“For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” (Ps. 61:3)
From The Second Half of the Cross
The postmodern view of religious relativism, which says that everyone’s beliefs and religious experiences are equally valid, is merely a clever variation of the age-old “ye shall be as gods” deception from the Garden of Eden. Any religious experience or churchianity that maintains self on the throne of our lives is ineffective, counter-productive, and doomed to produce misdirected mediocrity. Going “back” to the Bible to review the cross contained within the lives of the people of faith recorded for us in the Old and New Testaments, is not a backwards move. It is the most progressive step forward we can take. The one and only Person in all of existence who is the most interested in “diversity” is the Person who created all of our individual personalities, character traits, and abilities to begin with…Jesus Christ. Surrendering our all to Jesus Christ ironically is the one single approach that will produce in practical application the very thing that the postmodern philosophy of individualism cannot and does not have the spiritual power to actualize. Jesus Christ is waiting for us to begin our journey of faith with Him. Jesus is waiting for us at the cross.
This is why a biblical journey of faith, made possible through the second half of the cross, is so important. This is why the Bible is our divinely sanctioned pattern and guide for right Christian experience. We are not supposed to re-make God into a lifeless philosophical creation who will allow us to continue to sit atop the thrones of our lives. We are supposed to fall upon the living Stone that is Jesus Christ so that God can re-make us into the people He lovingly created and intended us to be. This is why self-realization and religious relativism are such gross and abominable frauds. They displace the one and only agent, Jesus Christ, who can actually fill the large God-shaped void we find within ourselves.
Lucifer’s temptation that “ye shall be as gods” was so subtly deceptive, because it was not that far off the actual truth. Lucifer stole and corrupted God’s brilliant plan for purposeful and meaningful fellowship with mankind, precisely because we were created with the capacity for this very thing (Revelation 20:6). After the fall in the Garden, God has simply taken the added ingredients of sorrow and suffering resulting from sin, and broadened and deepened the experience of a walk of faith to include the element of a “knowledge of good and evil” into the mix. That is why we need the elevated insight of God to sort it all out for us through the situations and circumstances of a God-composed walk of faith.
Jesus Christ willingly suffered the abhorrent and ignominious death of the cross, so that we could have the opportunity to learn through experience the very thing that Lucifer could not possibly deliver through his deceptively empty temptation in the Garden. Jesus Christ, through the singular events of the cross and the resurrection, opened up a new and living way, and demonstrated the exemplary quality of character that is needed for the right use of power. “Ye shall be as gods” only rightly materializes within Spirit-born Christians when it is blended with a non-self-seeking lack of personal ambition, well-meaning thoughtfulness towards others, Christ-like humility, and genuine righteousness. The high quality of character training that accompanies the right use of power comes only through the tutelage of God. This is what we read about in the adventures of faith portrayed in the lives of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, Elijah, Peter, and Paul in the Bible.
If the pinpoint accuracy of the temptation of Lucifer hit its mark, God is also a good marksman in accurately devising the journey of faith to nullify and overturn the damage of sin and unbelief in our world. If the temptation to be our own independent gods hits at the center of our vulnerability as “in-God’s-image” created beings with an in-built drive for excellence, the God-composed journey of faith satisfies this need at the center of our being with a challenging set of life events and circumstances designed to restore faith and trust in our relationship with God, which are the cornerstones of any meaningful friendship. A journey of faith based upon the second half of the cross inserts God back into the Equation of Life. A journey of faith through this broken world is God’s better answer to Lucifer’s clever attack upon the vulnerable character of non-divine beings created with free-will.