Friday, February 28, 2014

CP 239 Ensnared in the History Wars

CP 239 My place in the History Wars

After the recent ‘Mission and Ministry Conference at Collaroy I was asked to write a report. Tough to do when I didn’t take lots of notes. The speaker was Pastor / Dr Noel Due from LCA Qld. He was good! (Fortunately I checked the draft because it read, ‘He was goo!’) What I wrote went under the heading, “The History wars.” Here it is:
Why “The History Wars”, when Pastor Due didn’t even use the phrase? We are familiar with it, of course, as a loaded term from the politically driven desire to review the Social Studies and History curriculums in our Education Systems. There is robust debate in Australia about how ‘white’ history should be presented in our classrooms. In regard to recent history there are people who debate the truth of the WW2 atrocities and the phrase ‘Holocaust denial’ pops up from time to time. And after the Vietnam War many South Vietnamese people were sent to prison camps for ‘re-education’.
However, “History Wars” is a wonderful way to sum up Dr Due’s message. It matters for all eternity whether we are in the presence of the Lord God Almighty under Satan’s version of our personal history, or in the holy presence under Jesus the Christ’s version of us.
Satan’s version is accusatory. “This man / this woman, just like Adam and Eve, has broken your Law innumerable times! The wages of sin is death! Let your holy justice take its course.” The Jesus Messiah version says, “Father, for this one I humbled myself to earth, lived in joyful obedience to you in all things, suffered, shed my blood, died, was laid in the tomb, was raised to life and restored to your right hand. My blood was shed for his / her sin. I have removed his / her history to myself, and given to this one my own story. There is no accusation in this one’s history! Let your justice takes its course!”
Pastor Due spoke passionately about all of us being “In Christ”… baptised into Christ… you were buried with Christ into his death… raised to life in Christ… in Christ, new creation… the old has passed away… no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus… seated at the right hand of the Father in Christ Jesus… nothing (in all creation) will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus… And on and on and on! 
I hope you get it.

Now something else… a couple of quotes from writers with Holy Spirit wisdom and insight…

"Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time.  Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus, and they need to find there the source for their words, advice, and guidance.  Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen again and again to the voice of love and to find there the wisdom and courage to address whatever issue presents itself to them.  Dealing with burning issues without being rooted in a deep personal relationship with God easily leads to divisiveness because, before we know it, our sense of self is caught up in our opinion about a given subject.  But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative." Henri Nouwen "In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership pp31-32

“Our Lord's descent from the holy heights of the Mount of Transfiguration was more than a physical return from greater to lesser altitudes; it was a passing from sunshine into shadow, from the effulgent glory of heaven to the mists of worldly passions and human unbelief; it was the beginning of His rapid descent into the valley of humiliation.” - James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ

Have a blessed week


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