The god of this world maneuvered his greatest lie after the Rebellion by conditioning mankind into thinking that Christianity is, but only, one of the world’s great religions. You can compare looking at the various religions with looking for the right shoes in your closet. You realize the need of choosing the right style is important. You know, the right shoe for the right occasion. For example, if you’re hiking, you don’t choose high heels.
Unfortunately, that is how we look at religious beliefs. You can find the right belief system suitable for anyone or any occasion; sort of a Hallmark moment. It’s not unlike looking at a closet full of shoes. Often well-meaning parents will encourage their children to examine the various cultures and religions before making their selection so as to find the one with which they can identify. This is quite a contrast from the admonition for parents to train their children in the way which they should go. I realize this admonishment comes from the book of Proverbs, a collection of Hebrew wisdom passed down through the ages.
But it is more than Hebrew wisdom. It is ancient wisdom; a wisdom that predates Hebrew culture. Israel’s King Solomon recorded these maxims which came to be known as Proverbs for instruction as they were given to him by YHWH. It’s important to know that YHWH is more than a name. It resembles rather the sound of breathing. But that’s a whole other subject. My point here is the Jewish God, YHWH, really isn’t Jewish. He’s not Christian either. He told Moses his name, “I AM, that I AM”. Over many years His name YHWH developed into compound names as man’s experience with YHWH varied in everyday life. That, again, is a huge subject alone.
But back to these religious systems; they’re worldwide and are designed to fit any taste imaginable. From those vowing to live a life of poverty to the religious rich, religion is just that – religious!
To help with the tastes of the masses, we have everything from kiosks, boutiques, malls and warehouse market styles to accommodate the law of supply and demand. The professionalism of today’s religious culture is suited to meet the needs of a growing moralistic culture masquerading a veiled substitute of a living Christ.
It pains me to hear that Jesus is the founder of a religion. It is equally painful for me to hear Christianity describe in terminology of a pseudo-science, a self-help program, etc. The modern Christian culture is helpless in identifying with the ruggedness of Christ, because He is all tied up in our doctrines and order of services, and so we do not see Him.
The average person is inarticulate about his belief and does not connect his belief in goodness, justice, and truth with Jesus Christ or churches, because this disconnect is the result of misrepresenting Christ. As long as Christ is bound by our belief systems, the result is beholding a caricature version only, marked with religious acne. Folks, the world is not into it!
The Christ of God predates any and all religious orders. He is the Ancient of Days, one with the Father, personally involved with the creation of all things visible and invisible. He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.
This Christ that is before recorded history is the Christ in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus bar Joseph lived a very ordinary life with his parents and relatives. His life was ordinary in the sense he lived like all other children in ancient Judea. Learning his father’s trade, He became skillful with His hands. His submission to his parents was spotless, but was eclipsed by another Life. The Christ in Jesus bar Joseph was eclipsing everything in Him and everyone around Him, that is, everyone who would receive Him.
The first recorded hiccup in this Jewish family’s life was at the child’s circumcision. The prophet in the temple seeing the child exclaimed, “He was looking into the face of salvation”. Startling news for the young parents! At his age of bar mitzvah, Jesus lingered in the temple at the close of Passover. His parents thinking He was with them somewhere in the company of folks returning to their respective homes, it became obvious He was not. Three days later, they found Him in the temple in Jerusalem speaking with the teachers and wise men of their day.
Christ in man is an ancient mystery according to the apostle’s letter to the church in Colossae. It is a mystery older than the church or the creation of man. When Elohim said, “Let us make man”, He knew who man was before man was formed. Man was Love’s creation. He is not found in knowledge. He is found in Love. Christ was in the Garden, in Adam and Eve.
I can’t explain this doctrinally, but I know it is true. Call me a heretic, if that’s needed, but I know the nemesis of this mystery is trying to put our understanding around it. The mystery survived very well without my understanding or ability to explain it. Intellectual atheism is prevalent around the world among the redeemed. The mystery of Christ in us does not call for our knowledge to confirm Him, nor does it look for us to explain Him.
He, the Ancient of Days, simply said, “Come to Me”. . .