Saturday, March 20, 2010

Overcoming Sin, Part 4 (correctly counted this time!)

I have had some difficulty knowing where to take this series of posts next. I write and delete; I start and save the paragraph only to return and realize this is not what needs to be said at the moment. My trouble is I cannot always sort out the words which are bringing illumination to spiritual truth separated from an inclination to preach my opinions. For those who have been checking for the next installment, I appreciate your patience with me.

Homosexuality is just one of many, many ways humans seek fulfillment in sin. Our fallen nature is completely blinded to the Truth, Beauty and Holiness of God. We humans are totally committed to rebellion against Him. Even the person who has intellectually accepted the Cross, emotionally committed to God and experienced the born-again paradigm, there still remains the process of walking out salvation with fear and trembling, which implies the struggle with the fallen nature is part of walking in the Truth of Jesus.

In this culture, the concept of sin as something which must be addressed and corrected is lost. Folks enter therapy to overcome psychological neurosis or visit the gym while on a regimen of supplements and whole foods with parallel ambition—improve the quality of the life "I" am living. Among those who reject the Cross of Christ, a myriad of counterfeits exist to enable the rationalization that each human is destined to become the master of his or her fate. None of these will admit the effects of the Fall written on the soul.

I suspect, many Christians believe the overcoming of sin is a key component of becoming a fulfilled and content human being, yet they flounder in submission to hidden sins, or worse, walk in a blinding self-righteousness of empty works.

Humans develop spirituality as a practice seeking a reordered outlook, and the term spirituality has come to include a great buffet of spiritisms including salvation by extra-terrestrials. From yoga to Yeti, we stretch our physical experiences and our imaginations in constant seeking of the undoing of our status-quo lives. Most telling of our lack of understanding is how glibly many human pursuits are labeled a “spiritual” experience. I have found that most use of the term spirit is really a reference to something known in the soul which has proved profoundly moving to the one speaking in an aesthetic sense (in philosophy that pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality).

In search of this profound emotional occurrence, many live life pushing the parameters of the extreme: extreme sports that defy death, cruises on billion dollar ships or playing million dollar poker games, the "perfect" sexual satisfaction, the singular moment of being declared the best in show... the list goes on and on. All to lift the soul into the face of the sudden rush, that overwhelming moment which can define one's life as unique--and which happens to bring the attached outcomes of wealth, notoriety, or just an ability to say at the water cooler, “Yeah, I’ve done that, too.”

I entered a completely different sexuality, at the time a wholly forbidden state. I did so, recognizing the extreme nature of my decision. I faced the obstacles of violating the precepts of God, incurring much social rejection and family angst, even risking physical attack by the aggressively violent homophobe in a pursuit I determined I could not deny (over the course of my years in the homosexual community, one friend was severely beaten and two were murdered because of being homosexual).

The reason I would take such risk? It was “me.”

Overcoming sin is not simply deciding, "I want to stop behaving in a sinful manner." Though certainly, that is going to be a mental conclusion we adopt in our search for God. Overcoming sin is a renewal of the heart and mind away from alignment with all human identity mechanisms of this earthly life and into an identity which literally flows from His being. To ascribe belief in Him without finding the flow of spirit-life is not enough to keep any of us from seeking life in the things of this world.

This path in the Wild Wood is the one marked by Him and leads into His light. It is a spiritual plane for our soul to embrace which lifts the whole of our being into a holy state of union with Him, even as our bodies continue on in the Wood.


Steve Sensenig said...

Overcoming sin is a renewal of the heart and mind away from alignment with all human identity mechanisms of this earthly life and into an identity which literally flows from His being.

This is very well-said. While the decision to turn from sin is ours to make, the identity which enables us to live free of that power of sin comes from the source of life.

Having said that, I think that the identity that we embrace in Christ is the identity with which we were initially created. It is a return to who we truly are. The deception of sin is that we think that (the sinful, rebellious person) is who we are. But we were created in the image of God. It is to that image that we are called to return.

ded said...

Hey Steve,

If in Eden, the created human was exactly as God intended, then redemption through the Cross of Christ must mean a restoration to that condition. Clearly, it must be lived by faith with our eyes on Jesus, else we sink back into the sea...but nonetheless we are by the Cross not just saved but freed to live as God created us.

We are by the in-dwelling Christ the real person God intended from the beginning.