Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Kingdom paradox #002

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matt 13:44

The Shaman once taught me that the basic gist of this one verse parable can be described as detachment versus attachment.

One must completely DETACH from the old before one can fully ATTACH to the new.

I'm sure there's more than one spiritual principle that can be related to detaching and attaching.

I know this is not meaning that one must fully leave a life of sin before making Jesus your reason for existence. Like that wacky adage, "fish aren't cleaned and filleted when they're caught".

But sometimes before one can take hold of something new, one must completely leave behind the old. None of this half-assed "one foot in the old and one foot in the new" hokey-pokey.

Like getting married. You gotta leave the single life completely, stop thinking about SELF, and put the needs/desires of another first.

A risk. Businessmen understand this fully.

There's a brief period of nothingness between old and new.

And during that nothingness period one could be tempted to think, "is this new gonna be worth it? Or does this
new really exist?"

If the kingdom is within believers of christ, and the above parable is truly *like the kingdom*, then how do you embrace this?

What kind of old crap do you get rid of? What kind of new thing do you want to grab hold of?


agent wife said...

I want to fully detach from religion, but everytime I look around, it seems like I've either picked some of it back up or am clinging unbeknowst to me to some other piece. It's so comfortable, so easy, so self-gratifying and imprisoning. How can I really love others when I'm so wrapped up in religion that I can neither see, hear, feel for others due to self-complacency, lack of compassion, self-righteousness... So what's the opposite of religion? I guess the Spirit. I want to fully attach to Him!

Agent B said...

Wow babe. Religion...that's the WHOLE REASON I wrote on this from a personal level.

I want so bad to completely DETACH from religion.

Real bad.

Will Spina said...

Thank you for this post. I want to share some thoughts that I believe are really important and I am being as brief as I can be.

Luke 17:20 Seems to be saying that the kingdom of God is in our hearts. So you are right about our attachments to all the things Jesus spoke against. Materialism, hatred, ritualism/ religion, hypocrisy, legalism etc.... When we take his yoke upon us and enthrone TRUTH in our hearts, then the Kingdom is in us. Ok, that the short version.

What I fail to understand is why we are making a distinction here between church and kingdom. The bible does not as I shared in my previous post- some of the scriptures that show this. Many have tried to do so in the past who do not believe in "going to church" or being a part of an organized local group of believers. The problem with that is that the Apostles told us to. But scripturally, those that make such distinctions don't have a leg to stand on. The Bible does not make that false distinction.

Kingdom is a condition of the heart (the personal reign of God in our lives and hearts) in my reading. Members of the church (the body of Christ) have the kindgom within them or they do not belong to Christ. The Christians in the Bible are all locally organized to serve the head, our KING Jesus Christ in his KINGDOM. Making the distinction between Kingdom and Church has often been used to justify not assembling with other Christians and organzing ourselves for service, which is foolishness. It is like people who think they can be saved and not be a functioning part of the body of Christ, the church. THere is no such thing in the Bible, no matter how corrupt the local church is. Those people who are Christians trully comprise his kingdom wholly. I do believe there is another fulness to be had when Christ comes. Agent Wife is right on target that she wants to be done with religion. That sounds like Jesus to me.

John 3 says we have to be born again in water and spirit. Then we will see the kingdom, without that step of faith we can not. Were not the people in Acts 2 realizing the kingdom?
I have also come to understand that the false distinction between Kingdom and Church seems to be to have originated from those who have not been "born again" in the Biblical way in the first place.

No true Christian can be big on religion given how much the Bible condemns those vain practices. However, every Christian is big on Church given how much it is associated with Kingdom life.

I hope I made sense. I appreciate you guys.

agent wife said...

I agree with Will that the kingdom is within us, but I am also seeing more and more that it is WAY bigger than I had ever known or imagined. Maybe the differenciation here comes from a confusion of church (little c) and Church (big C). Jesus did say on this rock I will build my Church, and we know He is the head of the Church. But notice how much He talks about kingdom- which was B's point. I think our society has inverted the emphasis, with the focus of our attention on church, organization, tradition, even arguments and little on kingdom- ie. living, breathing, being the incarnation of Christ on earth.

What I am experiencing, which is so freeing and scary at the same time is that the Holy Spirit is our "organizer" in our "church" (ie. the people we have been called out with). Those people are coming alongside us from venues we would never have guessed, in unconventional ways and beautiful partnerships. It is not "I am the pastor/preacher/prophet" of such and such group, but we just function in our gifts as the CEO directs each of us, sometimes with a word or act or service... What has become perverted in religion and what is being thrown back with "organized church" is the hierachy, the narrow rules, the positions lorded over others (which has been a problem since the beginning of time and all through the NT). At least this is the freedom we are finding to just act, love and grow with each other in humility and serving one another, placing the other first (ideally). My pastors are broken people, like me and yet they often lead me in holiness. Other times, I may be the one with a word of encouragement for them. We don't call each other pastor, or look at each other with some awed reverence, we are friends who happen to shepherd each other because we both follow the Great Shepherd. Together in this way, we grow and are built up together in Christ. But I can't see or know all the results, I can't get puffed up in numbers or big showy conversions and deliverances, because I am just a small part, then another comes along, and another and the only thing I know is that I was faithful and the CEO is bringing in the harvest. Sometimes He lets us see the result (like with Terry), other times we just have to trust that the CEO's word will not come back empty handed.