If someone tells you that you need one of their books or tracts to enhance your access to God the Father you are about to be had in ways you have not imagined. If Peter or James tried to convince you that they had received the Holy Spirit on account of God’s evaluation of their compliance with the commands, statutes and judgments of the Sinai Covenant, the Palestinian Covenant or the messages of the prophets, you could reasonably conclude that each had lost his mind. Playing out before our eyes in the information age is a hook, line, sinker, and bait tragedy, with government and religious bodies telling us that democracy, law, security, and order are the bedrock of human society. It makes us wonder what planet or substrata of earth people have been to or come from. We are being had especially by religious and political operatives calling themselves conservatives who also want the world to recognize them as lovers of and fighters for freedom, and freedom from government in particular.
Hard line dead line
James had seen Yeshua up close from childhood but he chose to align himself with the Pharisee sect. He sided with them in their attempt to turn the church into to a franchise of the Aaronic kingdom. I affirm, with the eyewitnesses of New Testament times, that Christ’s agenda was not to invite any person to follow Moses or Elijah. James may have thought he could ignore his brother’s conflict with the Jewish authorities and he definitely makes absolutely no case for the atonement that is central to his brother’s identity and mission. He, like many before him, thinks he can impress his audience with a hard line about personal performance. He ends up with a lot of name calling and an unhinged theory about how God justified Abraham, where grace is sidetracked into help for believers.There are few examples of being more misguided about the primacy of grace and faith. We believe that grace is the exclusive portal for all things divine. Killing violators of law or protocols is a devilish idea. Apply that law to everyone and the human race disappears. There are people who say they know when God closes the door on people for whom His Son died, which means we can ignore the duty to forgive – seventy times seven – as taught by Christ himself, and love as he loved. Talk about being more just than God!
How can anyone be committed to justice by siding with corporations and the rich? How does small government – the stupid mantra of American conservatives – effectively govern a large country? How could strength and security ever emerge when “united” defines a potpourri of racist, xenophobic, misogynist, vote manipulating states? The great deceiver has a lot of people in his grasp who thought that they could line up behind instructions about sacred time, purity and impurity regulations, and the idolatry of types over reality. One of the more stupid things that people embrace in their zeal for things Messianic is the readiness to condemn others for sin. Stop acting surprised at the antics of people who want less government and a majority of judges who cannot accurately interpret their basis law, written in their own language, and is not even four hundred years old.. Stop pretending to be impressed by Webster’s definition of concepts birthed in God’s heart thousands of years ago and written in languages that people in Africa, much of Europe and Asia, and all of America, Australia, Canada, and the islands of the sea have to learn.
It is a noble thing to appreciate every bit of exhortation we receive from any source. We are in a bad place when the exhortation falls off the train and shows no awareness that the popular interpretations of Scripture need urgent attention because those interpretations and a whole lot of official translations are more wrong, elementary, speculative, and designed to entrap than they are accurate.Who has you?