6.08.2005

I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord

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My friends Marshall, and Clint have been sending back and forth emails with encouragements, enlightenments, questions, and scripture to me and a few other people.

Their latest volley was based on the scripture found in 2 Chronicles 34:15 "I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.”

The reply came shortly after and the verse in it was: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this TEMPLE, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews therefore said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this TEMPLE, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the TEMPLE of His body.” John 2:19-21

This has been spinning around in head for the past few days and here’s how it strikes me: I have found the “Book of the Law” (the guidelines for how you should live your life) in the “temple of the Lord” (Jesus Christ).

The way to righteous living is found sitting at the feet of Jesus.

I’m reading a great book right now that says something very similar, I’ll paraphrase:

“If I were a conspiracy theorist I would write a book about how christianity has successfully dethroned Jesus as Lord to such a degree that the “Jesus” who is preached, pasted on bumper stickers, serenaded in gooey love songs on religious radio and TV, and prayed to is an imposter. Here’s how I might make that argument:

1. We retained Jesus as Savior but promoted the Apostle Paul (or someone else) to Lord and Teacher. (Even as Savior, though, we limited Jesus to saving us from hell, which explains why we have had comparatively little interest in his saving us from greed, gossip, prejudice, violence, isolation, carelessness about the poor or the planet, hurry, hatred, envy, anger, or pride.)

2. We did this in various ways: by assuming that the purpose of Jesus and his gospel was to get people’s souls into heaven after death and therefore concluding that the only really important thing about Jesus was his death (or birth, or resurrection) to solve our guilt problem that kept us out of heaven. Or by deciding that Jesus’ message was “spiritual” and therefore pertained to “eternity” (where we’re going) and not “history” (what we’re DOING).

3. We developed theological systems that taught us how to avoid many of Jesus’ teachings and reinterpret those we couldn’t avoid.

4. We made up for our demotion of Jesus from being our Lord and Teacher by saying or singing his name more often, and by saying, “Lord, Lord” as much as possible, preferably with deep feeling and high volume. This allowed us to still feel like good Christians whether or not we did, or cared about doing, anything he said.

If we were to try to reinstate Jesus as Lord/Teacher, we would have to go outside the world of popular modern theology to find ways to think about the meaning of Lord/Teacher. We would go to the world of arts and trades and notice how a master violinist, a master carpenter, a master electrician, a master of martial arts passes on her mastery to students or apprentices.

The only way to learn this mastery is through the disciple’s voluntary submission to the discipline and tradition of the master.”

Brian McLaren, “A Generous Orthodoxy”

6 comments:

Hidden Valley Girl said...

Wow, if people would only see the simple truth of that message, huh? What a great topic, Jimmy. How do you find the time to keep your day job and write all of these deep thoughts?! I agree though with what you are saying here. We as a christianese society have completely "missed it" when it comes down to WHO Jesus really is and just what our relationship with Him should be. We have not learned to sit quietly before our Master and allow Him to teach and speak to us about the very deep and intimate things that He longs to share from His heart. We have not learned to be quiet and still; we always want to say what we THINK that Jesus is saying. We have missed some very powerful, yet simple truths about how Jesus had to experience life as a man and learn everything from scratch. He didn't have supernatural powers anymore than we have as His children living here on this earth today. He discovered at the age of twelve that He was the Christ and then spent many years praying to His Father, fasting and studying the Word of God to discover the love, character and authoritative power that is given to us by God. He had to battle the same feelings that we feel like doubt, worry and fear. We have the SAME power as Jesus if we would only take the time to learn from our Master; the ability to love the unlovely, lost hurting and broken. We have the power thru Jesus to bring love, respect, healing, unity among the brethren, compassion and the ability to perform miracles just like Jesus did while here on this earth!! I don't see too many of those types of people walking around - do you? So I agree, who is this Jesus that mainstream christians are claiming as their Lord and savior?

Hidden Valley Girl said...

Let me make a quick disclaimer, lest I be called a heretic. When I wrote that Jesus "discovered" that He was the Christ at the age of twelve, I meant that He came to a more mature revelation of who He was, and what His purpose was. I'm sure that He knew long before then that He was the messiah, the chosen one, simply by what his parents must have told him as a child, and by the way that He was so different than other children. Who knows exactly how much He knew about Himself; the bible is not very descriptive about the depths of His revelation as the Christ when He was a young child. I just wanted to clear that up for you!

Anonymous said...

"The only way to learn this mastery is through the disciple’s voluntary submission to the discipline and tradition of the master.”

The only way to learn this mastery is FROM THE MASTER HIMSELF.

BROTHER ~ MENTOR ~ WARRIOR.
Young People want the "warrior" Himself on the inside mentoring them personally. Jesus is alive from the dead and President of the School of Prophecy....{Just as Elijah was in his day} saying ~ no other YOKES!
No other interpretations.
Break the enslaving YOKES.

Who can interpret your life but the Living Christ Himself?
“COME SEE A MAN THAT TOLD ME ALL
THINGS!”

Matt. 11:29
"Take My YOKE upon you, and learn from ME, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find REST for your souls.
Let us go on to minister out of this "REST". His Rest is NOT passive.
We just cease speaking things we have not HEARD from our Master personally.

John 8:28
Jesus therefore said, "When you LIFT UP THE SON OF MAN, then you will know that I am {He,} and I do nothing on My own initiative,
but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

John 20:17
Jesus *said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"

STOP CLINGING! TO THE OLD LUMP.
IN CHRIST WE HAVE BEEN MADE ONE NEW LUMP. ONE NEW GANG. ONE NEW PEOPLE. LETS START FEEDING EACH OTHER THE LIVING BREAD INSTEAD OF GENETICALLY ALTERED FOOD.

Gal. 5:9
A little leaven leavens the whole lump {of dough.}

Mark 8:18
"Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?
And do you not REMEMBER........

Rom. 11:16
And if the first piece {of dough} be Holy {and Jesus is His Name!},
the lump is also; and if the root be Holy {and Jesus is His Name!},
the BRANCHES are too.

"HE IS THE VINE ~ YOU ARE A BRANCH ...CHECK YOUR DNA.

1 Cor. 5:7
CLEAN OUT THE OLD leaven,
{REND YOUR HEART} that you may be a NEW LUMP, just as you are
{IN FACT} unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
THE DISCIPLES "said ...to Him,
"Lord, evermore give us this BREAD."

Gina said...

Awesome, Jimmy. Isn't it frustrating? This journey we're on to live in this culture but try to find the real Jesus through all of the lies and deceptions? Also, that book sounds very cool. Of course, it's Brian! When you get around to finishing it, hand it over! Love to read your thoughts, as always.

jamie said...

Love that marriage of OT and NT. Great observation.

Natala said...

i've been thinking about this a lot lately - i think we've lost so much in not learning, studying, knowing the teachings of jesus -