There are people who see things and those who don't appear to see much at all. And if they do it is through a glass darkly. The former find themselves among the ranks of poets, novelists, movie makers, reformers and prophets - people of vision, sometimes feared and resented by those without it. But their purpose is to present sight to the blind.
There are many who could ‘see’ whose eyes are blind and ears deaf to meaning and purpose. I was pleased many years ago as a teacher in year 9 English class when Sharon (not her real name) remarked, “So what are we all meant to be doing in this life?” She was not a Christian but she was engaged in a search for meaning.
Being ‘Christian’ is not always a guarantee of being on a search for a greater meaning. Many are content to be a cog in an economy or much like a bunch of beef cattle lingering under a tree in the summer heat eating for the day when they will become a steak or a brisket. Not a few while being glib in god-talk live from the view that private greed brings public good. Many Christians are no more Kingdom oriented than any non-believing materialist. Some have even subverted His gospel to ‘God helps those who help themselves and given themselves over to materialism while awaiting the Second Coming.
‘Pie in the sky by and by’ has never been the Kingdom of God let alone a positive approach of the Believer to everyday living. The Kingdom is within us because the essence of what Jesus left us is Himself, Father and Holy Spirit in us and with us. Christ has come in our flesh. We are here to multiply what Jesus began. Our life is not about our comfort or prosperity. It is about multiplying His life among those who do not know Him.
The ability to see through a situation, to posses what is called 'penetrating' vision can be a burden to those who have it. Too often it attracts reproach if not persecution. Yet such people must be true to themselves, true to the One who has given them eyes to see and ears to hear and true to the best interests of society. Visionaries and ‘prophetics’ are called to encourage people into their betters selves.
But not all speak for God. Quite the opposite. Demagogues speak for the harsher and debased self. They present a way forward that will prove personally debilitating and socially corrupting. Choosing an incompetent and character-challenged person as president and leader of the free world because of opposition to abortion is a perverse form of wickedness laced with folly. Don’t expect to win marks for godliness here. And don’t expect this to work well for the nation or the world.
Practical ideologues justify their self-interest and inhumanity to refugees by rationalisation that appeal to the ‘me first, self-centred outlook’ that is more appropriate to the beast than the human being. Urbane ministers of the government justify their collective inhumanity with spin, devious arguments and character assassination of spokespersons more intelligent, more educated and more humanitarian than themselves. They are judged in this world and in the courts above.
We have seen in the recent U.S. presidential elections how a demagogue can pose as a political and economic Messiah to the desperate - to desperate people who have been left out to dry by the very economic system in which that have put their faith. These unfortunates will have to lie in the bed they have made for themselves.
Some ‘reformers’ tout a form of ‘liberty’ and self-indulgence that will bind society to a degraded version of itself. In such a class is found the efforts of marriage equality advocates and those who label opposition to homosexuality as a phobia. The liberty promoted by these advocates is itself a phantom and a phobia. It will bind people into a lesser form of themselves and degrade men, women and children in the name of love and acceptance of difference. There is no life and no light in the Christ-rejecting knowledge of good and evil and certainly no love.
A man and a woman are parents for a reason. They are an image of the trinity. There is wholeness in difference. This wholeness is modelled in God as the trinity of three persons as one - which is the model of the human family. This is unity and freedom in difference. The human family in the image of God is defined as that which issues from a man and a woman, a husband and a wife. This is not something that can be foisted in people with proof texts. But it is understood by the humble and will be known by those forced to reap the results of their actions.
A moral crusade and condemnation may be the path taken by ‘Christianity’ as religion. But don't mistake this for the attitude of Jesus. The Kingdom of God is not morality or law but the person of Christ writ large as the Source of life in the present and in eternity. Christianity as religion is not Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is Christ. The Kingdom of God is never a religion and always the person of Jesus. He does not condemn people but offers Himself as a way to draw people into the fellowship of God.
The gospel of the Kingdom is not a Christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil. And it is not primarily about morality. It is about life. And this life is defined as Christ. Christ not in heaven but Christ in us. Well meant screeds on Facebook condemning sin and calling for more law and repentance is neither life or the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ gospel is "come to me for I am your life and your peace." But this can be difficult to receive for the many who have been taught that Christianity is their life rather than Christ as their life.
Moralists put Jesus on the cross and in doing so denied themselves the life they claimed they represented. They are capable of doing it again today, along with all who offend their sensibilities by offering the life of Jesus to all who will come; to all without an entitlement mentality and to all who agree that Jesus is indeed their Rest. We need to know that Christ is our life and the life of the world. We need to reveal His glory, His grace and His love. This is the cure for every perversion and all forms of death that pose as life.