Jan. 15, 2019

Twisting The Scriptures

Quote seen on a meme: "There is no need to go abroad to attain the kingdom of heaven, nor cross the sea in search of virtue: as the Lord has already told us, the kingdom of God is within you." (Attributed in the meme to St. Antony of Egypt.)

The "Kingdom of God" these days is misconstrued to be the human spirit inside anyone, Christian or non Christian, or the "inner light” as it is sometimes called. As if that - unregenerated by the Holy Spirit which must enliven it - has any wisdom in itself! It's essentially Humanism. That's where this "you are god" idea comes from, as well as the idea that "we are all one."  (Synchretism.) Or "There's only one being, and you are that." (Solipsism.) 

So, what's entered the thinking of all too much of Christendom today is a philosophical cocktail which, when imbibed spiritually speaking, keeps people outside the Kingdom of God. This is the adversary who comes to rob, steal, and kill.

This "Cocktail" is not what Scripture teaches, but more and more it's being promoted in just about every denomination and religion. This is what happens when the whole counsel of Scripture gets kicked to the curb, and we start relying on tradition, philosophy, and the doctrines of men. Or elevating one man as the mouthpiece of Christ on Earth, and that without any background checks on him to see where he's actually coming from. (Another story for another day.) 

But the fact is, that not everyone is part of the Kingdom of God, because not everyone has received Christ. They therefore have not the Spirit of Christ. That's the bad news. 

The good news is - that can change by surrendering your life and the entirety of our being to Jesus Christ and continuing to do so. For "... as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12,13.

"You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, IF the Spirit of God lives in you. And IF anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."  Romans 8:9. If…!

This is a serious warning. But then it's serious business where you'd like to spend eternity. 

The kingdom "within" can also be translated in the verse referred to by the meme (Luke 17:21) as "among you" or "in your midst". 

The quotation included in the meme is taken out of context to make it look  "inclusive" of multiple faiths not in agreement with the Christian Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as the only Way to God. It's certainly politically correct, but not spiritually so. If it were, there'd be no need for the Savior or the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Since many have been led to believe there is no need - a sort of “I’m OK; you’re OK” as you are - then there is no asking, seeking, or knocking - in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

That inclusive perspective certainly was not intended by the ancient Church Fathers, one of whom is allegedly quoted here (St. Antony of Egypt) who knew the dangers of twisting Scriptural Truth to mean what you want it to say. And that is exactly what's happening in our times. 

The Church Father's were anything but "inclusive". This statement is therefore not addressed to everybody, but rather to those who did have the Spirit of Christ within them, and who were serious and resolute about going on into mature sonship in Christ, but also needed the reminder that it was not by religious works, pilgrimages, and rigors that we are saved. 

Instead it is in repentance that we turn away from self mistaken for God, and toward the power of the Holy Spirit given to those who love Him as He comes to dwell within them.