Monday, January 11, 2016

Spirit vs Flesh

Spirit is good and matter is evil. This old idea finds new ways to express itself. During the writing of the New Testament, it was "gnosticism," and those writers, especially Paul, argued against it constantly. The main premise is whatever the body does has no effect on the spirit. The spirit can be completely pure, whether it resides in a serial killer or a newborn infant.

Seems someone is always trying to dilute or pollute God's truth (Can you say "Satan?" she writes in her Church Lady voice). The Bible never says the body doesn't matter. Jesus goes so far as to say if your hand causes you to sin, it's better to cut it off than go to hell because of it. That's one example. Randy Alcorn gives many, many more because one of his main arguments in Heaven is that Heaven is a physical place because humans are physical beings. We were created with bodies, and those bodies are part of what we are.

Early Christians went against culture by burying their dead instead of cremating them because they believed the body would resurrect with the person. Like Jesus. His body went with him back to heaven, even though he'd been only spirit prior to the incarnation (that's a big word for "turning into flesh). I have no issues with cremation in general because I don't think the God who created everything from nothing is going to have trouble recreating any body at his second coming. I prefer the idea of rotting in the ground until that happens because I'm a gardener and recycler, but that's likely another post.

I lived as a gnostic for many, many years. I believed I was a Christian even though I did none of the things Christians are supposed to do - give regularly to God's work, assemble together for fellowship and worship, make disciples, pray regularly, study the Bible. As long as I was saved, I didn't have to do anything more than ask forgiveness if I messed up to much.

The day my hypocrisy - that's what it is, really, to speak one way and live another: hypocrisy - came home to me, I made some changes. I resumed Bible study and prayer. I began to put my checkbook to work for God, even though the sums were small at first. I added "Jesus" to my daily vocabulary, determined that if I was ever to be beheaded for my faith, there would be plenty of evidence to convict me. I wanted to "store up my treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy."

My goal is for both my spirit and my body to serve Jesus faithfully as one unit. I want my body to join me in eternity, perfected, like I will be. I'm going to need it. I hear there's a garden, and I want in on that action.

Push button. Receive bacon.

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