists or not, it simply implies whether that power is being enacted to show its domineering abilities. It should also be noted that power has other ways of expression besides its ability to domineer, and one of those is that of submission. Therefore, the idea that something could be devoid of power simply on the basis of its ability to submit its own power to itself is preposterous. If its loss of power through submission to itself is thusly a flawed concept, then giving an answer to the question is no longer a no-win scenario in which the believer can be entrapped by. It becomes an opportunity to show the truth of both faith, and empirical observation to our inquisitor as a truth that is harmonious. We do this through reconstruction of the construct, to a construct that can be understood. The dialogue would be similar to this:
Them: “Can God create a rock he can’t move?”
Us: “Yes, I believe so.”
Them: “Then God couldn’t be all powerful.”
Us: “Why not?”
Them: “Because an all powerful being can’t not be able to do something.”
Us: “Power has nothing to do with how a being enacts it or not. Not doing something is often times just as much a show of power as doing something.”
This answer forces the inquisitor to see things differently, and thus his mind is open to a restructure that is based upon a truth that accepts that faith is in harmony with empirical truth.
For to long, the fight for scriptural supremacy over mankind’s wisdom has been fought with our faith through the use of the scriptures alone. Our own scriptures tell us that faith is a shield, but truth is the weapon. Empirical truth is where they are fighting with us. We cannot any longer rely on the belief of the truth to simply be right. We must know what that truth is, broken down and inside and out. With everything, we must assess it, deconstruct it, and then reconstruct is to find every possible flaw. For too long we have allowed the “Trojan Horses” into our gates. We must take the doctrine and dogma and scrutinize it thoroughly, and we must not fear the outcome, because if it is the truth, there’s nothing you can do to change it. We must be well versed in our faith, and why it is empirically relevant. With this said, we move on to finding the real story; to answer the question that so few have dared to ponder without their shield down and their weapons out. We will learn to trust our sword as we answer the question of “Why?”
Part two WHY DO WE FIGHT?
Apologetics, as it applies to Christianity is quite succinctly “the art of defending the faith.” This defense is of the faith by the faith and its tenants. Lucid Apologetics, as it applies to Christianity is true to this cause, but it is not summed up in this alone. To be lucid is to be aware, and have a sense of clarity; the type that is specifically obtained by allowing light to shine through it. It is a moment of clarity within an otherwise insane environment. That sense of lucidity is what is being defended with lucid apologetics. It is a defense of a clear concise outline of reality, not so much dependent upon the staples of faith, but rather upon the staples that faith is based upon. It is to this end that we explore the tenants of faith, not in order to strengthen our shield, but that we may become a master of the spiritual sword.
We do not apologize for our faith, because our faith is in itself its own defense; we apologize for the truths that every man connects with. These truths are self evident, but are being challenged despite their evidence because they are being justified by faith, but not by empirical evidence. In order to carry out this task, we must have an in-depth knowledge of the tenants of faith, but also of the empirical evidence and reason that they are necessary and useful to every human being. The truths that we will learn to defend have been called “self evident” because they show themselves in nature and life all around us.
This is our advantage in this battle. If a person is truly looking for truth, they only need to pay attention to find it. Our problem is not that the seeker can’t find the truth, but that he can’t see it. Something has been altered in a person’s perception when they cannot tell a truth from a lie; that person’s ability to recognize that truth is either impeded or done away with all together. This is the problem that we run up against in the current social climate. Central to this issue is the debate on truth itself. “Is there such a thing as truth?” If a seeker of the truth follows this question through to its fullest logical conclusion, he will be startled by its implications. If there is no truth, then there is no right or wrong, with no system of values, there is no consequence. With no consequence, we lose the need for judgment in Hell or Heaven. With no destination, there is no point to the journey. Since life and death don’t matter, there is no need for salvation from death. With no need for salvation, there is no need for a savior. Without a savior, we can only depend upon ourselves, and finally with nothing out there that is beyond us, there is no God.
With this startling realization, the seeker drops into a state of denial and then anger. This is a common psychological truth. After a loss is realized, it is first denied and if acceptance of this loss cannot be achieved, then the item lost must be replaced in order to maintain a semblance of structure. This is the case with those who realize that they have lost God. They fight to believe that they have truth, when it is clear by its attributes that truth is not what they have. They fall deeper into denial by giving their truth a different name and this gives them enough sense of structure to stay alive, but with the reality of their loss easily thrown in their face. These people often become angry when the reality they’ve established is brought into question, because their true condition is exposed, if only in brief. Soon depression takes over and they must accept and resolve, or seek a more drastic replacement. The extreme replacement for the initial lost object becomes more and more intense, driven by an almost euphoric and surreal form of wishful thinking coupled with the memories of past experiences. This leads to delusion regarding the object of interest, and once delusion sets in, the need to express something that has become a part of the person, coupled with the need for self expression as well as the need for punishment of the object for leaving, can cause the person to develop a sort of multiple personality disorder. They begin to slowly believe and act like they are the very object that they lost, because the loss was to much for them to accept. In short, they begin to believe that they are in fact God.
I am not purporting that every person who denies God believes that he is God in practice, but rather that given encouragement, he will come to that conclusion. We see evidence of this delusion within the teachings of every religious movement and school of thought to date. The movement of the social climate is toward finding the good in yourself and or humanity, and the Bible teaches us that a time is coming soon where this theology will manifest itself in the shape of a man, “the Man of Lawlessness.” Using the observations we have made about the need for law and truth, is a reality where a man claims his is God such a far fetched concept?
The social climate has already widely accepted its responsibility to evolve into the God it shall be. We cannot in good logic or conscience assume that the day is not coming when one man will lead people in the consummation of that lie. The book of Jude describes such a time when the conscience of mankind will be seared off with a hot iron. This will be a time when wrong and right will be burned away, and in place of the man with law in his heart, there will stand a man of lawlessness. Our current newspapers and news programs tell us that exact same story; all that is missing from it is the man, the antichrist. Although the condition of the lawless heart personifies itself in a single individual, it is evident that the condition is preceding its avatar. A cause needs a leader, but before that leader comes, he must have a cause to lead. That cause is spiritual lawlessness, and when he finally makes himself manifest, there will already be a people to fall in line behind him. All of this will occur because the current social climate has been conditioned in such a way that they cannot tell a truth from a lie. This is where the battle is held: in truth, for the truth, by the truth. Now that we know why we fight, and what we fight for, the question through deconstruction of our own reason for fighting is why we believe; what inspires the reason for fighting?
Part three WHY DO WE BELIEVE WE SHOULD FIGHT?
When a faithless person asks why we have faith, he is not asking “what we believe?” so much as what makes us believe it. If I said “I believe that the world is flat,” the person would not ask me again what I believe, but “Why?” Therefore it is not necessary so much to explain the “what” we believe unless there is some dispute on that matter. The truth of the situation is that most who are without faith are already aware of the facts of it, they simply don’t understand how it relates to them. Just as a leader needs a cause to exist before he can lead it, so must a cause to believe exist before you can believe. It is a sad reality that more without faith than with faith know the “what” of Christianity.
This is why apologetics proper is necessary within the church. It equips the believer with the “what.” However, we are more concerned with outreach and the “why,” so we must start where we always start. What is the deconstruction of the statement “I believe.” The implied clause within this statement could rephrase the sentence to this, “It is necessary for me to think this certain way.” The statement of necessity in “I believe,” begs the question of “what makes belief necessary?” It implies a condition wherein an absolute rendering of reality must be established. Absolutes imply truths, and truth is something the faithless lack. This is why a faith based answer does not work for these people; it means nothing to them. When a faithless person asks,
“what do you believe?” and you reply,
“I believe that Christ died for my sins and rose again on the third day.”
This means nothing to them because it does not answer their question. Their question is not “what do you believe?” but rather “why do you believe?” and this question is a cry for understanding. “Why” is a question that implies justification. It is a question that asks for a personal response, and anything that is personal toward the receiver is just as personal to the initiator. Thusly the question could be understood to mean not “why do you believe?” but rather, “why should I believe?”
We often confuse this question with “what should I believe?” and thus alienate the initiator from our answer. Clearly this is not the response to take with someone who has opened their personal questions up to you. They are clearly looking for a personal response, to a personal question. They are not looking for something so textbook that it is degrading and belittling to them.
Earlier I stated that the question, “What do you believe?” implies a personal question regarding a necessity that we have. That necessity is clearly outlined within scripture as being the result of sin. The scriptures teach that we were created perfect and in one act of self above God’s will, we lost our communion with him, and our perfection. If I were to tell someone what I believe, I would give him the story that is personal and that he can relate to. The story would be about my lack of perfection; the fact that I know that no matter how hard I try to do right, I can only do wrong. I would tell him that I was hopeless and might as well have been dead. This may seem morose, but it is the reason for my belief. If I didn’t know my need to have faith, I would never have it. Clearly this is the first part of an answer to the question. They would ask me:
“What do you believe?” and I would tell them.
“I believe that I need something other than me, because alone, my life is pointless, and I might as well be dead.”
With this said, the next question they will ask will show its true personal tone. The question they will ask is “why?” They will either ask “Why do you feel hopeless?” or they will agree. Either way, you have successfully established a premise to build upon. The building itself will be the hope that comes from knowing Christ. This as well cannot be expressed in terms of facts in Christ’s life, but rather facts of what Christ has done in your life. Show them how it is that Christ addresses your life in a way that no one else can. Let’s examine the three basic truths of your condition without Christ. First of all it is a hopeless one, that ends in death. There is nothing that you can do to escape it. Secondly because you lack any ability to effect its change one way or the other, you are powerless. Lastly, because you don’t have the power or ability to enact your free will, you are insufficient as a lone being; and thus missing a part of you.
These three points articulate the condition of the individual as well as the society in whole. Issues of greed, envy, resentment, even a sense of belonging and love all come from these three issues. They are universal in their nature, and yet personal and hard hitting in their application. With the exception of love, all the means by which our condition reveals itself try to answer this dilemma to no avail. For instance, Greed seeks to affect the sense of “want” by filling it with something finite and fails because “want” as it pertains to our condition, is infinite. Every one of these is a witness to a desire for the three things every one lacks. Improper outworking of this loss has been described in various lists throughout scripture. The book of Galatians has a thorough outline, describing in general any sort of immoral actions one could come up with. The list is as follows: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasures, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, divisions, the feeling of elitism, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and so on. The scripture directly preceding this passage states that these actions are a result of giving into your desires. In short the cause of the actions is a wanting for one of the three things all people desire. These actions are described as sinful and the Bible clearly states that sin does not save, empower or fulfill, but rather further entraps man in his current condition of death. All of these out workings of our condition have one thing in common; they all pertain to the self. They are focused on finding a way to remove the condition that the self is in, by exploring and participating in the outworking of that condition. I would liken this to a man with bad vision heading to a cliff. He knows that the cliff is fast approaching and his hope for survival lies in his ability to see, and change his direction, but instead of taking any measures toward this, he closes his eyes so he won’t have to see the end is near.
Actions that are selfish have the same conclusion as the man approaching the cliff. His eyes being closed does not effect this eventual demise, but only takes his mind off of it. Love, however, is different. The attributes of love described in the book of I Corinthians are distinctly lacking one element; that element is self. Love is selfless. The man approaching the cliff would not be concerned with falling over the cliff as much as with another falling over it. His need to stop others form doom, would cause him to block the path. This would not only ensure the life of others, but his own life as well. Humankind is aware of the need for this kind of selfless love. Even the Greeks were aware of it, giving it its own special classification as a verb, not an adjective.
We write songs, books, and movies about the struggle to attain it. We spend most of our adolescent and adult lives in search of it. It is an undeniable reality that we want love, but the question is who really has it? The truth is that we do not. This is the outworking of our loss of God, and thusly it is the one thing we want the most. It stands to reason that this “agape” love must also be the same as the truth we want so badly to find.
If a faithless man asks me why I believe in something, then he is asking for its truth, so that he may believe in something as well. If he finds the truth, then he will know what it is to have faith. Love is that truth that he can have faith in, and it is always that truth which he is seeking. It is therefore unnecessary to show the faithless what faith is, because they can’t recognize it for what it is. Show the faithless love, and they won’t be able to resist the truth before them. This will establish a relationship of faith between you and them based upon your love for them. Once a relationship by faith in your love (an extension of God’s love to you) is established, it becomes an active example of the necessity for faith. It is only after a person can relate to a direct show of grace that he can accept its effects on his life. It is at this point that we begin to restructure the current social thought on faith to something more accurate than a “feeling.”
“Faith is evidence of things unseen,” and so it is often believed that you cannot see, or must be blind to have it. In actuality, the reason it is evidence of things unseen is because it proves the truth of itself once it is already had. No one faithless would boldly make a statement of such paradox. It is impossible to know faith without seeing the truth of your need to have it. We have already stated that the way to show faith is through love, and love is the truth that we all are lacking. Therefore truth can be a catalyst for faith in the same vain that love is. And if love is truth, and love is faith, then faith is the truth.
The social climate disagrees with this concept. They make faith out to be a dated concept that relies to much on hope in something other than yourself and therefore it can not be accurate and trustworthy. They claim it is not based on fact, but opinion. Firstly, love itself has the same definition when understood in the context of man’s entropic condition. And secondly, fact itself is based upon empirical evidence of the truth, but not the truth itself.
If I have found that every time I fall forward with my leg out, I was able to walk, the empirical evidence of these occurrences would be classified as a fact. If I was to ask “How do I walk?” I would be told that walking is the act of controlled falling, matter-of-factly. However, if I have found that every time I fall forward on to my face, God picks me up and starts me off again, the empirical evidence of this is called faith, but it could be just as easily called fact. Some may make the distinction between the two examples. They would say that I am aware of all of my limitations, but God is not me, and his existence is in question, therefore the two examples cannot work together. To them I would point out that first of all, I am not my father, yet I have no doubt that he exists. Nor do I have doubts as to why he helps me. And secondly, if I am incomplete within myself and I know this, then any fact that I myself have observed must also be incomplete and therefore on the same level as a fact that comes from outside of my personal existence. With this said, the question then is “How can we be sure that anything is true?”
Scientific method purports that we know the truth based on what is wrong. It teaches that if you test and get an undesired outcome, than it is not the desired outcome and you must test and retest until you find the desired outcome. Hopefully, through process of elimination of the test used to accurately define the undesired outcome, you come to a conclusion by what is left. This conclusion is called a fact and is published in textbooks until twenty years or so later, more tests are developed to test the accuracy of what was once scientific fact, and it becomes nothing but science fiction.
By its own standards of fact and fiction, scientific truth is nothing more than faith that there are no more tests left to throw out the accuracy of the current conclusion. The truth is that fact is merely established faith, and that is why faith is the evidence of things unseen. Evidence of things, seen or not, amounts to fact. The truth of this definition is not about blindness, or the blind man, it is a concise statement that “Faith is Fact.” Thus the need for faith is clear. Faith is how we come to a conclusion of what truth is, and we know that truth is love. Therefore you will never find love without faith. This is why we believe, because we know that if we don’t then we might as well be exactly what we are; hopeless, powerless, and incomplete.
Earlier I stated that a person only asks “why?” because they are looking for a truth to believe in. This is the undeniable question of all humanity. We need faith in order to address this question. It gives us the ability to conceive a stable reality, to then understand what that reality is, and finally to live in the real world, productively and fulfilled. We may be alive, but faith is truly living. This is the truth behind faith. This is what you tell the faithless, first by action through love, and then by personal revelation through open conversation.
The body of truth
Part one JESUS AS CHRIST
When the question of “Why do we believe we should fight?” is asked, it comes to some interesting truths about faith itself. The answers point out that faith is in actuality the same thing as truth and that having that truth is a necessity for human beings. The truth that we must seek out has a specific form which answers three paradox’s of mankind’s entropic condition, in such a way that he escapes death and finds life.
In order to find truth, faith, and love, these three paradox’s must first be corrected. Otherwise, our perception and reception would simply remain fixed on death and we would never find the truth of our condition. As Christians, we believe in Christ as the Messiah, but how many of us know why it is important to think so?
First of all, having the three dilemmas of our condition; hopelessness, powerlessness, and insufficient ness, we obviously cannot save ourselves. The fact that we believe in Jesus as a Messiah implies that we have found that he can save us. This fact is readily accepted within the Christian community, but do we know why we believe it to be so? People ask me all the time why I believe in Christ, and I have been taught to tell them one of two things. First it is the old favorite of “because he believed in me first,” and secondly, there is a sort of “12 step plan,” which neatly outlines man’s condition, and his need for God.
Although it was Christ who first loved me, and thusly gave me the ability to believe in him, it is not accurate to say, “I believe in him because he believed in me.” In all logic, I do not believe that the supposition that Christ believed in the ability of a hopeless, powerless, and insufficient being can be justified from scripture or logic. What is probably a more accurate idea is that Jesus knew that we needed something, and so because we had nothing worth believing in, he gave himself to believe in; this is not because he believed in me, but because he believed in himself as the only thing that could fill my need. This idea certainly points out that I needed a Christ, but it doesn’t tell me why it should be this one.
The “12 step plan,” makes the same error. It outlines precisely my condition as a human being, but it doesn’t outline Christ’s condition as the answer for our condition. I may have faith in Christ Jesus, but if that faith has no stable reason for existence, it is misguided and misdirected and therefore useless. We do not believe in Christ because he first believed in us, or because we need a Christ to believe in. This type of logic would lead me to believe in any David Koresh, or Sun Yung Moon that paid me attention. We do not give Christ a different kind of attention because he is the same as Gautama, Mohammed, or even Moses.
Jesus of Nazareth is given special attention, not because he claimed to be a savior, nor because he understood mankind. These things were not special to Jesus then, and they are not special to Jesus now. The only logical conclusion is that he was treated differently, and acted differently because when all was said and done, he simply was different. Therefore, my faith in Christ is not as a result of his belief in me, or my need for a belief in him. My faith works solely on the basis of himself. It is His uniqueness that both creates and completes my need for a savior. This is important to understand about our faith because it shows our dependence upon Christ, without making him somehow dependent upon us and our need for salvation through atonement. To believe in anyone because they can save you is to imply that at best, a fraction of their power comes from your belief in them. It is important to believe in someone or something because it is a fact, rather than on its intention to be that fact. Buddha taught an eight fold path to enlightenment, the Pope teaches that doing deeds will earn us our way into heaven, Mohammed believed in jihad. All of these men were saviors in one way or another, and all of them harnessed a universal passion for more out of life than death. But this does not change the fact that not one of them could assure anyone that their faith had secured them anything.
The best that these “saviors” could offer was a possibility. We teach salvation to our fellow believers and non believers alike, as if death has some chance of defeating us. The paradoxical reality of our faith is that we believe that death has no hold over us, and thus it loses that hold. Thusly our salvation does not lie in our need for something other than death, but merely the acceptance that death, and its hold, are not as powerful as they appear to be. Faith in God, because he saves is missing the point that the Salvation, Atonement, and Sanctification processes are making.
Let me try this another way. Three brothers are going to jail because they cannot pay the fines they have accrued, and they turn to there rich father for help. The first son asks his father for help, pleading,
“If you love me, you’ll pay my debt because you wouldn’t want me to suffer.”
The second son then throws in,
“You’ve said that you love me unconditionally, and so I thought I would take you up on the love you offer.”
But the third son says,
“I don’t deserve your love, or your help.”
All three sons agree never to put their father in the same position again. The father then looks at all three of his children lovingly and explains,
“I loved you all before you were born, and I will always love you that way. Because I never want you to suffer again, I will give you the money you need to pay your debt, with no strings attached.”
The first son goes to pay his debt but on the way decides to make more of the money that his father gave to him by gambling with it, rather than using it to pay his debt. He soon gambles what was completely sufficient for all his needs away, and decides to head back to his father to explain his plight and get more money. His father listens intently to his first born son, and then explains how he perceives the situation.
“Son, it occurs to me that you didn’t respect the value of the gift that you were given. In fact instead of doing what was intended with it, you gave my grace away to your own desires, hoping to get more than you needed. If I gave you more, you would simply squander it like you have already, and until you realize this, it is better that you work with what you have. Come back to me when you can appreciate the value of the gift I gave you.”
Just then, the second son comes through the door. He walks past his brother and straight up to his father in exasperation.
“I have been thinking about the bountiful amount of money that you gave to me, and I appreciate it greatly. I still have it, and it is great, but I was thinking that since you love me so much, and you wouldn’t want me to get in debt again… maybe I could hold on to this gift, and you could give me a little something more so that I could set up a little something for myself?”
The father looks at his middle child lovingly and explains,
“I gave you everything you needed and still you want more? Although it is true that you have not squandered the grace that I gave you as your brother has, what you have done may be worse. If you are not satisfied with the amount that I have given you, an amount that is sufficient to make you pure again and free of debt, than how could you ever find satisfaction?
Just then, the third son walks through the door broken, but hopeful. The father walks past his two older sons and makes eye contact with his youngest son.
“My child, why are you sad?” the father asks.
“I have done with the money just as you said; I paid my debt.”
“Good son, but why are you sad?” the father tries again.
“I didn’t deserve to be free, and I know it. I deserved to pay the price that I earned, and yet you freely released me from that. I accept it, but I don’t understand it, and in all this, I can’t help but think that I have taken advantage of your love.”
The father smiles at his youngest child as the two older ones look on.
“You didn’t come to me in order to get my money or take advantage of me. You didn’t come to me expecting that my money belonged to you. Instead you came broken and desperate to the only one you thought had more of a grip on your situation than you did. You didn’t come to me seeking control because you recognized it was to much for you to control. In believing in me, you have found salvation. Your brothers although different from each other, both came to me seeking salvation itself rather than a return to the perfect state they once were in. They appreciated the gift rather than the giver, and the gift rather than the reason it was necessary. Thus, they didn’t appreciate any of what I did for them, or even myself. Sooner of later their attitudes must change, or they will push themselves so far away, that they won’t be able to find there way back. It is a sad irony that they may never find the one thing they were looking for because they couldn’t see beyond themselves. But, son, it is a wondrous mystery that you have found yourself, though it was away from yourself that you searched.
This story illustrates three distinct types of people with three distinct types of faith. The first brother believed his father owed him something based on the fact that his father was loving. He exploited his fathers gift, the same way he had been exploiting everything else and his own exploitation created the perpetual and never ending condition he found himself in. The brother placed his faith in the tendency of love to care for its object, but not in the originator of that love.
The second brother placed his faith in the knowledge of his father’s good intentions but flippantly addressed his own behaviors in relation to his fathers goodwill. His statement of “You say you love me unconditionally, and so I thought…,” accurately addresses the intention of the father to help the son, but it presents the idea that the son has no need for the goodwill and that in fact the goodwill has a need for an outlet, which might as well be the son. With Christendom, this sort of prosperity theology runs rampant. Believers come to God flippantly addressing his gift as being somehow necessary for their condition and go on to treat God as if he is some sort of bank. The actuality of our interaction with God is that his love is not dependent on having us to show it to.
This type of thought process lead the second brother to the belief that he deserved more than he was allotted, and his attitude lead to his constant loop of always feeling entitled to having more than he needs. He placed his faith in loves tendency to give unconditionally but again, not in the source of that love. The two brothers have succinctly summed up the nature of faith in Christendom since it became lawful under Constantine. Faith and belief in Christ has been taught to us as being a necessity of our entropic condition, but this type of faith lacks both guidance and direction. To put it bluntly, as the third brother did, we have faith not in God’s ability to save us, but that God doesn’t need saving. True faith in God has nothing to do with salvation as atonement. It has nothing to do with heaven and hell, good and wrong, or right and evil. True faith in God is the knowledge that God is beyond anything; and is coming before him humbled by that knowledge. This faith is based on something different than all the other degrees of faith, Christian or not. This is the reason we have faith in Christ; and all the statutes of that faith are merely amendments, or addendums to that point.
Part two CHRIST AS JESUS
It should by now be a self evident fact that our belief in Jesus should not be dependent upon his status as our Christ, but rather on his ability to be Christ. This is evidenced by the simple observation that Jesus would deserve our faith even if we didn’t need salvation, and this observation should actually be the reason our faith exists. Now if Jesus deserves faith out of his sheer uniqueness beyond any other thing or being, than we imply three things about him which the scriptures agree to.
We place faith in Christ’s ability to be beyond everything. This includes entropy and death, and since death is the most prolific side effect of sin, anything that is not bound by death is also not bound by its cause. This point consequently has three interesting effects. Firstly, it asserts Jesus’ power and sovereigness over everything including death. This point is substantiated throughout scripture regarding Jesus. Not only is his resurrection of himself and others from death recorded, but the keys of both death and its associated destinations are said to be held by him. This point is important to faith because faith admits that man is three things in comparison to God, and one of those is hopeless. Christ’s ability to be sovereign automatically implies that in himself lies an infinite and perpetual hope. This is the first substantiation of faith. This point is a clear defining difference in the long succession of “saviors.” Every one of them died from Gautama, to Koresh, but Jesus lives. This simple point of record is our faith given form. It is the one point that proves his uniqueness; his difference. Because of this, he is his own hope, and thus fulfills one of the criteria for breaking man’s entropic puzzle.
Secondly both our faith and hope take the sovereignty and give it a fuller definition. The second implication of faith in Jesus is that if he cannot be overcome by anything that mankind is overcome by, than he is in fact beyond mankind and in relation to mankind is thus a being with power. This power is demonstrated in his sovereignty over death, because death is the most powerful thing in our experience. Death is so powerful that it has crept its way into being the very definition of life. This point of record does two things. Firstly, it assumes that if Christ is truly powerful, he would have to be beyond death’s hold. And secondly it assumes that the most powerful force in existence defines existence itself. Therefore Christ’s difference in regard to death claims that he is both all powerful and holds in himself the very meaning of life. In Jesus there is hope and there is power. This hope and this power cause the paradoxical breakdown of entropy, which thus allows us a new insight.
Our condition of insufficiency to enact our freewill is based on the idea that freewill comes from a perfected state, and we are within a state of decay, or imperfection. With this in mind, we presuppose that the enactment of that freewill must also then be good. I would point out that all throughout the scripture, we have been taught to submit our freewill to the Father’s, and in fact that Adam’s submission of his freewill to his wife’s will was the very first of human sins. Therefore our condition of freewill that keeps us from enacting it in the way we want to is not necessarily the result of entropy. In point of fact, entropy is the result of our freewill being enacted.
The truth is not that we are powerless and hopeless to enact our freewill, but rather that our freewill, acted upon, made us powerless and hopeless to enact anything but our freewill chaotically. Freedom without structure is chaos, and chaos is the natural conclusion of entropy. Humans, by nature of being created in God’s image, were created to operate within structure, but our actions do nothing but destroy this structure and thus we are incomplete in our ability to enact our freewill. This is because we have lost our method to do so. Within sin, we now operate as completely free agents; we have no purpose, and all that we can do because of this is the exact opposite of what we were created for.
When Christ died on the cross and submitted his will to God the father’s, he implemented power and hope as well as sufficiency, all within one sweeping movement. His willingness to complete the fathers will despite his personal longing to live, was the method that made his freewill do what it was intended for: the completion of God’s will. This effectively points out that Christ himself was a being who was more than the sum of his human parts, and with that summary exists a very real answer to the condition of man’s entropic state. With this said, another implication about the nature of Jesus must then be true. If man’s condition became entropic and destructive, and he was powerless, hopeless, and insufficient to anything but cause chaos, than that is all that he would be able to do. This concept seems a simple one, but behind it is the supposition that if any man could break entropy, than he could not have been held by it in the first place.
This is an important point of fact, due to the growing “new age” and “humanistic” views invading our people. It is now common to hear that Christ was the first man to show us the path that we must follow in order to overcome anything. We are taught the adage to believe that Christ believed in our ability to become like him. As I had stated earlier, this is preposterous. The scriptures state something completely contradictory to this concept. Therefore, the second difference about Jesus was that he was not an entropic being. This is substantiated throughout scripture in references to his virgin birth and the allusions to his likeness with innocent animals. Moreover, it is established by pure logic.
A being that knows nothing but death, could neither want for anything more, nor achieve things beyond death’s boundaries without himself being free of them. Thus Christ did not become hope filled, power filled, and all sufficient while he was living that famous three day period. Rather, that three day period personified those three things that he already was, by the third day, in his thirty third year of existence.
Christ was not only different from anyone who may have been a savior, he was different from everyone. Therefore, we cannot escape death simply by living as he lived, or following his commands. To think that way would be to neglect the concept behind the formula, or the reason behind the action. Many churches today try to make Christ and his statutes into a handbook for evil and right without questioning the purpose for the ideals he presented. That is the reason for the outrage amongst our young blood in the institutionalized orthodox church. All of us are taught that if we, “read our Bible pray every day, then we’ll grow, grow, grow.” Half of us try to do this and fail miserably, while the other half watch their counterparts fail and stay just as immature as when they weren’t reading their bible and praying everyday. Everyone is either depressed by the state they are in, or repulsed by the fact that this formula is supposed to work but doesn’t. This is the cause of rebellion in the church. Look at the statistics regarding the reasons why children rebel in the church. Perhaps even more startling are the statistics regarding how many people of other faiths started out as believers. Christ is not a manual for life, or a genie in a bottle. The dynamics of our salvation, and how it was achieved are meaningless facts when next to who provided that salvation and why he could. Christ was capable of providing salvation because he was never, himself, in need of it. This difference is apparent in scripture, and its point is made to substantiate faith in him, through submission to the idea that he is the only being that could possibly deal with any and every situation.
Part three JESUS CHRIST
“Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.” This statement given by the apostle Peter summed up the perception of Christ in relation to the condition of man. Up to this point, I have written to establish only the “God” aspect of Christ, which is not dependent on man. With this now established, we can move on to the question presented by this Chapter, which is, “Why do we believe we should fight?” Firstly, we have made the distinction between faith in a savior, and faith in a God. Secondly, we went on to establish that this God is in fact Jesus. The third step is then to explain how man’s condition fits into God’s will in such a way that the man known as Jesus becomes Jesus Christ.
The problem with coming to Jesus as a savior is the idea that salvation needs to be attained by Jesus. Implied within this idea is more than the concept than man is in need of salvation, but also the idea that Jesus has yet to provide the service of salvation itself. The thin line of truth and lie in this logic can have startling consequences for your faith, as witnessed by the story of the three brothers told earlier in the chapter. The bible teaches us that when Christ, on the third day, rose from the grave, it was a witness to the plan that God had instituted to save man from their demise. That plan was completed in the work of Christ on the cross, as he aptly committed his spirit to the Father claiming, “It is finished.”
At that moment in time, salvation became a reality. Death, which was once the reality became a consequence again; a consequence of choosing to follow any will but God’s. Everything hence forth was in a sense given the ability to be Adam again, to choose for himself to take part in his creator, or die in himself, just as Adam chose freely outside of sin, in the Garden of Eden. It is important to understand that death itself wasn’t the consequence of sin. In common understanding, consequence implies sufficiency of an ability to choose freely. This, however, is a misconception when applied to mankind’s entropic condition. As discussed earlier, everyone is insufficient to make any choice that breaks entropy by himself, and therefore we could not make the choice to act productively or not, unlike our common forefather, Adam. Adam was both the first and the last individual before Christ with this ability. His choice did not carry a consequence for us as we have come to understand it, so much as an effect for us. This effect was death itself.
This is a different thought than the current institutionalized orthodox theological climate would suggest. It is largely believed that all humans are individually responsible for their sin, and thus deserve to die. To those who would argue against this position, claiming not everyone knows the law so not everyone is capable of sinning, the church quotes Romans, and refers to the law written on the hearts of man.
I believe that sin does in fact breed death, but this fact does not imply that death must exist simply because sin does. For example, I do not exist simply because my father does. What is more accurate is that I am the natural outworking of my father’s sexual nature. Therefore death doesn’t have to be solely the result of sin. This idea does, however, cause a problem in regard to accountability.
If this is true, and the wages of sin is death, but the consequence of sin is not death, then I would not be able to be held accountable for sinning by death. If I am not held accountable for what I have done wrong, then how is justice to be served? The answer to this apparent paradox is revealed in the question’s perspective. Justice is based upon the outworking of moral value. This moral value is defined by what is good, not what is evil. Accountability for the sins I commit, in spite of the law I have, is accountability not to what I have done right, but to what I have done wrong. In different terms, if I am only judged by my crimes, but required to follow a law that allows no crimes within it, then I will always be a criminal because the law only see me when I am sinning.
But the point of the law was not to make us criminals, it was to provide us structure for our freewill to operate within. The law was intended not to judge our wrongs, but to be a standard for our rights. Therefore we are not judged by the sins we commit, but rather by the productivity of how we live, or by what we do right. When Adam sinned he destroyed his, and our ability to choose God’s method for our freewill. Whereas once we could complete the standard of right that we were judged by, we became incomplete to complete anything that was right. Rather than the law changing to become a snare for mankind, as it has been suggested, it was mankind who changed so that he could see the law as nothing but a snare.
Adam was no longer able to enact his freewill to follow the law, and so because he could not escape what was written on his heart, and could not follow through with what he knew to be right, the law became a constant reminder of his failure. Everything he did was sinful, and everything he did reminded him of his loss of the ability to be productive and right. Driven by his own inner paradox, he chose to dwell on his sin, and thus defined himself as a sinful being. And although he was a sinful being, he neglected in his despair to realize that he was never meant to be a failure, and that God loved him despite this, because God’s standard is not one that looks for what is evil, but what is right.
The truth is that man is held accountable, but not upon whether he sins. It is whether he enacts his freewill by submitting it to God’s will that he is judged. It has always been mankind’s neurosis to judge and condemn himself rather than submitting his freewill to the Father’s.
This is the truth of Jesus Christ. It is quite possible that if man had humbled himself in the garden of Eden, rather than dwelling in his shame, and hiding, than it may never have been necessary for God to show mankind how to be humble. But because of mankind’s stupidity, pride, and neurosis we wouldn’t understand that his love transcends the depths of even our own sin. Thusly, we had to be taught this love by someone that could relate to us. God the Father, seeing our state of despair humbled himself to the condition of a mere creation, so that we could reconnect to him. He did this so that we could see that God is among us, and that he hasn’t left us. This, however, was still not enough for us to believe in the love manifested before our eyes. Our neurosis and shame needed proof that his love was stronger than our failure, and so knowing this, he proved it to us by allowing all of our hate, and fear, and shame, and pride, to nail him to a tree, and when this was finished, he gave in to them and allowed these disgusting things to make their home in him; but the darkness could not overcome him. On the third day, the power that had always dwelt within him made itself manifest as he walked the earth openly free from the most powerful thing that this reality could throw at him. This is the truth of the Christ, the son of the living God. We cannot follow a will that we cannot perceive, but in Jesus we can see. We could not bridge a gap that our chaotic spirits would not be led across, but Jesus leads us. Adam killed us, but Jesus brings us to life.
This is the point of faith. Faith is not based on some theological abstract concept. Faith is knowing that God is who he has always said he is regardless of who we are. Faith in Jesus is knowing that Jesus is who he said he is, and that because the truth within himself defines all existence, he lowered himself to our level so that we could see it. In him, there is hope, there is power, and there is fullness. He not only bridged the gap that we couldn’t possibly bridge, but he showed in himself the one and only way to achieve life. We must believe in him. Living beings must live, soldiers must fight, we fight for Jesus because in him, we find not only a reason, but reason itself. In Jesus, there is a purpose for our existence and without him, all existence is meaningless.
The Motion of Truth
Part one SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Jesus died for our sins so that we might come back to the father and in him find meaning and purpose. In doing so, he restored the necessary condition for mankind to choose to follow God’s will. This gave mankind the ability to choose sin as a consequence to action, rather than to live sinfully as a part of their nature. Thus the sinner who knows about Christ, yet decides to follow the nature of sin, is always choosing to sin. Conversely, the person who chooses to follow Christ over sin is always making a conscious effort to do so. Now this concept may be mistaken to mean that a person is capable of falling out of grace because once he has been saved he can now choose sin. Christ death on the cross should be enough to prove to us that God will always extend grace beyond the choice or the nature of sin.
To get a fuller understanding of this concept, we must explore “grace.” Grace is undeserved merit or favor. Within sin, there is only action dependent upon self, but grace has nothing to so with the self, but rather the person extending grace to the self. In other words grace is not dependent upon my actions. Therefore the choice not to do God’s will cannot revoke his gift of grace to me and thus my salvation. The truth is that no matter how many times I sin, the nature of grace will always protect me, because of my choice to submit to the giver of that grace. Remember that we are judged by the submission of our freewill, not be how well we submit our freewill. If I turn that grace away, than because it is now a choice to do so rather than an oversight caused by Adam’s sin, Than I will suffer the consequences. The wages of sin is death, but the consequence of sin is the lake of fire; a fate specifically designed for those angels who chose to impose their will over God’s.
The outworking of what you believe in, is actions that support your belief. Therefore, those who choose the grace, rather than the grace giver, will not receive that grace. Think of it as a present. Would you really expect to receive a present from a person you will not invite to your party? These people may believe that they will reap the benefits of being saved, but the truly saved understand that the benefits of salvation are ours already.
We act not based on our old selfish nature, but upon the new nature we have been given. People say every Sunday and Wednesday how God is moving in their lives to bring them to a point where they can accomplish something for him. According to the scriptures, a more accurate perception would be that “God has moved.” In Christ, God’s plan was finished. Being a Christian gives us all the necessary skills to be a Christian. We have the “Armor of God” at our disposal, and we have the “Sword of Truth” to protect us. Yet the question is once again, “How many of us stand at the forefront of battle with and outstretched sword, and not the knowledge to use it, or even hold it?”
We teach our young blood about the salvation and the grace of God without teaching them how they should relate to it. We know all about how the gift relates to our condition, but next to nothing about how the gift relates us to the giver. This negates the very purpose of the gift, and ensures that our people would have a hard time knowing God if he were standing next to anyone wearing his clothes. This is a major issue because for every spiritual truth, there is a counterfeit spiritual truth. For every spiritual gift there is a counterfeit gift. They are not opposites holding parallel values. They are different producing very different fruit. Understanding the difference between those two types of fruit is paramount to knowing spiritual truth. The last two chapters have focused on explaining how it is that the gift relates us to the giver. We have defined the reasons we have faith, and grace, and ultimately truth. And now that a firm foundation for everything we believe is defined, we must use it in such a way that it begins to define us. We must heavily scrutinize the armor we wear, define the gifts manifested through us by the spirit, and use these tools to further the kingdom of God which will thus produce the fruit of the spirit.
The current social theological climate is concerned with the formula for how this is done. They sight the apostle Paul’s definition and list filled epistles for confirmation and authority, yet they negate the concept behind what Paul was teaching us. The apostle Paul was not teaching us the method to achieve a theocratic society. He was not teaching us how to achieve anything.
The scriptures clearly teach that a believer is spirit filled the moment he accepts salvation. The spirit has a certain personality which is represented in its fruit. Within that personality is a list of traits, but all of them create one singular fruit. The fruit itself has a protective armor which it manifests with separate parts, but a singular garb. Paul was not giving us four spiritual laws on how to be a Christian, he was telling us who we are as Christians.
In Christ, there is nothing needed. If there was something needed, we would still be incomplete. In Christ we are complete and sufficient to do everything that is good and necessary to complete the task before us. This is not the message that the current social theological climate would have us believe. They teach us that everything is a spiritual warfare, that we can and will lose if we do not change our wicked ways. On the matter of such things, we are taught one of two concepts. The first and most prominent is that spiritual warfare is waged with demons for the good of mankind. We are taught that this battle is one that is invisible and cannot be seen, and within this context there are two extremes. Firstly, that the war for our souls is in the hands of the angels, and secondly that through Christ’s power we are somehow a type of demon hunter, and we should gallivant about casting them out wherever we can find them.
On the matter of the lesser opinion, never do we have an example in scripture of demonic entities being cast out because they are simply present, nor one where they are sought out. In fact, the angels are not lesser beings to be thrown about at all. Their power is to be respected just as Michael the leader of God’s armies refused to confront Lucifer, but rather submitted authority to God in their dispute. This is because he was being respectful of Lucifer’s abilities, whatever they may be. Scripturally, humans are even lesser beings than angels and although through Christ we are more powerful, a disproportionate perspective on that point could have grave consequences. Take the apostle Paul for example. Paul was followed by a demon for a number of days before he finally cast it out, out of pure annoyance. There are only so many conclusions that can be drawn from this story about Paul’s stance on demons.
Either Paul didn’t truly care about the presence of the demon and only cast it out from annoyance simply because it was getting in the way of his ministry, or Paul didn’t want to engage it at all, and only when it annoyed him did he. No matter what way we choose to look at the story, the same conclusion is evident. The message is clear that the battle Paul is fighting is not about casting out demons, though he has been equipped to do so. The Bible gives no procedure for casting out a spirit because there is none. We have the ability to do anything in Jesus’ name, but this does not imply that we should do everything there is to do as if it is Jesus’ will. The truth about demonic spiritual warfare is that it is only fought in scripture because they, the demons, engage us. We were not meant to engage them, although through Christ we are certainly able.
The more prominent of the two views of extremes, regarding spiritual warfare, is angelic in nature and is an invisible battle that we can’t see. Contained within this idea is the implication that the battle wages all around us on the earthly plain, and that the price for losing it is the loss of our very souls. This idea is flawed. It is filled with nothing but destructive heresies that lead to spiritual immaturity and infancy, and the loss of the very battle it seeks to win.
Firstly how can a spiritual battle with a spiritual consequence, be rooted in a physical plain? And Secondly, if the battle is an invisible one, than how are we aware of its presence? Lastly, control over one’s soul cannot have the equal potential to be controlled unless its ownership is in question. On this issue exists a common misconception. A fight for the literal control of one’s soul is an impossibility. This should be an obvious fact, since Christians should believe that the soul belonged to God despite “the fall.” Salvation should thusly be looked at as the mere acceptance, and submission of that ownership. With this truth, the souls ownership is not in question. I liken it to a piece of art that I have created. Although I may place it in my garbage, its ownership does not change. It still resides within my garbage, and its ownership is not open to whomever wishes to take hold of it. Logically, even if we go to the Lake of Fire, did not God create the Lake of Fire as well. There is no escaping God’s possession of us.
Therefore, ownership of a soul is a farce, probably designed by the devil himself to preoccupy us with something that is a non-issue. This type of preoccupation renders us useless with our freedom to choose productivity. This is the key to spiritual warfare. If the truth that is being presented about the battle is a false one, than it should show us where the true battle is being held; on the mental plain. This battle is about truth and lie. Convince someone you are going to seek control of them, and they will fight that control head on. However, if you can convince someone that you already are in control of them, than their fight to take that control back from you will in fact make them controlled by you. This idea that sin made us belong to the Devil is such a bold faced lie, that most definitely is one of the most heinous lies ever introduced to the human race.
Part two SPIRITUAL WARFARE TACTICS
The lie that we are in need of salvation, from Satan, is one of the most effective ways to take a believers mind off of Christ. Firstly it makes him unable to recognize his enemy which in fact is himself, and secondly, it disorients him to the battle field which is neither spiritual nor physical, but mental. Third, it makes him scared and unable to fight.
This satanic battle tactic exists within the social theological climate of both the Protestant and Roman Catholic schools of thought… It does not, however, exist within the Bible. As mentioned earlier, the scriptures clearly state that the work of Jesus upon the cross made us complete to do his will, and essentially invincible in regard to Satan. As I have stated, it is more than likely that Satan knows he cannot win your soul. However, if he can take your mind, then perhaps you will, of your own, choice follow his to the lake of fire. Obviously, his attempts to do so have always been creeping their way into the various Judeo Christian theologies since it began being developed. The apostle Paul waged war on several different ideas, ranging from Gnosticism to the Law of Moses itself.
The slow but effective slaughter of our minds has opened the door to more perversions of the truth than one could count, but when these are broken down, certain elements make themselves present in all of them. The “Fruit of the Spirit” is evident, but so is “the Fruit of the Self.” These plans to usurp God’s authority all have counterfeits to the work of the Holy Spirit, but in the end their fruit is nothing but bitter envy, divisions, and selfish ambitions. This should be obvious in the outworking of the idea that your soul can be bought. The Protestant reformation itself was fought over money, because if Christ had to pay a price to Satan for our souls, certainly the peasants could be able to give Christ money to do this with. Satan doesn’t give us the full plan; he just provides an outline. It is man who takes the reigns and rides himself into Hell all on his own.
In the case of the Roman Catholics, someone had decidedly realized that it takes money to build giant basilica’s and cathedrals and so purgatory was born. This was for the purpose of selfish political ambition and vanity, which caused bitter envy so that everyone left and right was buying there way into heaven. The division of class soon became a natural conclusion. After all, how can a poor man pay money he does not have? The apostle James teaches us that where bitter envy, divisions, and selfish ambition exist, so exists demonic wisdom.
This fruit is within all church politics. The Catholics are certainly not the only example. Judeo Christianity willingly agrees to disagree about trivial issues regarding the ideas of Calvin or Armineas, splitting up into thousands of denominations. Each denomination is bent on its own selfish ambition over the working together and benefit of the itself, and this is achieved through monetary gain. If one massive church is built by the Baptists, than the Lutherans must make a bigger one. This is the Fruit of the Self, or demonic wisdom.
The arguments are trivial petty arguments that have no bearing on faith, whatsoever. The arminiast would argue that this argument is not petty because agreeing with predestination negates the freewill of man to choose God. To those who would put any stock in our freewill I would say that their faith is misplaced, but even more pertinent is the issue of conflict between the two views. A person who advocates freewill is going to die and be judged for what he did with his life. This is not any different than the person who believes in predestination. Both of these arguments amount to the same thing. Drawing a distinction between the two is the same stupidity it would take children to fight about whether a green crayon is more blue, or yellow. While we fight amongst ourselves about these non-issues, we neglect to live out our Christian responsibilities properly.
If these issues have no relevance in regard to responsible Christian living, than why is there such an issue regarding these things? I would submit that the push to be right beyond our Christian brothers carries no logic of the Spirit’s fruit, but is surprisingly logical according to the fruit of the self. Put bluntly, according to the self, to be right gives us power over those who are wrong. In being correct, we look better than those who are wrong and thus are thought of as being better. Allowing the idea that we are better to persist, is due to a type of envy that is bitter and thus wants to make the person that is wrong appear worse than they are. The idea that anyone is better than the other is not scriptural and therefore no one can be a standard by which to judge another. This type of mentality causes people to rally around either the right, or wrong individual in order to, themselves, feel part of the worth that is being toted. The argument that causes this type of fruit is not some righteous indignation on the part of the right. It is a bold faced lie from Satan that purports points like this should want to be argued, even though they are at the expense of fellow believers.
I am not saying that every argument that takes place is an outright act of warfare on Satan’s part, and therefore unjustified. The act of warfare is an attack on the mental perception of truth and therefore everything that attacks this standard must be stopped from running its toll on our minds. The argument of freewill versus predestination is an argument that does not change the status of our faith. Our faith is not based on our ability or inability to choose God, but rather God’s sovereignty in all things. On this point, there is no grievance and no challenge to the truths presented about our faith. A valid issue for grievance is one that does alter the doctrine of faith. For instance, the most prominently existing example of this type of justified conflict is the issue of faith versus works. The reason that this is a viable dispute is that if works could earn us favor, than we would not need Christ. Our faith is based on the understanding that, by ourselves, we are hopeless, powerless, and insufficient to do anything in accordance with God’s will. When the two ideas are put together, they are not the same but in fact are intrinsically different. A belief in the ability of man to be hopeful, powerful, and sufficient in himself is the fruit of the self, and has completely different attributes than the Fruit of the Spirit.
In this chapter, we have discussed three points of spiritual warfare tactics which Satan commonly uses in his fight against the father. These three styles of mental combat point to three different targets. Firstly we discussed the idea of selling souls. Then we discussed the dispute of freewill versus predestination, and lastly faith versus works. Within these topics , we have discussed their obvious conclusions and pointed out their flaws, but there is more within the attack to be discovered.
The question of why we are under attack is easily responded to with the idea of Satan trying to take as many as he can to the Lake of Fire with him. Although this is probably accurate, I believe that this is a given idea and therefore not a very pertinent question. A more productive use of being attacked would be developing a method of defense. For this, the question that must be asked is “why have we been attacked in the way we have? And subsequently, “what was Satan’s purpose for these types of attacks rather than a more head on assault?”
As discussed earlier, we know that the attacks are mental ones, but are they alike in all other aspects? I believe that the only thing different about them is the way in which they affect their intended targets and that they clearly all have the same result. On the issue of selling souls, the target is made to refocus off of God, onto salvation. This refocus renders the target busy with doing works, but not with developing his relationship with Christ. This is the same of faith versus works, except instead of the individual focus being shifted, it is a corporate focus change. Instead of the individual simply acting out inappropriate theology on his own, the entire body of Christ itself is thrown into disarray. This division renders the target useless in pursuing his own relationship with Christ, but even more so, it causes him to persecute the rest of body by various value judgments based upon status and money.
Lastly is the dispute of freewill versus predestination. Possibly one of the most effective forms of subterfuge, it introduces a non doctrinal dispute into the body which ultimately renders the body itself to be broken into separate entities. This makes the body less effective as a whole unit, and breeds resentment from those who see the lack of unity in what claims to be unified.
All three of these tactics take different approaches, but every one of these has the exact same conclusion; the body of Christ ends up as a useless vehicle of the Father that is filled with bitter envy, selfish ambitions, and divisions within itself. If we consider the current social theological climate, can we really suggest that it is any different? The denominations of Judeo Christian politics certainly point out Satan’s victory in this area, as do the statistics regarding why people choose other religions. It is not such an unbelievable reality that Christianity is the primary cause of atheism, so much as an unbelievably sad one.
In essence, not only has the Devil found a way to neutralize our effectiveness, he has tricked us into helping increase his. We have been so busy looking to him for blame, and to ourselves for blame. And we have been so concerned with finding a salvation that is already ours, that we have perpetuated the demise of our loved ones as well as ourselves.
The reality of spiritual warfare is that our tactic should not be to fight. This is what all of the tricks and mind games have been about; fight for your soul, fight for ideas, fight amongst yourselves. Our method for spiritual warfare should be to live. We should live to enact our freewill in such a way that it furthers the Father’s will. This is the point that the Devil wants us to miss. In Christ, ideas of freewill and predestination do not effect the outworking of God’s plan. Remember that Satan’s primary goal is to hinder us from doing that. The fact remains true that Satan’s plan has its own method for achieving his goal. His style of combat is the mental degradation of human kind , and its fruit is evident. The Father too, has his method as well which has been outlined in Christ and witnessed by the spirit. Whereas the battle is fought in the mind, so it is there that we should fight it. Not by attacking one another and seeking a salvation we already have. We must use the truths God has equipped us with, and live. Doing this is true spiritual warfare. It is certainly cliché, but living for Christ is the ultimate warfare tactic available to us.
Part three APPLYING SPIRITUAL WARFARE TACTICS
The Fruit of the Spirit is different than the Fruit of the Self. Aspects of the fruit can be counterfeited such as tolerance to patience, or self love to unconditional love, but when all is said and done, the spirit moves toward productivity through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, whereas the self moves toward entropy through bitter envy, selfish ambitions, and division.
In ourselves we have the ability to be those three attributes, but in Christ, we have the ability to enact those nine attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit. This is where true spiritual warfare takes place; on the mental level in the choice to be what you are. There is no great esoteric battle for the soul, and there are no great metaphysical wars to wage. Spiritual warfare is day to day life. It is putting aside freewill, and choosing to manifest the Fruit of the Spirit. This is how we fight Satan and his demons; by fighting ourselves. This is the reason Christ died. His sacrifice gave us the choice to be what we were made to be, rather than what we made ourselves into.
This again is against the social theological climate. They would have us believe that spiritual maturity is based upon the temporal knowledge of Christ and the longer you’ve known him, the older you will be. To children, we teach children’s stories and to adults we teach the deeper truths. In my limited lifetime and studies, I have seen children grasp concepts that people fifty years their senior couldn’t even conceive of, let alone grasp. My friend who is chronologically a three year old Christian, daily stands by my side and defends his beliefs as faithfully and firmly as I do, although I have known Christ for some twenty chronological years. In both the physical child, and the spiritual child, it is evident that the Lord’s wisdom has no concerns about age physical, or spiritual. Proverbs reaffirms that the path of wisdom is fear of the Lord, not age. Earlier I stated that my friend who has known Christ for three years stands with me though I have known Christ for twenty. This clearly proves that the amount of time is not an issue to God. My friend is unfortunately not the standard, but the exception. What I more commonly see is Christians who have known Christ longer than I have been alive, who are incapable of giving the witness that my “spiritually infantile” friend gives. Once again we must examine the statistics regarding those who believe other things and ask ourselves “why?”
Once again, the answer to the question of “Why?” is because of us; the Christians. Our institutionalized and orthodox theological ideas have stumbled both the believers and the non-believers alike. At one time in our history, this would be a natural outworking of our sinful nature, but this is no longer true. The fact that we have Christ frees us to choose, and thusly to suffer consequence. We chose to miss the mark. We chose to teach people that they were incomplete, even in Christ, and we still do. We teach the spiritual elders that they should never be afraid to face trials, because God will never give you more than you can handle, yet teach the spiritually infantile that they can, and in fact should, take they’re time in growing because their to young to drink anything but milk. People call us hypocritical because we teach our young blood hypocrisy. Teach a child why fire is bad to touch, and if he gets burned, then he will learn what he knew all along. However, if you teach a child not to touch fire without any explanation, then when he gets burned, he may learn not to touch fire, but he will never understand it.
This is the message that Satan peddles, and it is the message that the theological community believes. They believe that living for Christ is a process that takes time and maturity to implement. It is the accepted theological doctrine that we are being made perfect, but we are not perfect yet. If this is true, than Christ’s work on the cross was only in the process of becoming sufficient. To put it another way, earthly bodies are like a cage that our spiritual bodies are enslaved within. If I paid the price for you to be free of your earthly boundaries while you were still enslaved to them, then the choice of whether or not to stay enslaved in the prison becomes your choice.
However, if I pay the price to release you, but wait to give you the choice to use your freedom until after you are dead, and no longer enslaved to your body, then what good came out of buying your release from your cage in the first place? Remember, the point of buying your freedom is not the freedom itself, but the choice to do God’s will that comes with it. If you are not free, to choose to be free, from your cage at the moment of salvation, then there was no point to your salvation at all. If we believe that we are not free to choose to be completely productive in Christ, then we deny the very reason Christ died for our sins, and thus we deny Christ himself. Therefore we must believe that maturity in Christ is a choice, and the idea that we have been taught to believe; the idea that we must grow into our abilities as a believer, only hinders the very growth it purports to perpetuate.
We who teach, cannot continue to teach this paradoxical and blasphemous idea; that to be productive in Christ, we must slowly wean ourselves off of our entropic state. We must confront who we have made ourselves into with the truths that Christ’s sacrifice show us, and then choose to accept it. In Christ we are made perfect to complete God’s will in our lives. This means that I am equipped with the things necessary to do so. I have the ability to choose to be loving, and have joy, to have a peace that transcends all understanding. I can choose to suffer for long amounts of time with no thought to myself. I can choose to be kind to others, and to be gentle, and good and faithful. In short I am in control through submission to Christ. All the tools to create productivity are present in all believers. The choice to be more than dead at every moment of our lives is present in all believers
Don’t believe for a second that we are unable to enact God’s will and wisdom simply because we lack the time in life. Remember that time itself is merely a means to define a series of events. And this understanding is one that comes from entropy. In other words, the reason we judge the age of things is because they are not constant and at some point they will not exist. Think of it like this, if someone were to never die, he would not think of age as an issue to him. In fact the only reason he would give age a thought is in regard to relating to things that do age. Therefore, the only point of age, and time is to give definition to our lives while we still have them through entropy and the passing of life into death.
If the scriptures are true, and we will live forever, than we are not bound by the confines of time. In short, time should not define us. In truth, Christ himself is the only thing that should be our definition. This is what we should believe, and this is how we should act, with this truth in mind. We should not act as incomplete children, simply because we have only recently accepted the truth. We are complete in Christ and in him we have always been a part of the truth though we have only recently discovered our role in it. And so, we come to the end.
Our role in Christ is a simple one. Everything in this book has been leading to this declaration. Everything discussed has been for the purpose of understanding how we apply ourselves to the position we have been given. The simple truth of our situation is that our role is to choose. Our responsibility is to understand why what is right is right. Our burden is to daily put aside the convenience of non-authoritative living, and bear the consequences of all we do with a heavy heart. We must break the institutionalized and orthodox theological climate of its ability to dictate dogma and we must determine the relevance of their findings for ourselves. We must always filter the established and non-established doctrine through Christ. We must manifest the fruit of the God we serve, by choosing to do so.
No longer should we believe it is acceptable to base faith upon preconceived notions that bear no relation to what is real. No longer should we place our responsibility to grow in the hands or our teachers. No longer should we teach anyone that the need for God comes from a need to be saved. We must teach the body to live as the artist lived, passionate, and not afraid to show and explore what he was. For thousand of years we have lived as infants waiting to be born, we can live like this no longer; in Christ we are free. We are free to choose, and reap the benefits and consequences of that choice. This choice is something that we never had, and that the world doesn’t have. It makes us different. In Christ we are hopeful, powerful, and sufficient. In Christ, we are the freaks.
We know something is wrong with the world and we refuse to sit idly by and watch it slip into oblivion taking with it humanity and the things that we hold most dear; the things that we love. Nature calls to us that life is about survival of the fittest and humanity echoes it without thinking, but we know better. Death haunts us day in and day out shaping the way we live our lives down to the minute details. We all lived to escape something the mass consciousness has deemed as the very act of living; death. In spite of this, we must rebel in seeming disarray of the design; we are anomalies of the system. Seemingly thousands if not millions of us exist connected by a single acknowledgment, a statement of faith, hope, and love summed up in what becomes the standard of truth. The truth of our rebellion lies in its simplicity. It lies in its ability to be absolute. No extensive hypotheticals or theories could give credence to our particular pathology. The one supposition that we follow, the one fact presented by our ranks is perhaps the most unforgiving and judgmental reality ever presented, and it is with such sincerity and conviction that it must be presented. It is the essence of truth that those who agree with it are either with absolute certainty correct, or they are unmistakably insane. This is the position we must adhere to, and this is the line must we walk. Believe what we believe and nature and all of its facets will seek your destruction. Live the way we live and you will be a foreigner in your own country.
We are the outcast, dispersed by intelligent design from the system, that there might be a remnant until the nature of death turns on itself, that even in death there might be life. Our battle begins in the soul and extends to all of its parts outward. After the soul agrees with the truth, the mind must be taught how to restructure human nature to its original state. The soul must fear in reverence and awe, and the mind must acknowledge its proclamation, so that what was once a life of dying, is the practical outworking of life everlasting. We emphasize the soul and its need for the truth, and we demand the body evidence this conversion, but we must not leave the mind to wage its own battles with temptations and lies. Our minds must be ready at all times to give a defense for what the soul knows as truth and, our people must know why they rebel against death. How many people know what the truth is? How many of our people can we allow to stand at the forefront of battle with an outstretched sword without the knowledge of how to hold it, or the skill to wield it.
The need to be prepared for what was once urgent, to know why and how and when to fight are now our choice. And as one of the billion choices processed every minute, it is often swept to the wayside. We may have dropped our guard in the past, but make no mistake when the beast attacks, we will not have an army that is untrained and unready for the fight. Within our camp, we must learn the skills necessary to fight on a different plane… a mental one. I would submit that we have a responsibility to wage war here and now (militis est pugnares) with our minds, in our minds. We must teach our soldiers to see with lucidity if they are to fight with lucidity. The war has already been won but the question is how many of us will be left standing when victory is tasted. We can watch God’s plan unfold, or we can be unfolded. We can affect the world for the will of the Father with purpose and conviction or we can succumb to our own desires. We do have a choice, but it is not whether “to fight or not to fight?” but rather on which side we will fight. Our plight is nothing more, and nothing less. We cannot escape our involvement in the outworking of God’s will but we can choose whether to be Judas, or Peter. This is the time to stand up and choose what you will be counted for. The time is now. This is a call to arms.