Monday, September 26, 2011

The Finished Work-Subjectively and Objectively

More divers and sundry stuff….
I’ve been reading through Job…admittedly at a very slow pace.  I find myself pausing often… saying in deep profound wonderment…


Job is not all that easy to understand.  Especially in the King James Version.  Poetic and lovely…but with so much symbolism and oblique wording…difficult to wrap my mind around the meaning.  I’ve had more luck with The Message…and the other day, I read a few chapters from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.


I loved chapter 26…where Job answers Bildad. And sitting out here on the back deck, enjoying a gorgeous early fall afternoon, I tried to write a post about it.  But the ideas would not congeal. 

Reluctantly, I forced myself to go vacuum and dust…and even clean the bathroom. 

And then I connected some dots between the verses in Job and an email sent out earlier today by Gary Sigler about the finished work.  The finished work of the cross.

There are a lot of kingdom ministries that are preaching the finished work.  There are a lot of ministries that are not even close to kingdom theology that are teaching the finished work.  Eckhart Tolle comes to mind.  A lot of what is considered new age also comes to mind.

Gary Sigler said it this way:

Of course the work was finished as Jesus said from the cross. The scriptures also says that the works were finished from the foundation of the world. Many hear these truths and begin to try and believe the work was finished and therefore there is nothing left for us to do. They say “We are finished and there is no further processing needed.” To me this is a foolish thing to say. Some of those who are claiming this are still full of negative things in their lives. Since they believe there is no more processing they are stuck with a doctrine that is useless to them.

He goes on to say:

I do believe the works were finished from the foundation of the world. However the work was finished in the spirit and must be worked out in our experience. There is an objective truth and a subjective truth. They are both true but if we only have the objective it will not bring change to our lives. We must have the subjective experience of becoming all that Jesus said and taught.

However you have fallen in your mind and have lost the reality of being complete. 

Fallen in your mind? Keith has a favorite tag line…in fact it is the name of his blog.  We are spirit beings…on a human journey.  In this realm…this human realm….spirit beings on a human journey…the truth of who we are is covered…veiled….

One of the verses in Job 26 declares…..

9 He obscures the view of [His] throne,
    spreading His cloud over it.

The NLT words it this way:

He shrouds his throne with his clouds.
Connecting a few dots….the Strong’s meaning of throne? 
seat (of honour), throne,
royal dignity, authority, power

As unbelievable as it may seem, the presence of God abides within US.  We are his throne, his seat of honour, his dwelling place, his temple. 

But the view has been obscured by his clouds.

His doing?  Our doing?  The answer depends on where you weigh in on the free will/total determinism scale.  Did we fall?  Did he “push” us?  Did he set us up so there was no other possible outcome?  Scripture provides equally compelling, yet opposite answers to that question…depending on where you look and what you choose to believe.

The Bible tells us we are alienated (to be shut out from one's fellowship and intimacy) from God IN OUR MINDS. Perhaps part of the purpose of this life is to discover/uncover the mystery of who(se) we really are.  To restore the fellowship we once shared with God. To renew our minds. To put all the traces of adam to death.

I’ll close this post with one more quote from Gary’s email….

“Therefore you must have the eyes of your understanding opened and the veils removed from your mind so you can experientially walk in the completeness.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A few more thoughts on allowing….

Just a few more thoughts on allowing

Allowing does not always step in and shield someone from the consequences of their behavior.  As Sue and I talked about in the comments, there is a fuzzy line between allowing and enabling.  Sometimes mercy is in order....other situations might require a tougher kind of love.

Ray Prinzing, a yesteryear kingdom preacher used to say, "If it is, it's right."  And Byron Katie, creator of "The Work" uses the tag line "Loving what is."  While I can't really fully embrace either comment, there is an element of truth in the thought that there is only so much we can do to change the circumstances we find ourselves....and our loved ones in.

Obviously there are situations that are not right...and some things are impossible to love.  But to quote another oft used phrase....don't know who to credit it to...."It is what it is."  And that is reality. That is what we have to deal with...perhaps allow....maybe even accept.

And there is always the chance we are wrong about situations, what people should do, even about our most cherished opinions and beliefs. 

I came upon a snippet in Readers Digest that was  taken from an article on Venture Beat in the  Entrepreneur Corner entitled The Stupidest Things Ever Said at Sales Meetings.

It was a list of really dumb things both buyers and sellers had uttered at sales meetings...but the one that got my attention....

“The all male ad agency team telling my female marketing team that they understood tampons better than us.”

Sometimes we know not of what we speak...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Allowing --- MYOB

Hebrews 1:1 describes God's method of communicating  with our forefathers  .... at many times and in various ways or as the King James Version describes it, in “divers and sundry ways”

He hasn't stopped this diverse and sundry thing.  He "talks" to me that way all the time.

It started (as it often does) on google a blog post about achieving inner peace.  A number list...with 5 guidelines for inner peace.  The one that caught my eye was # 4.  Master the Art of Allowing. 

Hmmmm.  Allowing.  Interesting word.  it  means, among other things, “to to make it possible for someone to do something, or to not prevent something from happening” Some synonyms with a bit more of a negative connotation are endure or tolerate.

I learned a lot about allowing when one of my kids was in her "I've lost my mind" phase of teenage rebellion. Finally, in desperation, I  stopped beating my head against that brick wall.  Sometimes the harder we try to change/control things, the more resistance we generate in the person we are trying to change.    

This explanation of allowing (authored by Evita Ochel owner of the website mentions how parents many times think they know what is best or how their children should be...parents aka "entities who seem to think they own" their children. 

She credits parents with planting the seed for this nasty little habit of trying to change our loved ones...mold them into who we think they should be.  Sort of a sins of the father kind of thing.  Pressuring them to do the things we think they should, pressuring them not to do the things we think they shouldn't.

I learned that this is rarely a very a successful endeavor. 

So before we get into what allowing is, let's determine what allowing ISN'T.  While it does contain aspects of MYOB, it does not turn a blind eye to injustice.  A quote I came across the other day (one of those divers and sundry things) on someone's FB feed:

‎"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." Desmond Tutu

How to decide when to MYOB and when not to is tricky echoed in the words of the oft repeated prayer attributed to St. Francis.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Some situations demand that we speak up.  Some things we cannot allow.  Exactly what those situations are, well, I am not all that clear about.  A good idea might be to follow the leading of the spirit...and do what he tells us to do. 

Another thing that allowing is an obligation to be a doormat. We really do get to choose if we participate in any situation.  Allowing a loved member, spouse, friend... the right to make their own decisions and choices does not mean we have to hang out in a situation that is intolerable. 

So...the author of this article thinks that allowing means "letting each person be as they are."  Which is directly related to the directive of Jesus when he said not to worry about the speck of dust in another's eye and to concern ourselves with the plank in our own eye. 

More to come on allowing....