TO FIGHT


Jesus said. 'I and the Father are one' and 'If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.' He also said, ' I only do what I see My Father doing.'

Jesus' witness was not purposely confrontational but it did confront. It confronted the culture that had grown like a poisonous vine from the tree of Adam, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus confronted the perverse twisting of the witness of God through law and temple with the grace and truth of His own witness. His substitution of Himself as the vine to replace the distorted and conflicting tenets of the knowledge of good and evil was innately confronting because it was His assault on death with life. Speaking of the inert, the passive and the political Jesus said,

"Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God" Luke 9.60.

He implied that where there is no confrontation religion was maintained but there is no revealing of the Kingdom of God.

The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was a battle between life and death. If we are intent on avoiding conflict and persuaded that we should never confront anything it is improbable that we will ever represent life or the fullness of Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is life and He came to confront and resurrect all that is dead.

Our fight is not against flesh and blood but it is a fight. If our religious tradition is political and we have an inclination to compromise it is unlikely that we will speak with a clear voice and speak a definite yes or a definite no. But like the politician we have become we will contrive to speak a yes and no simultaneously and as a result say nothing, or very little of consequence. Christian politicians lose the ability to discern truth from error because they have made so many compromises in the
cause of a carnal peace. Jesus declared that He had not come to bring peace but a sword because the advance of truth created a war between darkness and light.

Sure we can plod along phlegmatically in 'what we have always believed.' Even when the elephant in the room is that ours is 'another gospel' to which we have added some element of truth like the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But there comes a time when we must choose to leave our illusions behind and begin to walk on water in the Holy Spirit. Let's be clear. No one lives in the Spirit who lives at the same time in the law and the old covenant.

Don Aitkin writes,
'Martin Luther once remarked that wherever the gospel is proclaimed and represented in its purity, it engenders conflict and controversy. We live in an age that abhors controversy, and we are prone to avoid conflict. How dissimilar this atmosphere is from that which marked the labor of the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles. The prophets were immersed in conflict and controversy precisely because they would not accommodate the Word of God to the demands of a nation caught up in syncretism. The apostles were engaged in conflict continuously. As much as Paul sought to live peaceably with all men, he found rare moments of peace and little respite
from controversy.'