RECOGNIZING RELIGIOUS PARADIGMS
to All Pinkney Commentary Titles
As many that have received
the gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God
Jesus is the living "head of the church" for all believers. He has designed a way for us to follow him, even as the original twelve disciples followed him. They walked at his side, discoursed with him, and were both witnesses and partakers of his spiritual ministry. They new his voice; saw his power; and marveled at his wisdom. They new him! Though I fear that few nominal Christians are able to say they know him. Yes we have heard about him, but do we know him? Perhaps the greatest thing to be revealed in the "gospel" is that we not only may know him, but have fellowship with him and partake in his nature and his ministry. In the gathering of believers in a place of meeting can we say that we leave that meeting, knowing him better? Can we say that we have heard his voice, felt his presence, or were Empowered by his touch.
Ministry Edifies, Strengthens, and Blesses
It would be good for unbelieving eyes to see what things can and do happen in a place of meeting. God can make his glorious presence known; lift people out of their fears and oppression; bring joy and healing; restore broken hearts and broken relationships and save peoples souls.
Church liturgy was put together in a time far past, perhaps following shortly after the kind of glorious kind of fellowship described above. There may have had good intentions. Perhaps of preserving some of the truth or glory of those earlier days. Maybe they wished to insure the manifestation of God's presence and to provide a platform to disciple those who needed to under stand the truth of Christ's eternal ministry.
The Bible shows that God's presence can not be captured and preserved. The Israelites of Old tried to do so, but when God's Glory departed it was gone they were left with a lifeless idol. The temple remained the glory was gone. The brazen serpent remained but the manifestation of its power was gone. God's continued glory and fellowship with us is determined by the hearts of those who gather to worship him. With passing years catechism remained but the glory had been lost. The ritual remained and the liturgical trappings remained but the presence of God vanished. Ritual happens, I believe, when men try to duplicate a behavior which once brought forth the glory of God through faith.
that remained were vainly held and became a substitution for God's presence.
"Ministry" became the focus of a very small body of liturgical experts,
called the priesthood or the clergy, when it was always to be the domain
of every believer. Just as God wishes each believer to be a ministering
priest, he wishes us to become a true worshipper. What is this
true worshipper and what is worshipping the Father in Spirit and in
Truth? (John 4:23) God is always looking for True Worshippers. He looks
at the hearts he does not regard the man with the religious uniform
over a common person whose heart is open. He does not favor a cathedral
over a location which has been made ready on the inside of us. As Jesus
told the woman at the well of Samaria, it is not where you worship,
not this mountain or another mountain, but what and how we worship.
He said to her that some do not know what they are even worshipping
but the truth is that salvation is connected to worship, it is through
the foundation of the Jews. The time was coming, Jesus explained, when
men and women women would worship the Most High God in Spirit. Those
who do not have this Spirit can not have the revelation of God of which
"Knowledge makes arrogant, love edifies."
"Who are we?
Where do we come from?
Where are we going?
Where do we go to seek wisdom and the answers to the
secrets of life?
Paradigm of Worldly Wisdom Contrasted to Godly Wisdom
THE PARADIGM OF WORLDLY WISDOM
wisdom extols and rewards self-exaltation and individuality Godly
wisdom (the Truth) says deny yourself take up your cross, die
Worldly wisdom features the domination or rule of the strong and the mighty. Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that God chooses the weak and the insignificant to shame the wise and strong.
Worldly wisdom devalues humans with few assets, childlike meekness and simplicity. Godly wisdom (the Truth) reveals that the greatest in the kingdom of God are like children. Humble, trusting, and meek.
Worldly wisdom values and rewards intellectual achievement and scholarship. Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that the wisdom of man is foolishness to him.
Worldly wisdom recognizes classes as inferior or superior rank and class, this is respect of persons. Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that those who are poor shall eventually receive the blessings of the kingdom. The proud and the mighty he scatters and turns away.
Worldly wisdom's view of the "vast timeless universe" diminishes or negates the need of a savior. Godly wisdom (the Truth) teaches that God created the heaven and the earth by wisdom and all things that are in it. And he called his creation "good."
Worldly wisdom features "self preservation" as a principle Godly wisdom (the Truth) speaks of self sacrifice as a divine virtue
Worldly wisdom believes life may well be over when one dies Godly wisdom (the Truth) we are eternal beings who retain our own soul's personal identity forever. Some will inherit eternal blessings and others will inherit eternal separation from God.
Worldly wisdom presumes that God regards each religion or faith democratically. Godly wisdom (the Truth) reveals that one nation is the chosen people of God. The Bible established upon infallible promises, states that there is only one mediator between God and man. Jesus the son of God, the king of the Jews.
Worldly wisdom presumes that God does not favor any one nation over another. Godly wisdom (the Truth) reveals that one nation is the chosen people of God. There is only one mediator between God and man. Jesus the son of God, the king of the Jews.
Worldly wisdom would suggest there is one God who is simply called by many names. Godly wisdom (the Truth) though there are many gods there is but one God who is above all and we can hold no god higher than He.
wisdom presumes that God is essentially impersonal.
wisdom (the Truth) says that we can become sons of God. Adapted
wisdom believes that all of the human race are automatically
of God" Godly wisdom (the Truth) Whoever believes on the Son
Paradigm of Religious Wisdom
the religious paradigm the religious life centers around a
Paradigm of Godly Wisdom, (Modeled by Jesus)
the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom there are paradoxes
to the natural
least shall be greatest;
the Jesus, Spirit-led model of wisdom man in his natural self
1995 - 2010