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« Isaiah 50 - Passion Week Reading | Main | The Prophetic Culture of the Kingdom (pt. 5) by Eric H. Janzen »

April 01, 2010

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Brad

Someone who put THEIR money where MY mouth is:

This is from a pretty well-known worship leader, who decided to no longer perform/lead/sing a popular song of his because it has militaristic overtones. http://www.gungormusic.com/blog/?p=29

jan

Eric,
thank you for the rich and thought full answer, i heard no rambling.

yes... with you in inviting more clarity and discernment.

:)
blessings

Eric H Janzen

Dear Jan,
I am not opposed to what Brad is saying about fasting from metaphors that he and others may be fatigued by and identify with the negative issues within the Church today. Cleansing the palate is an excellent idea. I'm not at that place though. I know that God is a redeemer and for me the metaphors and language of the bible is rich and meaningful on a personal level...that is to say: I get it, it computes with my particular brain wiring. These are pictures and words that have helped me to understand the Gospel and who God is and what he is like, and what the spiritual reality around me is like. So on a personal level somewhere within me I don't want to admit any kind of defeat or give any ground to those who take away from the truth of the meaning of biblical language. I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of a standard of truth...maybe i'll write an article on it soon, but my question is when did we lose that standard? If we believe in absolute truth, that all truth is rooted in the Father, then there really is a standard of truth that is unassailable. Methinks we are living in a time where some real, Jesus dependent, discernment is needed. One of the Church's most serious problems was buying into an element of world culture that said "Whatever you believe is fine...your truth is just as valid as the next person's"...it has allowed for too many blurry lines to emerge that leaves many Christians tossed about on confusing seas. The bible and the Holy Spirit are ready and are providing us with genuine solid truth that can be hoisted up the mast as a main sail that will keep us steady in the waters (to use a metaphor). Perhaps we need to hear that there is no need for apologizing for believing that there is a standard of Truth upon which to stand and live by.

Now I have rambled.
cheers,
Eric H Janzen

jan

to be clear, i know it is the Spirit who prepares, who leads, who guides, who reveals.
i am not sure what part our choice of words plays, but words do paint pictures, impart a handle to get a grip.

it is action, led by communication, born thru intimacy with the Father, that changes the world.
every person should do as they are led by our Abba to do.

Jean hinsley

Warfare: to be carnal minded is death the bible says. I guess we could translate the word carnal to meat head. thinking like the sin nature. instead of the freedom nature God has given us. through forgiveness on the cross. our weapons are not carnal they are mighty through (who) God himself. they are for pulling down the strong holds of who!!!! who or what the lies of the world!!! casting down every high thing that exults it self above Gods what!!! the very nature of what!!! love. these weapons are not to use on each other but to bring these very thoughts into the obedience of Christ.So I cast down every high thought and imagination that exults itself against the knowledge of God through you Jesus I bring my mind into obedience to your. knowledge Jesus of you Jesus amen.to be Spiritual minded is life. hope everyone does not mind I was really wanting preach yaaaahhh love In through Christ Jean

jan

Dear Eric,
i hear what you are saying, at least i think i do. i just wonder if, for some of the rest of us, a fast like this could cleanse the mental palate for a fresh taste of God's charater and goodness.
just wonder...
blessings!

josh g.

Sometimes it seems to me that the military metaphors are the only grip we have left on the bulk of the Old Testament.

Even more complicated is the fact that spiritual reality comes in military form, or at least military appearance, in many cases in the Old Testament. (Angels appearing with swords, speaking of battling with spiritual princely opposition, etc.)

If I had to put it to words, it kind of feels to me like the irony runs so deeply that it is the reality itself. The peace of God standing powerfully still, ripping apart the enemy like a rock separates wind.

Eric H Janzen

I hear what you are saying Brad. I've had lengthy conversations with like minded people who say we need 'new' language to communicate the Gospel because the language we have is just too corrupted by an inadequate Church with a disappointing history.

However, my grandmother who can't walk across a room without nearly having a heart attack has faithfully sewn hundreds of dresses for children living in poverty in Africa. Why? Because she loves Jesus, she knows that Jesus loves children, and she knows that she lives in a kingdom where caring for poor children is the Just and right thing to do. I think she understands as well that she is overcoming evil by doing good.

The Church is a complex entity. Yes there are vast parts of it, the public parts of it, that have made a horrible mess of the testimony of Jesus...departing so far from it that one might be justified in saying that they are not the Church but something other. But we should maybe remember that there are many faithful and true Christians that we simply do not see or hear from who truly embody the Gospel, the Spirit of the Kingdom, and who are the kind of soldiers that Jesus calls.

I don't want to give up the metaphors and language of God's word to the ignorant and unfaithful who have abused it...I feel kind of angry about it to be honest. They have polluted the Well, but I don't want to just cede the goodness of the words of the Spirit to them...i'd rather see the water purified. And I think by expressing the message of Jesus with the metaphors he used in the right way is one more way of exposing the misuse and abuse of what has been done. Part of the prophetic tradition is to stand up and say 'Hey! You need to turn around and head the other way: Stop misusing the Gospel. The truth of what Jesus taught is Love God with all you have and love your neighbor with all you have. That means Love, don't do ANY violence against another. If you do you are not disciples of Christ' I have no problem saying that. I expect someone who calls themselves a 'Christian' to understand these things and the fact that they don't means the onus is on them to open their eyes. These are not interpretive issues, it is blatant ignorance of what the Bible says. Frankly, if one does not want to listen to Jesus and the Bible then maybe they need to admit that they are not a believer, not a disciple and we the Church have every right to expose that. And if they are a believer but are not living according to the Way we have every right to call them on it and say so. Bring a brother along for a witness, Paul says, if they don't listen, visit again with another, if they don't listen, bring another along, if they still don't listen...well you know how the rest goes.

You shall always have morons with you, Jesus could have said, but my Spirit is greater than them...don't let them win.

That's where i'm landing today with perhaps a bit of an edge, but hey, i'm feeling edgy.

cheers,
eric

markalowe

great stuff Brad, stuck it on our antiochWILD blogsite, don't stop saying it as it is, Mark

Deborah

Thank you Brad.
We're not very 'bible-believing'are we.
God help us.

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