I would not believe, and less trust a christian church conservatism that did not cut the cords with the cults in principles and power. In addition to this, I would not trust a conservatism that did not care to evaluate history and culture, to find the things that could be reformed, because they belong to a certain time, or a certain culture. And lastly because we believe in a God of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
So what belongs to yesterday ? What belongs to today ? What belongs to tomorrow ? Does your authentic or conservative christian faith involve the living God ? Is it a living conservatism ? Or is it left to the principles of man ? Especially to a reform that does not dare to be “re-reformed” by the living God, according to his life and his cross. God renews every day, not to deny the law, not to deny the gospel but to give us the mercy that we do not deserve.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
And because we were the enemies of God, we cannot go back to a state where we do NOT work with true reconciliation. Because he have reconciled us with him, a plan he had from eternal times. So from the yesterday we have reconciliation. Without reconciliation we would remain an enemy of God.
Jesus is today (as he is in all ages) – but especially today. Today is the day of mercy, the eighth day. The day that haven’t been before, that is the day you live today. It is a day of salvation, not of judgement. It is the day of invitation, not of condemnation. It is today.
In the future, God will remain the God of the ages. Of course, not with the same language, but with the same living Word. Not with the same culture, because cultures change. And not with the same systems and principles, because God is God of all ages and he is the God of tomorrow.
I will leave the politics out of this sermon, and it will be up to you to decide.
The cults, oh the liberal cults too
Both the cults and cult teaching in churches or individuals can have a range of sources. All from the liberal cults, the conservative cults, the false prophets, the wolves, the teaching from angels and “white satanism.”
By “white satanism” I mean those who believe in God, but think it is safest to fill their mind and lives with systems to control the devil and his influence. Teaching from angels are warned about in the Bible, so read for yourself.
The liberal cults are also a problem, the right thing about them is their willingness to reform, there they could be even more Christ-like than the dead conservatism. So the conservatives threw out the “baby with the bath water”, when they do not listen to the liberals when they ask of reform. The other way, the conservative cults are to slow to forgive, but yes they hold on to the right advice, but only like 5% of the right advices. So much said, we probably need the parties in the church, to find what is true. But we certaintly do not need the cults ? But how can we get rid of them ? Why are there so many bitter prophets with their pamphlets and their conspiracy theories which are only 45% true at most ? They seem to grow in rich and poor times, because people want to be controlled.
One cult teaching prevalent in churches, is that some writer or leaders wants to do something that not even Jesus had the authority to do, to take people out of this world: to not have non-christian friends. While Jesus told people to be in the world, and not of it – he actually mean we should be in the world. Jesus also mentioned someone that was proud that they took so good of their own: “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46 ) God never told us to stay inside and be safe.
There are many myths in the christian church. The Bible said it would be. There are many wolves in the church, maybe I am one ? There are many false prophets, maybe I am one ? The Bible warned about these things, but did we forget it could be anyone and even in the middle of the church or yourself or your favorite tv preacher ? And maybe the bits and pieces of moderate phariseeism or moderate legalism is worse than the obvious legalism.
So Jesus told us to escape the myths of the pharisees, and to live in the world, but also taking a stand against it. So would we choose a dead conservatism or a living conservatism ?
Luther points to a life, rather than its principles. The latin is not the bible, but it goes like this: “Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei,” and in english it could be: “Reformed Church to be reformed according to the Word of God always”. I know this statement is being used and misused today, by anyone that take it up. But I find truths in it that there has to be a “life” in the church to keep the church in a living state of “reformed”. And later that the church always should be in this “life of reform”. The life we know is the living Word, Jesus, and all things come from him. He can never change, but cultures change. So how to decide between The Word and culture ? We do not decide. We will keep both the truth and the love.
A missionary might give up his love story with his culture when he go abroad. Maybe he even falls to much in love with the culture of the new country. Maybe there are bad things about that, and good things. And maybe we experience the same things, as cultures changes so fast as in 2012, when these words are written. But are we different than that missionary ?
Does that mean that we should glorify our christian culture, our words and principles ? I mean it is crucial that we at least try to differentiate between the culture and the gospel. So that we keep only one thing. Jesus, and him crucified. And from him flowing, the living, authenic, wild, compassionate conservative christian faith and life. From every culture and time, defined with a different form, different words and even different systems. But with the same Bible and interpretation. And with the same Spirit. And with the same love.
So what we seek is not the reforms that invite sin into our churches or relationships. Not a dead conservative faith. Not a faith without love. Not without a broken heart. Not without being dead in ourselves, and alive in Christ.
We seek a living conservatism that is renewed every day by the Jesus of yesterday, today and tomorrow. And a living conservatism that knows its culture, but remains being the salt of that culture. And a living conservatism that knows the times, but with wisdom can explain the living Word, the vision and the future.
If he gave his life for us yesterday at Calvery, how can we deny the Jesus of yesterday.
For if we are crucified every day, with him – how can we deny the Jesus of today.
If he is the same in the future, can we risk not doing the theological work or adapting authentic faith, by not changing the core, but speaking the heart of Christ as he calls us to work:”Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, … ” – to all people and cultures. ” To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; ” (Eph. 3.8-9)
There are so many “silent people” in our countries that is saying the same thing as me. Can we afford to be unemployed in the adaptation of authenic christian faith ? Yes. Some of the conservative books are obsolete. Sometimes we have to go straight to the bible. And yes, sometimes we need to ask those “scary” theologians.
So “from the beginning of the ages” (Eph. 3.9b) to “while it is called “Today,” (Heb 3.13.)” and all the way to “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 22.15)
Because our Lord, who gave his life to redeem each and every culture, generation and man and woman. He is holy. Not our culture. Just the living, loving conservative Jesus. You know, the one that the liberals thought was conservative, and the conservatives thought was liberal.
He is yesterday, today and tomorrow.