Friday, May 15, 2009

His Presence

I woke up in the middle of the night with this sequence of thoughts running through my mind. We are wrong about God, dead wrong. We create religions out of our dead wrong views of God. We impose the religions that come from our dead wrong views of God upon God, ourselves, others and creation, seriously damaging our inner and outer worlds, poisoning marriage, family and relationships, work and play. We are deeply committed to our wrong views of God, their religions and damage. We slander, vilify and even murder those who disagree with us and our dead wrong views of God, and the religions we have created to go with them, or point out their damage.

Jesus came to show us the truth about God. We killed him. He knew we were going to kill him. He deliberately allowed us to abuse and crucify him. In submitting to our abuse and murder Jesus entered into our darkness, bringing his knowledge of the Father inside our wrong views of God, and bringing his own sonship inside the religions that we have created, and bringing the life he shares with his Father inside the damage our wrongheaded vision has produced for ourselves and others and the cosmos.

Jesus is never going away. His presence is salvation from ourselves and the hell we create, and it is inclusion in his world and freedom to live in it with him. Life is the time and space and freedom given to us to learn the difference between the worlds we create and Jesus’ life with his Father.

“Experience is a brutal teacher,” says C. S. Lewis in the movie, The Shadowlands, ‘but we learn. By God, we learn.”

6 comments:

bill winn said...

Baxter, I sure hope to be rid of my mythologies about God someday. As much progress as I think I am making at times- I still catch myself falling back into the lies... about the Father especially. The insane thing, as you pointed out, is that most of these mythologies are my own special brand- I make them up in my darkness. Often have I started my day with a big bowl of "Angry Ogre Flakes" My only hope is Christ in me the hope of glory! I am so thankful for teachers like you and Tim who keep pointing us to that magnificent Hope.

Boyd Allen said...

This is amazing in that while we are killing Jesus in our life, stabbing, beating, yelling, screaming, kicking, he is there forgiving us. That proves we are forgiven while we are still in our sins. That it has everything to do with Christ and him crucified, not us and our religion, aka "mythology".

Anyone who has gone swimming with us knows about our struggles with our 6yo daughter when it comes to pools. She stays by the steps and "swims". She refuses to come out even in water that goes up to her waste, let alone further.

Even our attempts to give her flotation devices, water wings, etc, does not give her security. I try to get her out by carrying her, holding her, embracing her, encouraging her, yet she screams and yells and carries on so much that I have no choice but to stop, fearing "child abuse" accusations.

And a large pool arena does not help, with all the echoing of her screams.

She wants her "secure" pool side steps. Then claims, "when you and mommy are not looking, I swim across the steps". That does not count!

I told her, you need to learn to trust me to carry you.

Then an epiphany came to me.

Those steps are our church, our religion. We have more faith in that than in Christ.

Those steps cannot nor is willing to save her if she took a misstep (sin in life) and fell face first into the water. In fact, those same steps may crack her head open if she hits it hard enough.

Yet, I am willing to protect her and save her if necessary if she would just trust me. Especially since most of the time, being over 6' tall, I am standing on the floor of the pool anyway.

So seeing that, I see us struggling in church, by the pool side, sitting on the steps (pews) taking in what others are doing in freedom. We are much safer in Christs arms in the deep waters than we are sitting on the steps alone.

Christ is out there, swimming, enjoying life and inviting us all to join him. Some get out there Olympic style and swim and play volleyball and have a great time! Some are hanging on to a partner, others use flotation devices and others can swim to their hearts content, but all are out there, weak and strong.

But those who sit on the side will never enjoy the real Jesus and his enjoyment of life when we do not trust him outside of our church and reality.

Now that is not to say church is wrong, steps are necessary to get us into the pool if we cannot dive in. But staying in one place when the purpose is to "swim" in Christ, is our danger.

Boyd

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Thanks Boyd for the swimming analogy. At some point we (the church) will stop trying to save people from the Holy Spirit.

As I was reading your story, the thought crossed my mind, what if Jesus is the water?

Thanks to you too Bill, you are a great encouragement to me.

Boyd Allen said...

Thanks Baxter! I had thought about it after I posted it. I could have written it as "Swim IN Jesus"

Boyd

Chuck D. said...

When it finally sinks in to our stony hearts and our hard heads, how much we are loved as the children of God.... his kids, the child he always wanted, and the child that he is never, not for an instant, going to stop loving passionately........ and not just for a lifetime, but for all of eternity, it just melts our hearts and takes our breath away. The power of that truth took me to my knees, and I fell in love with Jesus all over again, and it was like first love, maybe for the first time, because I was seeing him as he really is, for the first time.
Over thirty years of working in a church, hoping that God would love me just a little, just enough to allow me to join those who would receive eternal life, and all the while believing that the chance of that happening was slim, because I knew that I didn't measure up to what I should be. I should be a better person, doing more, and studying more and praying more.... and more...... then God might hear my prayers and grant me entrance into the kingdom. So, I probably won't make it, but I'll try to do some good works as long as I'm able, and in the end, I'll accept my fate and join the spiritually worthless in the lake of fire, taking a deep breath as I enter, so the flames can do their work quickly. The pain will be intense, but in an instant, it will be over, and only the blackness of nothingness will remain, at least for me.
Thank God, none of that is true...... none of that is true. It's the song of the enemy, the cloud of deceit he uses to conceal God's love and keep the created estranged from the Creator. Amazingly, he uses preachers and teachers of the Bible, those who are dedicated lovers of the living God, those who would die for him and who give their lives in his service, to help conceal the truth. So, the world at large abides in darkness, and pays a heavy price, and the church and it's various denominations, for the most part, abides in bondage, some more so than others.

There are lots of things that we need to be doing, but not a single thing that we have to do. Actually, I think I do "have to" do some things, because I just can't help but do some things, as an active participant in the relationship Jesus wants to have with all of us. I can't just sit there and do nothing, even though I could. The huge difference, now that I know how much I am loved, is that I want to do what I'm able and led to do, not out of fear of the consequences if I don't do something, but everything I do or don't do flows out of the realization of who I am..... I am the son that the Father always wanted, God is my Father, my Papa, and the passionate lover of me...... me, imagine that, he loves me, more than anyone on this earth can or will ever love me. Jesus loves me, now I know..... sounds like the beginning of a new song we could be singing.
Baptizing people in the assurance of who they are is simply immersing them in the truth, instead of the deceptive message of the enemy. It's God's love language, constantly reminding them of how much value they have to the Father, Son and Spirit, how much they are loved, and encouraging them to participate in the relationship that they are included in. When the truth breaks through the dark cloud barrier, and we really understand at a bone deep level how much we are loved, we will respond as the children of God, and be about doing our Father's work, because we want to.....
We will share the truth, and the truth will set them free.

Baxter, I understood none of the above, until you shared the truth with me. It has set me free and you will always be a hero of the faith to me. My eternal gratitude.

C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. said...

Chuck D, man what an encouraging word. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is utterly liberating to realize that the Father, Son and Spirit dwell in our darkness and pain with us, unashamed, loving all our broken parts, caring for us when we would rather die. When Jesus fed the five thousand, he instructed the disciples to gather all the fragments so that nothing would be lost. I love that picture. No part of us is unknown or unloved or unwelcome. One day we will see it and believe and in believing know the joy of the blessed Trinity.