Summary: Who do we follow in our modern church? Where do we call upon for guidance and advice? What is the corner stone of morality? What is the plumb line of righteousness? Who do you Call upon in your darkest hours? Where do you place your allegiance. Is
“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
Who do we follow in our modern church? Where do we call upon for guidance and advice? What is the corner stone of morality? What is the plumb line of righteousness? Who do you Call upon in your darkest hours? Where do you place your allegiance.
Is it in a Theif?
Is it in a Centurion?
Or is it truly fully in Christ?
Upon the mountain of Calvary those many years ago hung our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. Our King and counselor. Our redeemer and prototype, the one who came to save and restore us. He is the one we are called to follow, to emulate, to revere. Yet why is it then that we drift away and follow the others that were by the side of Christ that fateful day? The others that are forgotten in our minds yet radiate from our hearts and lips. The two others who stood and hung beside Jesus on Calvary. The two dark highways that border the narrow path.
“What others are you talking aboot” you may be wondering, they are the Roman centurions and the thieves. The two thieves placed at each side of Jesus, and the Romans who surrounded Him. These are the ones who “stood” closest to Him on the day everything changed. Yet why do we follow those around Christ now and not the one at the center of it all?
I know that we don’t literally parade our selves as thieves up and down the streets. We don’t literally gather in Thieves Guilds. I realize we don’t physically dress up in iron armor carrying shields and swords to church to watch Russel Crowe. No once again as it always is, it is about the heart of the matter. While not physically, we do believe in their ways spiritually.
First off the centurions who where the ones who man handled and abused Jesus in Pilates court. Then did literally what the Pharisees wanted in their hearts they nailed Jesus to the cross. It is their nature and instinct to follow every order given whether moral or corrupt, legal or illegal, they do as commanded by there leaders and demanded by their Laws. They where the enforcers of the Law. They are a picture of the “path of Legalism”
Where the thieves lay at the complete opposite end of the spiritual spectrum. These thieves represent the “path of License” (lasciviousness and lawlessness.) They have lost their moral compass believing that what is right is what serves themselves best for there are no consequences. They believe in no form of law or order they are the exact opposite of legalism. The two opposing forces clash back and forth over and over again forming a great deadly pendulum, which clouds and obscures the narrow path between them.
What is legalism you may be wondering? simply put it is. “You yourself trying to follow God through your own actions in order to obtain salvation through the work of your own hands by following “prescribed” tasks and orders given by someone else, which “supersedes” the heart of the gospel” Which is the exact opposite of what is says in Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Or here in Mark 7:9 “And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”
While license can be defined as “You yourself doing anything and everything you want with out restraint knowing that you will be forgiven anyway by the grace of Jesus without consequences in your life, so why bother to do anything” Which is the opposite of what is says in 1 John 3:4-6 “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” Or as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
How many churches and denominations have been formed from these two paths and by the one retaliating against the other. Why is there never a “center” in this, why must we follow the wolves of Law of the pigs of Lawlessness. Where has Christ disappeared in all of this. Is he just locked in the basement only to be revealed every now and again to justify our traditions and ways. Has the message of the gospel been boiled down to a few quaint anecdotes to keep us all nodding blindly our heads as we loose our grasp on God.