Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Force

The "force" of religion* always makes it about the battle, about the doctrines and theology and layers of tradition that man "needs" to pile on top of Jesus. But Paul scraped through all of that in his first letter to the Corinthians:

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

To me it all boils down to Jesus and His power working in our lives. Unfortunately, I get so caught up in stating my case; trying to prove my point; and never giving up until "I win," that I forget we are part of the same body. In the end, what did I win if I caused my brother pain.

There is nothing in ourselves that seeks after God; correct theology can't bring us to Him and incorrect theology can't keep us away. Our gracious God meets where we are. He knows we are stubborn, prideful, weak and slow to understand, yet He loves us and patiently works in our lives to break through our fog and reveal to us the depths of His love. I believe that we can only love (agape) others to the extent that we are convinced of His love for us.

I certainly don't know all of the answers and I have asked God to deliver me constantly believing that I do. I have given up on the wisdom of men, even my own. My desire is to rest my faith in the power and wisdom of God.

*that thing that MAN has created to put his relationship to God in a neat little box that somehow makes sense.


Judah Himango said...

Well, to hell with the force [of religion], then, I just want God. May that force not be with you. ;-)

Amen and amen to your post.

Shalom, Gary.

Gary Kirkham said...

Hi Judah,

It's like the Beatles song except with the correct wording, "God is all you need!"

Don't trust your feelings, Judah! May the force not be with you!

Grace to you, Judah

Judah Himango said...


You know, I was watching an old interview with John Lennon where he was talking about the "Love is all you need" song and he said something like, "It's kind of like free advertising for God - love is all you need."

I was kind of surprised to hear that from him given his other anti-religion feelings (e.g. " hell below us, above us only sky, ... and no religion too"

Anyways, just wandering thoughts. :-)

Bino Manjasseril said...

To me, the the right theology is nothing but knowing God's heart rightfully. It has nothing to do with the 'traditions of men'. True wisdom is knowing the heart of God for us, not so such the ability to sperate the good and bad...
Great post!