Monday, November 10, 2008

Vital Process vs Vital Wound ?

Looking back on my journey in retrospect I see the primary objective within religion seemed to be to teach doctrine. To teach 'correct' doctrine. To create and facilitate an ongoing process that would ensure meaningful discipleship growth. The traditional mindset revolves around the belief that this method assures and exists for the purpose of creating disciples. They believe that this steady 'supply' from the 'pulpit' is vital. A sacred necessary means of facilitating onward growth, uninterrupted and constant union between Christ and those receiving said doctrine.

Notice I said '
vital'. The word vital can mean two things: on the one hand it can pertain to life, but on the other hand it can pertain to death. As in vital processes vs. vital wounds. Keeping that in mind, please rest assured that I am not saying that there is no value in doctrine or teaching, of course there is, but it seems to me that there is an error in saying that it is completely vital. (The only guarantee in using this method is that you will primarily create self righteous people who are very religious (and proud) which would therefore be classified not as a vital process but a vital wound. )

The only
vital part of our union with Him is Christ Himself - He is the one who is initiating our union with Him, and bringing us into union with the Father. It's Christ in us who is doing all. He is bringing, He is keeping, He is doing all within all. It's grace that brings us, grace that maintains & grace that keeps us in Him. He alone is vital, and the vital part of the Union - only Christ can unite us and produce Himself in us.

I have always felt that religion seemed to downplay the oneness & perfectness of our union with Him (the
vital part). If we really believe it is all Him, then He alone is the vital supply. If we are joined to His very life, then He is vital. If he is living and breathing in us, then He is vital. If He is the Truth, then He is vital. I think that Paul understood this because it seems to me he did not spend his time investigating the errors of his previous religious experience(s) ie the vital wound, but rather understood that His purpose now was to manifest and share the life of Christ. (VITAL process) The process is not so much as to unravel the errors of the environment (investigate the vital wound) as it is to investigate Christ, the only vital portion necessary to sustain and maintain life giving environment.

I am, as many of you my friends in blog land are, witnesses to this reality - that Christ, the union with Him that He has created and is living in us and between us - is giving us life and constantly expressing Himself in a way that illuminates our being, showing one another that Christ lives and breathes & shares life with us. Christ in us, He testifies of Himself and declares that He is sufficient in us ! He is keeping us as we forsake the '
vital wound', proof He alone is Vital, sufficient and formed in us.


Lennart said...

Ruth, Once again, your blog shines with Gods love. You express just how "VITAL" or relationship is with Jesus and how unimportant all this 'church' stuff is in comparison to that relationship.

Yes I agree with you that correct doctrine is important but it must never be the central theme of our relationship with Jesus. There are a few non-negotiable doctrines, but the rest have been debated for centuries and God will reveal them to us individually as we need them at the right time in our life.

It like that old story of a diamond. Each one of us sees a diffent facet of the diamond and its shaped differently That shape apprears perfect to me. The next persons shape is defferent but it also perfect to them. God sees the whole diamond.

Grace to you and blessings

Maureen said...

Ruth this is a wonderful post. It really IS Him keeping us, not our knowledge of doctrine. I can relate to what you say, as my former church's primary focus was on teaching correct doctrine. The understanding was that we are to be renewed by the transforming of our minds, which is scriptural. But when the KOWLEDGE of doctrine, and not the PERSON of Christ, is the focus, we can forever be learning and never clearly apprehend that amazing union.

Being away from that environment, I appreciate more and more the grace of Jesus Christ that is keeping me, and allowing me to REST IN HIM.

Love you.

silent wings said...

What a treat to find your blog! Reading this was very encouraging for me. :) I am eating up all I can about what it means to abide in Him. Great post!

Ike said...

(I left this same comment on another blog but it is worth repeating because it is something I have been guilty of?)

Among Christians, the devil will often attack in the realm of the intellect to lead us to be overly obsessed with certain points of theology. There are many Christians who pride themselves on being intense students of the Bible and systematic theology. They have studied all the great theological schools of thought. They have wandered through all the dark woods of theological differences and have climbed the icy peaks of doctrinal fine points, such as predestination, and dispensationalism and prophecy and Bible numerics and on and on. God never intended that Christians should need a doctorate of divinity or a pocket calculator to understand His Word or to live out His plan for their lives. Jesus said that the faith that saves is a childlike faith, and I believe that one of the great triumphs of Satan has been his stragedy of pulling people away from a simple childlike faith and leading them into endless, pointless disputes over doctrinal minutiae!!!

*I personally know this to be true because I are one.....but trying to repent!

jul said...

Fancy meeting you here Cirra, I just found this blog too.

Good post! Too many people choose knowledge of God over God himself and a true relationship with him. Been there, done that, by God's grace I'm leaving that dead religion behind for good!

Ruth said...

Thanks Lennart,
your encouragement and words are much appreciated on here. Even though each of us are different, we share the common beauty of the 'diamond' haven't ever seen one that wasn't breath-taking !

So glad that you are having a time of re-focusing on Christ away from doctrinal viewpoints as the main focus. Christ is beautiful in you!

HI Silent Wings,
Please pull up a chair and stay a while , and don't be shy to add and contribute; because I looking forward to getting to know you!

Hi there Ike,
thanks for dropping by and posting your comment. I do agree with you, there are many people who are theological experts if you will. I have met many online also. There is no end it seems, as you say, to the 'dark woods' of theological differences. Christ is so wonderful, so lovely, and He is not divided. God Bless you in your walk with Him !

Hi Jul,
Yeah, that's so true. Isn't it wonderful that He leads us away from giving ourselves in search of knowledge about Him, to a relationship with Him where we can really know Him and express our love to Him and He to us ?

thanks all!