A Simply Great Choice!
November 08, 2009
Several years ago, I was asked by United Press International to write a series of articles. I notice that the links to these articles in the left column no longer work so I'm posting them here again.
The doctrines, the traditions, the forms, the rituals, the theological empire-building, and the mind-numbing complexities introduced by the Christian churches over the last two millennia can be discarded and replaced with a single simple dictum - follow the Old Man, Adam, or the New Man, the 'last Adam.' Our choice!
The writers of the New Testament recorded that a New Creation had come into being - that a revolution in thinking had taken place. Where before, the earth had been filled with death and corruption, the apostles saw it spring to life once again in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Just as the earth responds to the requiting of its necessity for rain and brings forth life more abundantly, so too did these men and women respond to the love that was in Jesus of Nazareth and brought forth new life in the preaching of the word of the Kingdom of God.
They witnessed a new creation coming into existence, brought into being by and through Jesus "for the world was made through him but the world knew him not." (John 1:10, 1 John 4:5-6)
In Colossians 1:15-20, Paul speaks of the New Creation, the Kingdom of God he has already mentioned in verse 13. The Kingdom came into existence through Jesus and for Jesus. He is the first-born of the new creation, the first-born in the Kingdom of God.
The New Creation is love. In the beginning, as recorded in the Old Testament, Almighty God made the earth by his power, established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens (Jer. 10:12).
But in the new 'beginning' as described by John, when the Word of Eternal Life was made flesh in Jesus, the world came into existence in the presence of love. The old things passed away, they became new (2 Cor. 5:17).
The one great element which had been lacking, and over which no earthly authority has any power, was supplied and life in the age to come was received through the Gospel of Love. (2 Tim. 1:10)
Love is Godliness (for God is love). It is in this setting, and in the knowledge that the apostles had been "transformed by the renewing of their minds," that the New Testament becomes clear in its meaning.
The difference between the Old Man and the New Man, the Old Creation and the New Creation is that (whereas the ecclesiastical teaching is that God became manly), the apostles preached that man became Godly.
The application of the apostles' teachings will become clear when the difference is grasped. Unfortunately, the subtle similarity of ecclesiastical teachings has led to a misinterpretation of some texts while rendering others completely unintelligible.
The New Testament writers enumerate principles to follow in order that Christians living many centuries later may become one with Jesus. Where John preached the gospel of love, Paul announced redemption by a inner and spiritual identification with Jesus, with a self-imposed crucifixion and resurrection.
By subordinating the will of his own flesh, and by choosing the truth of God instead of lies, and obedience to God instead of disobedience, Jesus restored man to his position as it existed in the beginning.
By this 'atonement' he has made it possible for godly men and women to emulate him and become children of God. Those that do not choose to do so are still sons of Adam and must carry Adam's burdens.