Monday, March 15, 2010

Religion's 3 Problems with Jesus....

Problem #3: The Partying

"And they said to Him, "The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers, the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but Yours eat and drink." -Luke 5:33

Religion has little place for feasting...it's more interested in fasting.

Often it's because someone with a religion based relationship with God thinks that "what they do or don't do" is what makes them acceptable to God. They live in a perpetual sense of displeasure and are motivated to earn God's approval instead of living from a place of peace and pleasure based on what Christ has already accomplished for them.

They have a hard time with this "new wine" and try to pour it into the old wineskins of performance based righteousness. They are imprisoned in a mindset of corruption, sin and forbiddeness. They see all of life through a curse not a cleansing. They are ruined not restored, sick not healed, slaves not sons and daughters. They are defiled not delivered...and that bleeds over into a posture towards life in God and the world that they live within. They see only One Forbidden Tree in the garden of pleasure...instead of the hundreds of hundreds of other trees to eat freely from. To these types of religionists it's not what you know that frees you to live but all of life is determined by what you do. To them the Kingdom of God is all about what we do or do not put into our bellies or do with our bodies. They see humanity, our bodies, our appetites, or sexuality as dirty, evil, fallen and leprous. They can preach against anything...but have little light on how to live. They proclaim purity but can't articulate it's purpose.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit -Rom 14:17

Religious minded people are rarely at parties....because most people know that they are the worst folks to invite to parties. They don't know how to laugh, how to enjoy life, how to celebrate and feast. Their God is a dark and pessimistic scrooge that would never provide alcohol to a wedding but instead would be checking if the bride was a virgin or if the man had been married before.

"Jesus did not begin a reform movement within Judaism, working with the rabbinical schools and such. Jesus says, "I haven’t come to patch up your old practices. I come with a whole new set of clothes."

The change Jesus brought about had been prophesied by the prophets (Jeremiah 31:31)...and it was good news, much like the wine symbolism used in this passage...but it's not often popular among the crusty and cranky...but to the thirsty...its good news.

I think the Kingdom of God is a good place to live within...not just visit or anticipate...and its doors have been thrown wide open and the warmth from inside is spilling out into the cold, dark night. The laughter and festivities are luring the lonely and heavy laden inside. The music makes you want to dance not be buried.

And the wine isn't watered down...He has saved the best for last.
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