Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yes or No? Our Binary Code.

Ever noticed how much of the spiritual life boils down to the tension between yes or no?

There are two ways to walk through any moment in life: down the path -- up the same, faithful -- not, smile -- frown, anxious -- calm, loving or not, and so it goes. Kind of like the binary language of a computer, I guess. Which way will the neuron be flipped when we make a decision that produces a course of action?

Easily, Christians reading this will jump to the high mark, of Jesus or of the world? True enough, but how many have determined that strict legalism is the way of Jesus and not the way of the world?

John warns us in 1 John 1: 1-5
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (Light or dark?)  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.   If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
This part of John's first letter moves forward until in chapter 3:6 we read,

No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.  Practically and spiritually the only question for living a faithful life becomes,  "Am I abiding in the Spirit of Christ ... yes or no?"


postmodern redneck said...

To carry on the computer metaphor, sometimes the problems are in our "default settings". For instance, I read somewhere, so long ago that I can't remember where or who wrote it, that the natural state of fallen human beings is legalism. And I would add that the major result of legalism is hypocrisy--demanding a standard of conduct from others that the demander does not live up to himself. This is by no means limited to church people. This year we have seen calls from political and media figures for more "civility" in our political discourse. This has been followed by an increasing incivility by their friends and supporters, with no criticism of their own side for not living up to what they preach to others. This is only one area;there are many more if you look around the current scene in this country and the world. The growth of government regulations is another sort of legalism, and the Federal Register makes the Old Testament Law look like a pamphlet (and there are situations where the regulations from one agency conflict with those from another--you are in trouble with somebody no matter what you do!). That is where legalism ends up. Fallen people want a set of hoops they can jump through and feel good about it, rather than a daily relationship with their Creator; but it only leads to a dead end.

To get back to your original post, C.S. Lewis used this idea of what he called "forks in the road" too, and added that sometimes when you take the wrong road the only thing you can do is go back to the fork and start over.

ded said...

Great comment, phil. Thanks!!

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