THE DELUSION OF BIBLE DEISM
I came across the term, ‘bible deism’ many years ago, in the context of living in the presence of an active Holy Spirit. ‘Bible Deism’ according to the author was living in mindset of separation from God coupled with the cessationists belief that an alive and active Jesus was passé - which meant that we should do what institutionalists are confined to doing: Propagating and maintaining the institution of the church. I came to the view that of this is all church planting is, then we are not planting trees of life but dead trees.
I have since learned that Jesus has not retreated into heaven but that He is very much alive and present on earth in the ministry of Holy Spirit in those who believe. I have seen many miracles of healing and know quite a few Believers who possess gifts of the Spirit similar to the kind Jesus possessed – words of Knowledge, prophetic utterance and gifts of healing.
UNDOES CHRIST IN YOU
Yet Bible deism is not a crippled mindset only with relation to the Holy Spirit and His presence and power. It shrinks the power of the incarnation which is a serious deficit indeed – seeing that God in us and with us spirit and in truth is the big bonus of our post cross life. The incarnation is Adam undone in exchange for Christ as us.
YOU ARE THE ARK
I, like many came to the Lord out of religion and engaged in a lot of Bible reading as my relationship with God. But the fact is that God is not in the book. It’s not a little ark. You are. God is in you and actually woven into your being. Christ come in the flesh is the reality in which we live. So we do not have to read the Bible to get some of Christ into us. He is already in us. We read the Bible with Him in our being to encourage and confirm ourselves in His Gospel and rid ourselves of our own gospels, self-made myths and false gods and false christs that we have invented ourselves and had passed on to us by the many who live out of religion and not our of Christ their life.
WHAT IT’S NOT
I read the Bible regularly and quite a lot of it. But I did not immediately notice that the new testament was not a moral compendium and did not set out a moral agenda.* It was not even written as an elaboration of the Ten Commandments. The new testament witnesses to the fact that Jesus Christ is your life, that He lives in you by the Spirt; that He is blended into your being along with Father and Holy Spirit in a move that is called ‘Christ come in our flesh.’ This is the incarnation which is the new covenant state of being that is simply Christ manifesting as us – the expression of Christ as the sons and daughters of God.
AGREEING THAT HE BECOMES YOU
So Christian discipline and growth is not about reading the Bible and trying to do what you read. It’s about resting in Christ and inviting Him to be you. Holiness is not you attempting to be like Jesus. It’s agreeing that if you rest in Him and allow Him to be Himself, He will impart Himself to you.
NO SEPARATION IN CHRIST JESUS
So sitting on a stump in the middle of the yard may not exactly be what Christ has in mind for us by way of your ‘devotions.’ Allowing Christ to be our life, alive and active in our being, according to John, Paul and His own witness is what Jesus wants us to know and live. Jesus is not somewhere else. He is part of your being.
Ray Anderson writes, “We are not concerned simply with a divine revelation which demands from us all a human response,” he wrote, “but with a divine revelation which already includes a true and appropriate and fully human response as part of his achievement for us and to us and in us.” It was his [Torrance’s] emphasis on the vicarious humanity of Christ by which we are given participation in the ongoing intra-trinitarian relations between the Son and the Father that drew me to study under him.” (1)
* Many Believers claim to be Bible believing. Yet they read little of it and don’t understand what it is saying when they do. The Bible is not a manual for fundamentalists or legalists. It’s a witness to Christ our life.