Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gone Too Far...Not!

  The Beatles, on You Tube; feature music that I recall from about fourth and fifth grade. As a ten year-old, micro hippie, I thought the Beatles were "really cool" (which is an ancient form of praise).
Back in Mrs. Ryder's fifth grade class (as dinosaurs continued to roam the Earth), I had little or no appreciation for how these "cool cats" were, at that time; being influenced by hallucinogens. Go back and compare the sounds from 1963, to 1967. In four years, we go from "I wanna hold your hand, yeah, yeah, yeah,"; to "Nothing is real, let me take you down, cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields, nothing to get hung about..." The before and after photos of these guys is also a fairly spooky proposition, they go from these "fresh-faced youngsters", to these rejects from the "hair university"? From bouncy to bearded-wizened, we travel, and most importantly; we end up jaded! The question of whether they "went too far" in their "evolution", was (I think) addressed by my elders, back then. The resultant conclusion was a loose type of defining, a "non-judgemental" rule of thumb. It went something like this: "Rock and Roll music is one thing, we all loved "Johnny B. Goode" after all, but that "heavy metal" music is just going too far (for my tastes)".
  Now, this sort of drawing of lines in sand was (I now think) a form of code. Any "translation effort" at this stage by me, would be necessarily "loose", in that I am not now certain that I was at that time hearing the "undertones" of the discussion-then correctly. All that junk aside, the rule of thumb, in English might run, "This isn't about 'my tastes', let's just start there. What it is about is; look at what dope has done to those young musicians, and I don't mean reefer either. I am talking heroin, L.S.D., and that kind of thing. It has wrecked them, they have gone too far! And the way I can make this assertion, is right there in the music, just listen to it!" "A Day in the Life" just isn't in the same class as "Help!". So then, the "heavy metal" sound became a type of badge for some to wear, as an "officially unacceptable" type of marker to self-designate by. A replacement for leather jackets, as a "bad-boy" badge, is our goal here? We keep generating our "opposites"...
  To change the topic some, I go out with a church group, to the local state prison for a "chapel service" on Sunday afternoons. The burning issue, the idea which we keep returning to, out there with those guys; is whether they "have gone too far". Have I sinned "the unforgivable sin"? And as far as I can detect, the very asking of the question, proposes a "negative" as response, but that will hardly do. The problem with our consciences isn't that they condemn us, it is that they rightly do so! The flaky, lightweight smurf-love approach of much of the church just falls flat, and it does so, right about "here". When an inmate, (or me!) really wants an answer, to; "Have I gone too far?", it is not "the loving thing" to say things like, "Oh, you aren't so bad," or "You shouldn't be so hard on yourself," or Don't be so negative". Horse wonkus! The whole issue of the conscience is that it is I who damn me, and I am right to do so! For you to undermine that right, and thus, so to advance a general field of squishy acceptance, based upon a type of code, denoting merely a new, and easily kept "heavy metal" type of exclusion clause, for any proposed future "failure"; creates that very failure itself!
  Have I lost you there? Let's reboot the discussion then. The unforgivable sin against the Spirit is almost universally misrepresented. Let's just start our word train there. This has just about nothing to do with what most evangelicals blather on about, namely a rejection of the Son, and in an orderly and serial fashion; so to do. To qualify His word in this fashion, says in brief, that unrepentance itself is unforgivable! That is clearly insane. If that were the case, there would be no hope for us, in that we failing to repent, must succeed at it! The actual issue was that the exorcisms being done in ancient Israel, were fairly elaborate affairs. They might have included prayer, incense(?), scripture readings, fasting, and importantly; these actions were taken on only by paid professionals! This was definitely not an impromptu affair, done by amateurs who just go around yelling at devils...
  The Nazarene comes along, and with a word, (okay, maybe with a pointed finger too?) He boldly speaks directly to the spirit, and demands, "You,... out, NOW!". The Lord of the Covenant was doing legal evictions! And the blasted thing left, just like that! The drawn out affair, the official rigamarole of the pros was now being done by non-union scabs! This was the "problem" for the professionally religious. They could not equal, nor duplicate His deeds and so; their retort was to the effect: "Well, the only reason He can do that, is that He is one of them! He casts out the devil, by the devil's own power!". This type of brain failure on the part of the "spiritual giants" present at the time, is what brings out, in effect; "You cannot be that stupid, I say so! Say anything you like about the Son, it's all forgivable, but when you begin that nonsense with the Spirit, then you have gone too far! Such idiocy is just too much, not in this nor the next world, is such darkened "thinking" allowed. Even you blockheads cannot be that dense, so to "miss" that the crippled now stand up whole, the blind are now seeing, the dead rise, and the demon-possessed are now clothed, and in their right mind." To "blame" this wholesome work on the devil is to purposely "miss" the entire reality of the only escape hatch available, from the sinking submarine (of existence itself!) as being showcased by the Son-come (and coming!), as ratified by the Spirit, and by Him-only (until you join in at least). The "deal", the covenant, is always, always, always (are you "getting" this?), between two contracting parties, ratified, and "observed" by a third, and impartial party. Such is the shape of the real. You cannot "take it, or leave it". Beyond "it", there is nothing "there". The "deal" (the real one), is thus between the Father and the Son...isn't it obvious? Oops, I can see that glazed look again creeping across your mug. In our ambition to achieve clarity, let us re-re-boot!
  Think with me of the future. Is there a type of unforgivability out there in future land for we, the religiously devout rocket scientists to avoid? Of course there is! Rev 14: 9-11 is a ghastly affair. This business of; "Drinking the wine of the wrath, mixed in full strength of His rage, so to be tormented with fire and brimstone", is a fairly strengthy assertion I should note. It contains zero loopholes, and sure looks "unforgivable" to me! The smoke of the torment goes up ever, and ever; so just what is the egregious, and unforgivable sin in question here? Well basically, it is the idiotic attempt, to (by "law"); muscle the Spirit out of position. We blockheads thereby assert that He is incompetent to witness any further contractual obligations?...Huh?
  Think small with me here. So you want me to come over and mow your lawn? You offer me ten bucks, and I object that the amount is wrong, plus my schedule won't allow, yadda yadda. Finally, we haggle, and come up with a "binding" agreement. What is "bound"? My conscience is being bound mainly, and if things get ugly, it also could descend into a matter of "law", but such is not necessary! The heart and soul of compacts is dealing with your brother in good faith, did you miss that? Do you see? I, as a son of Adam, and you as one also, are indeed competent to negotiate our friendly contracts, but there is always, always, and always, a "silent third party". He Is the One who ratifies, validates, and regularizes all contractual (read as; "covenantal") agreements, and He must not (and really can not in any case) be spurned, or ignored. If any contract to do anything, for any one,... ever (are you "getting" this?), is not witnessed by the Spirit of Truth, then there is no way left open for us to define the word "lie"! Minus this Witness, there remains no way to discuss the phrases "in earnest", or "in good faith". So then, to "take the mark" in your body, is to say (in essence); that the government of this world (the "authority-below"), is not only competent to witness compacts, but actually "replaces" the Most High? Wonkus of equine! You cannot be that stupid! He says so. Violation of the covenant authority, is to say two things at once, both of them unacceptable, both of them untrue, and finally and ever certainly so!
  You "go too far" not in listening to "heavy metal", or "joining a gang"; you do so when you say that the powerful deliverance FROM devils, is done BY devils. Or to rephrase, you go too far when you say that contracts and agreements can only ever be sealed by the "gubmint", and that we as private individuals (sons of Adam), "Have no right to do so"! Your promise to me to pay me the ten bucks we agreed upon, in my successful mowing of grass, is "really" between "just us", and it is Really Testified To, and Ratified by, Him-Most-High. It is both, or else our consciences are completely out to lunch! Without Him as Witness, there remains no way to judge the truth of anything! In such a case, we would not be able to tell the difference between demonic oppression, from that of Spirit guided goodness. Without Him, there is no "standard" by which to do so, and He, in any case; would never agree to that type of thing. If you don't know that about Him, you know nothing about Him. Are we really that blind? And without His "meddling" in our affairs, the answer must be a vigorous "Yes!". Our conscience is only a "guide" insofar as it has been taught. But it is best (and only truly) taught by Him, the Spirit of Truth. In brief, "going too far", means trying (seriously?) to educate our sense of right and wrong away-from, and outside Him-Forever-Right? Such is the contraband our parents imported from Eden. It proves to be poison and at very best, outrageous nonsense! The smuggled goods numb us, but not even we are allowed to be so stupid, as to "dismiss" the testimony of the Spirit!
  The entire mission of the Son into this crazy rat-hole of a world, was to deliver the deluded sons of Adam (pssst, this is where you come in); prior to the coming violent overthrow from on high. Our "problem" is Him, and His unstoppable justice! As merely (or only); sons of Adam, there was no hope remaining for us. However, as Sons of God, which would be another class of creature (since the Incarnation at minimum), there was a new way (one precisely, to be exact) out of here. It is Easter! The Real Contract, the Actual Covenant (of grace!), isn't some deluded mess between "God and mankind", that generic mass, proposing "blessing" upon some vague fulfillment of "goodness" by us. We've got none! Rather, the Real Deal is betwixt the Father and the Son. In that compact, the Son "vouches" for, and undertakes to ratify all righteousness for His own, and succeeds marvelously! The Father Almighty "overlooks" our base treason, and insane rebellion against "Is", and her Maker, and declares us lawfully dead, and so we are!
  The Mighty One retains the right to recall the dead (for purely legal purposes you see?), and does so in the case of the Covenant Lord Himself, since He has been found innocent of all charges leveled against Him. He then, (that same Lord) "insists" that we be raised-with Him, as joint heirs? Eden thus is forever closed to us, but a better-higher, a cleaner-gladder "new land" beckons! The Spirit Himself, as the "disinterested, and third party" testifies! To kill off this testimony is to murder hope itself, and He will not allow that level of stupidity. Even we cannot be that dumb, and He says so. He the Guarantor, He the Executor, He the Executed! Who is "equal" to all this? That-a-way we find hope, life, and sanity. It's Easter I tell ya! He is risen indeed, so to never die again...pssst, this is where you come in!

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