Anyone remotely interested in this blog will have glanced the fact that I wear 4 hats.
I refer to these ‘hats’ in the ABOUT.
i.e. Person, Parent, Painter, Preacher.
When I wear the preacher’s hat I write in accordance with my understanding of scripture, as a professing Christian – most of my spiritual writings are contained in the Pages part of the blog. (I find it hard to differentiate Pages from Posts in other folks blogs (?).
My ‘Pages section’ is – of course – as seen at the top of the screen.
In my life, all of these hats are worn at the same time, and one effects the other.
I am not a religious person. This in the ears of the ‘uninitiated’ sounds like hypocrisy or at least a contradiction, bearing in mind that I have just confessed to being a Christian.
The religion the Bible wants to draw our attention to, is described in (James 1/27):
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Apart from this verse there is little use made of this term.
(In the New Testament it is used 4 other times + 2 times – ‘religious’).
So along with many other Christian believers my desire is to emphasise ‘relationship’ rather than ‘religion’.
Christianity is firstly and foremostly a message of relationship rather than religion.
When we have a relationship with Christ, and enjoy the freedom that goes with it, we are not bound to rules of outward conformity, that cannot bring internal change.
Speaking in Galatians 4 starting at verse nine, Paul the apostle touches on the freedom that Christ has called us to, by referring to the opposite:
9 But now after you have *known God, or rather are *known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have laboured for you in vain.
Notice without going into a long theological discourse (which is not the point of this post) – that Paul refers to RELATIONSHIP first i.e.- *knowing God – *God knowing us.
Then he steers us away from outward conformity to ritual of the kind that includes the religious observance of certain days.
This is in contradistinction to ‘every day with Jesus being sweeter than the day before’, which is true Christianity, born out of the enjoyment of a walk with God.
In this sense I am not religious. (in the observance of days and other rules of outward conformity).
I esteem every day alike.
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Each day, a new day, in which to continue the great adventure of knowing Jesus Christ more. The Bible is God given and indispensable in this pursuit.
There is unnatural weirdness in some people’s estimations and conclusions of what Christianity is about and consists of.
By that I mean, they consider Christians to be a weird bunch of religious people, who live in some kind of cocoon, that keeps them from enjoying life. They consider that it is only a life of ‘don’t do’s’.
This reminds me of a comment someone reportedly once made when asked if he was interested in becoming a Christian. To which he replied: “No thank you I have enough problems of my own…”
The corporate mentality of the world is the sum total of a hybrid of individuals and their individual mental outlooks.
Individuals hold a lot of mental outlooks in common with others.
Folks form similar conclusions about the important things in life, and find enjoyment and purpose in the same things.
They become persuaded by each other. By radio, television, film and a multiplicity of various kinds of social media etc.
We know that society changes in it’s corporate outlook as time goes by, and there are all kinds of influencing factors that mould our mentalities, whereby we share much in common that perhaps we didn’t a decade ago.
But at the same time there are many cultures that think differently than the eclectic mix of those around them.
This can be the ground for disagreement and extremity – resulting in intolerance etc.
Multi-culturalism is on the increase. And many try to balance tolerance of their fellow man with agreeing to disagree.
This no doubt will always be a rocky road to travel.
Taking us, if we so wish, into politics and party joining of one kind or another etc.
There are communities that suddenly spring up in our world.
Blogging has suddenly emerged out of the hat (I will leave it to the statisticians to tell us the time history of this).
But low and behold some kind of community of communicators has been formed and exists and functions daily in the blogosphere.
If someone wants to give themselves to the study of such a community they will probably discover and express, for us, the common threads that hold it together.
The things we have in common, and the things we commonly share will be revealed in word, as individuals interchange ideas with likes and comments.
Or steer clear of each other by virtue of diametrically opposing views.
The point I wanted to get to in this post is this:
Blogging has to be a re-enforcer of the idea of individuality.
Independence of thought.
The world of the individual.
Where each hold to certain outlooks, views, beliefs etc. and want to share it with others.
The ‘I am unique’ syndrome.
This individualism is sometimes worn like a badge of merit.
I find this to be a paradox – individualism is to be embraced and rejected at the same time.
Rejected I believe in the pursuit of godliness, because self is on the throne of authority in our lives.
Embraced in that we all are unique and don’t need to pretend to be anyone else.
On the negative side – slowly but surely the pursuit of selfishness disguised as individualism, creates an isolated existence. And much as it is true that no two of us are the same. Allowed to continue unabated individualism (of the wrong kind) held as a supreme entity is in danger of producing those who are a ‘cult unto themselves’.
They have joined the cult of self to the exclusion of all others.
And indeed life begins with them, revolves around them, is supported by them – and salvation is within themselves to the exclusion of the need to look elsewhere outside of themselves. They look for worship. Scripture calls it worshipping the creature.
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
They become their own god.
I’m all for corporate sharing when unique individuals specially gifted in so many diverse ways, honour and appreciate each other.
Nevertheless let us recognise that we will not find all answers within ourselves without searching for and referencing a higher power initially outside of and beyond our human limitations.
To think otherwise is a great deception.
So yes, we are all unique. But we will never be so advanced as to not need the Living God.
So let’s enjoy our individuality and individual contribution, but let’s not look for salvation to the after life in the so called ‘finding of ourselves’ within.
You have already found yourself, now we need to find Jesus.
(We interrupt this ‘broadcast’ to acknowledge that many will not agree with the Jesus Factor as the only answer. I’m glad to let you know that it is not my ‘individual’ opinion here espoused but that of the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 of the New Testament.)
In this post I have worn the Person and the Preacher hat. It is my desire of course to reach you with the preacher hat on.
(But we can also be friends as I wear the painter or parents hat – Oh! not to mention hopefully the Poet’s.😎)