Friday, December 26, 2014

The Divergent

In a dysfunctional group uniformity of doctrine, dress mode and even scriptural interpretation is tantamount. Views that are not a part of the whole group think are either dismissed, repressed, confronted or condemned. In this microcosm there are the ruling elite, the server class and the under classed. All are watched and those who are divergent in their views are first identified to see if they can be brought in line. If not, they are confronted and then spewed from the group. One reality that is never addressed is the nature of human interaction  and general juxtaposition. We all are free-thinkers and think in ways that run alternate to common and accepted thought. We all do it.  Even those who are in the elite class. Some are sanctioned by the ruling class because of relationships or because they are chief contributors to the group. The point being divergence is throughout the group no matter how hard the leaders keep professing that they have created a bubble of protection around their followers that leads to their version and perspective of life as they deem it idyllic. What they do not know is each phrase, concept and even scriptural teaching is questioned in the minds of those who serve within the group. I know. I have seen it and it is to be the death knell of any conformity to an organizational model that practices a lifestyle that does not fit human nature.   

This is especially true to those that teach new revelation that is half baked. Why? It cannot address the simple divergent thoughts that each of the followers may have. Let me give you an example: In the dysfunctional group I was in (and was a leader), There was a doctrine on the Holy Spirit that stated that the Holy Spirit was not indwelt in a believer until one received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In other words a person had the Holy Spirit only as an influence or was only 'upon' them until the point of spirit baptism. My son-in-law once asked me (a classic example of divergent thought), that if that were true, how could a person be in a salvific state when the Holy Spirit is an agent of salvation and leads us to Christ. in other words, when is that we receive the spirit of God and if that is after the point of meeting and accepting Christ as Savior, how could that be since the Spirit of God is a key agent to our drawing, revelation of who Christ truly is, our conviction of sin and lastly the gifter of faith that we might believe. Once more, it is clear in the Bible by Christ Himself that the reception of the spirit is NOT tied to the baptism of the Holy Spirit given In John 20:22 before Pentecost, it is clear that the Apostles received the Holy Spirit by the resurrected Christ breathing on them. What is the Old Testament corollary to this? The creation of man! So we have a grave inconsistency with the rest of the Bible. In other words, the contextual and thematic interpretation of the event in John was to confirm the holy Spirit's reception is prior to any post experience a believer may encounter. This is consistent with the nature, scope and purpose of the finished work of Christ. People who do not concede that Christ's work is as far reaching as it is do not have a proper Christology and so theology. Ironically, their views are divergent with the Bible's presentation of truth.  How was this divergence managed? Simple: You need to have the revelation of the Holy Spirit to see this deep truth clearly and if you did not see it clearly, then you were not at a spiritual level mature enough. All questions on scripture and divergence were deflected back on the one questioning that they were not spiritual enough and needed to work harder or rely on those more spiritually mature than themselves for proper application of any doctrine on the Holy Spirit.  

In His essence, Jesus while completely consistent with the nature and mission of God was divergent. Christianity is divergent and calls us to live at a level far above the world's or any dysfunctional groups ideals. Simply stated: we are not to live by any one's standards except those given by God. We ultimately answer to God and from God we gain our life's direction. In Jesus' day he confronted those that bound their society to them by the very words of God not to free but to imprison and to control. This is a telltale sign that perhaps faith has crossed over and now is something dark. It has become an angel of light professing to know the way and using its gnosis as the apple to entice us away from living free and in the freedom of Christ (see the first epistle of John)

Here is the point: divergence will not allow freedom of thought and freedom of action to be repressed forever. One will only stay in a state that is counter to the image in which they are created. It may take months or even years for divergence to prevail. It is the nature given to us to be inquisitive and to search out truth and to investigate all inconsistencies where we find them.  The point being, it is natural to inquire. It is not natural to repress. Jesus is not afraid of truth, He is truth. Those who shy away from debate and discussion show their true form and purpose: it is an insecure form and the purpose they have is to
 control. All in the name of God.  It is our duty to question it is our right to think for ourselves. We always have the alternative of   'None of the above' to any of the limited options offered to us.

In this next year, let divergence happen. Think for yourself and see where God takes you. It is the path to the light and to freedom.  Happy New Year. Think for yourself