Oct 2, 2012

The R/Gap

Redemptive faith is actually best understood to be, “a profoundly transformative humility before God.” And, this redemptive humility is defined by our eager willingness to embrace God's values, His  truth,  and His directions for our life.  

But, the contemporary American Church, has widely allowed this true concept of redemptive  faith to morph into the perverted idea of "the non-responsibility of the believer."  This idea being that because we are not capable of consistent faithfulness, then a just God simply cannot, and indeed, does not require that of us.  But, because the first premise is completely wrong, so then, is the the second.

This belief that man is incapable of consistently faithful behavior certainly seems to have escaped the Apostle, Paul's notice as he wrote these words in his letter to the Church in Rome.  "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

"Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.  And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

That doctrine to which Paul refers here is simply the doctrine of the Resurrection of Christ.  It is the Resurrection which furnishes to the believer the renewing vitality of the Living Christ's empowering character as we experience that target event of the New Testament - what the Church calls, The Baptism of the Spirit.  This is that empowering metaphysical merger of our character essence with that of the Living Christ.  And, through this empowering integration with Christ, the sin motive is, indeed, defeated and the faith motive now consistently reigns in the believer's thoroughly renewed through the sufficiency of the Living Christ.

So, in order to believe in the idea of the believer's non-responsibility, one must entirely crop out of the authentic Gospel, this truly transformative impact of the Living Christ.  And if one does that, simply surrendering to unadulterated self-determination, this has the same impact upon our relationship to God that we would expect it to have upon our relationships with each other. It entirely destroys the meaning and authenticity of the relationship.

For example, operating under the idea of "Well, since I'm not really capable of doing otherwise, I'll do whatever seems good to and for me in the moment,"  then children would no longer feel obliged to obey their parents.  Wives and Husbands would no longer feel the need for fidelity to their spouse.  And, society as a whole, embracing this idea of personal non-responsibility, would lose their sense of ethics and morality since those things are entirely based in a sense of responsibility.  

Thus, it becomes easily obvious that the idea of personal non-responsibility before God is not only ludicrous, indeed, it is also devastating to our relationship with Him.  This loss of a binding fidelity to the good of the other, essentially destroys both the meaning and the actual reality of relationship.

And yet, this is, the very flawed concept of faith which we have widely embraced in the modern Church.  And, precisely that very predictable and devastating result if now widely occurring in the Church.     

So, this widespread error in our concept of what God expects of us in a truly redemptive relationship entirely explains the Relational Gap which has developed between God and the present Church. We are now a great deal more distant from God because we no longer understand how to correctly engage Him through a properly constituted faith.

 And, it is an absolute certainty that we will not be able to close this relational gap until we once again embrace the correct idea of what a truly redemptive faith actually looks like.  Until we return to that encompassing humility before God which fully embraces His value system, His truth, His  guidance, and our own responsibility toward those things, that gap can only continue to grow into an every widening gulf. 

For a more comprehensive look at the concept of A Truly Redemptive Faith you may want to read "The Dark Light"  in Reading Room 4.     
(Jump to: "The Dark Light" now