Thursday, 30 May 2013

More about living loved

"God is love - live loved".

Yes Jim, we know already, yawn...

Well hey! I got more!!

The impact of this little tag line just keeps digging its way deeper into my heart. It's the truth that is the foundation of everything we are. There is nothing else! There is no right or wrong, there is no us or them - Love is the beginning and end of all things. Yep - love! NOT correct doctrine, sound theology, holy living, obedience, submission, or any other christian jargon you care to insert here.

We are one with God - He is uniquely and wonderfully entwined with every quantum particle of our being. He IS love, and we are infused with love. We are just on the journey of renewing our minds - changing our minds - repenting - about this fact. We are one with love!

To live loved is the complete response of our being, to that intimate union. Recognising that we don't even think in terms of moral values, ethical issues, principles or anything else that refers to an external set of requirements. Our process of renewal requires complete abandoning of the desire for the knowledge of good and evil - yes, that's what I said. If we don't, we will never be open to acting in love, because every thought and action will be filtered through the the very thing that sent us down the wrong path!

Prophetic words, healing, miracles, annointings, whatever.... all just fluff and bubbles. They may be genuine, they may be something else (no, not demons or deception - its a whole other subject), but they are far short of the reality of living loved. These things are a mere side track to the real nitty gritty of living loved.

We are not called to judge anything, only act in love. What does that look like? I don't know! It looks like whatever Love looks like in you. Perhaps you might heal someone - awesome. Perhaps a child returns from a vision of heaven clutching a gemstone - incredible! But they are simply personal responses by a loving God to people at their point of faith. They are not universal truths.

To persistently try to establish correct doctrines based on moral, ethical, scriptural, legal, or simply "good" standards is totally and utterly missing the point of Christ. All of this stuff is part of the incessant struggling for secure boundaries - the desperate need to define what is correct/right/good against bad/evil/immoral. We all love to be told what is good and bad, so our actions are clearly defined and we know when anyone has crossed the line.

This system CANNOT work, simply because no one can ever agree on the fine print. From the daily decisions and interactions of our lives, right through to complex social decisions. Thousands of years of lawyers, fussing and squabbling, theological pontificating, "revelations", "revivals", you name it - have never ever improved a single thing, just made it more complicated.

It all has to go - completely! That's what the whole symbolism of the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil is all about. Its even more than Christ doing away with the law, its FAR bigger than that. Its Christ doing away with anything to do with that knowledge. This is mind blowing!! It only leaves us one place to go - yes, you guessed it - love.

Love is not a cop out, its the fabric of the universe! Until we get it into our thick heads that God actually is nothing but love, and that we are to LIVE LOVED, we are simply running in circles.

(I have much more on this subject, I'm just scraping the surface of this!)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Knowledge of Good and Evil

I was inspired by a friend this morning, preaching about the nature of good and evil and how it relates to us in terms of "the Gospel" and every day life.

A couple of things that I have been struggling to express for a long time fell into place for me.

The problem all began back in "the garden" (I don't care whether it was a story or a fact - doesn't change anything) when Adam and Steve, I mean Eve, ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (cue dramatic music).

Basically, they wanted to know the nature of everything in terms of two defined moral and ethical standards, standards they could describe in black and white - standards that required no decisions based on relationship, empathy, love or passion.

Just Good or Evil.

They walked away from relationship, and this is the whole basis of human thinking ever since. We are obsessed with defining everything in terms of good - evil, moral - immoral, ethical - unethical, ad infinitum...

So the greatest challenge to christians is the whole concept that Jesus completely did away with anything to do with that Tree. He didn't come to help us make better decisions about good and evil, right and wrong. He didn't come to give us the strength to choose good and right. He didn't come to give us the power to resist evil and bad things. He didn't even come to help us sort out our problems.

He came to rip out the tree by its roots!

EVERYTHING Jesus did was to reveal/point us to our unity with God (that was established before the foundation of the world...) - i.e. relationship! There is no more right or wrong, good or bad - there is only relationship with God. Relationship with LOVE himself (I only use the masculine pronoun because english doesn't have a non-gendered personal pronoun).

I will never get anywhere if I keep thinking about how sinful I am, how much wrong and bad I do, how bad everyone is, how right or wrong/good or evil the world is etc. That thinking is anti-christ. It is negating everything God did in his Jesus manifestation.

Yes, I know, the first thing that pops into my head is "what about the wrong/bad/evil things that people do - that I do?" But let's stop for a minute, and look at this. Everything is lawful/permissible but not everything is a great idea. Some things have crappy, and even horrific consequences. But the good news is that doesn't affect our union with God in the slightest - not one little iddy bit. So He's cool with whatever, but we do stuff that doesn't help ourselves or others - its not "beneficial". In other words, its not love - it doesn't come from (yes you guessed it) relationship!

So now what? Be responsible for the mess you make, in the full knowledge that you and those affected by those non-beneficial actions are actually completely loved and also free from the nasty tree. If I don't forgive myself, I'm saying I'm more important than God, I have greater power and authority, because he GOT RID OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. He doesn't even judge me, because he doesn't see us in that light.

I make bad decisions because my mind IS BEING RENEWED to realise my unconditional love union with him.

This is not making light of the messes and damage we do through stupid actions. It is the only solution!

Here's my idea of how things work (very simplistic, cos if kids don't get it, it must be wrong).

  1. No good or evil - just love union with God
  2. I can make decisions/actions that do not benefit me or someone else
  3. I take the most loving actions that reflect my union with God to reconcile those affected and fix the mess
  4. I love those affected by the decision - including myself - and move on, refusing to be judged further on the matter by anyone - including myself. 
  5. All my actions are to be governed by love relationship, NOT by right or wrong, good or evil.
This may sound petty or stupid and just ignoring huge amounts of "reality". But its the only way forward. I am no longer to think in terms of sin. God doesn't, so its the height of pride and arrogance for me to think that way. In fact its denying everything God established "before the foundations of the world" for us to live in unity with him and everyone else.

My un-renewed mind still wants "good and evil" because it gives me the power to judge and condemn, myself and everyone else. But Jesus grabs us by the hand, pulls us into the arms of God and only ever tells us about how much we are loved. That alone bring us to repentance, and repentance just simply and purely means changing our mind - that's it, no guilt and remorse, shame or self flagellation, just changing our mind about being separated from God in any way.

I am whole, loved and complete. I'm still being renewed to this fact, but that does not change anything. Jesus restored us to relationship - end of story. I will not hold anyone in judgement, and I will not allow other's judgments to affect me. 

The more I awake to my intimate union with God, the more I will be love, with no thought of good or evil.

This is true freedom. A license to sin? Sorry, I don't know what sin is any more.

And this will annoy a LOT of people.