Ambassadors, part two: His power at work within us

A nation provides every necessary means of support for its embassy and ambassador in a foreign land. Read Ephesians 3:20 and consider how much more powerfully and completely God provides for us while we live in this world: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . .”

We came to be ambassadors by God’s redemptive work, regenerating our souls in the image of Christ and powering that soul by His Word and Spirit, thus our citizenship by birth is in the kingdom of God/Heaven. Our lives are safe in the mighty fortress of God’s promises, but we are also protected as we freely move about in a land that is foreign and hostile to us—we have God’s version of diplomatic immunity.

God has given us the authority and responsibility to extend to others His Words and promises that have the power to rescue our fellow citizens when this foreign land threatens (Matthew 8, John 8) and to make the very foreigners around us citizens of His kingdom (from the calling of Matthew and Zacchaeus to the conversion of Paul!).

It is a powerful thing to have a regenerate soul as the essence of our person, regenerated in the image of Christ, and thus invulnerable as we live out God’s purpose for us in this world. Honest about our dependence of God, we remain conscious and alert to God’s support for us so that we might reach out in support of others.

 

Why does God need ambassadors?

In last week’s post, I stated that, as Christians, we are ambassadors for Christ.  That is, as ambassadors, we are citizens of another nation (Green V world) who live in an embassy (the body/family of Christ) in a foreign country (Red Pyramid world) for the care of fellow citizens of that foreign country.

Let’s explore this more: What is the need for ambassadors?

If Adam had remained loyal to God’s kingdom, there would be no such thing as foreigners or a foreign land.  There would only be us—body, soul, and spirit in paradise as He created us.

The foreign idea that made us foreigners and enemies of God and each other was the idea that I could be god.  Since everyone has their own particular idea of what being god means, we live in a world of foreigners and foreign lands all in competition and conflict with each other.

Yet the kingdom of God/heaven endures according to the Word and promises of God. God has and will continue to send ambassadors from His kingdom in order to reach us and repatriate us—to make us His own children again and citizens of His kingdom. The greatest and everlasting ambassador is the Son of God, incarnate and ever-living to advocate for us. By His Word and servants of His Word, Jesus regenerates our souls in His own image and thus we too become ambassadors. Each of us is, in our essential soul, a native of God’s kingdom but living in the foreign and hostile land of our own human nature and that of everyone else’s—the devil asserting himself as prince over all.

As ambassadors of Christ we seek to reach people where they are, which is why we continue to live in these foreign lands. We are here to help those who are already citizens of the kingdom of heaven, like us, but struggling to make their way through (and out of) a foreign place (i.e., their body and this world). We are also here to the sake of all foreigners, knowing the bondage they suffer in this foreign land and inspired to inform them of and welcome them into God’s kingdom. Granting them asylum, if you will.

This reflection is the beginning of a new series of posts: “How to be an Ambassador, More and More”. In the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to look at differences in world views, consequences of those differences, and how God rescues us and others through ambassadors.

What are we doing here?

After so many weeks of considering the differences between two models of the world, how then shall we direct our thinking? If we see ourselves as souls regenerated in the image of Christ by the Word/Spirit of God living in Green V world, what are we doing in a body in Red Pyramid world?

Jesus said we are here to extend His love for others, neighbor and enemy. Paul describes us as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador is a citizen of another nation (Green V world) who lives in an embassy (the body/family of Christ) in a foreign country (Red Pyramid world) for the care of fellow citizens who are passing through (or trapped) in that foreign country, which is everyone since Christ has redeemed all and means to reconcile all to Himself.

In the weeks to come I hope to explore the practical application of the truth and grace of God in view of our lives in this place.

What is love?

We hear a lot of talk about love.  But what is love?  In Red Pyramid world the word love actually means hate—to sacrifice nothing for the sake of another. In Red Pyramid world, a desperate material human will do anything to consume anyone or anything that he suspects will provide happiness. In Red Pyramid world, people love food, drinks, sleep, entertainment, money, and most of all other people who can give them happiness. People will do anything for maximum privilege with minimum or ideally NO responsibility. The ability to “love” in Red Pyramid world is intensely competitive: who can get what they love? Thus “love” is also stressful, disappointing, elusive, fragile, unstable, and temporary.

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In Green V world there are four kinds of love but all of them are a matter of inspired determination. The most important love is self-sacrificial, which is possible because God has given us material extension in time precisely so we can use it for the good of others. When we “lose” our lives for the sake of others we find our life in the absolute, according to the essence of our nature, our eternal soul.

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Defining “sex”

For the past several weeks, we’ve defined some key words, based on world view.  We’re down to our last two definitions in this series: next week we’ll consider love, but today, we’ll define sex.   In Red Pyramid world, “sex” could mean gender, but since gender has become an artificially constructed notion open to anyone’s self-determination, “sex” has come to mean primarily activity intended to arouse sexual gratification. Sexual gratification has come to be the one aspect of human experience where everyone has a nearly equal opportunity to get happiness. Rich or poor, urban or remote, heterosexual or homosexual or alone, anyone can experience sexual gratification, any time. Sex is seen—like all things in Red Pyramid world—from an intensely selfish disposition, and thus commitments or responsibilities connected to sexual activity are held in contempt. Self-pleasure is the goal of sexual activity; the conception of children is an occasional side effect that progress has allowed us to eliminate in the absolute.

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In Green V world, gender provides for procreation in a comprehensive way—not just the physiological ability to conceive and bear children, but an entire relationship called family in which profound, enduring, and durable happiness is found. Here, as above, happiness follows the ideal rather than being the only ideal. Love of others, as God loves us, is the design that directs our lives, and happiness very naturally and divinely comes to people so engaged. “Sex” is a relatively foreign word in Green V world because it is much too limited, isolating a particular expression of genuine love that by God’s design takes place in a broad context of love and kindness. Sexual intercourse is never taken or even pursued in self-interest, especially not by the man. When a husband’s providence for a wife inspires her to seek a relationship of providence in turn, she invites the singular form of physical intimacy that provides for conception that is supported by a constant, comprehensive love from God through the husband.

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Male vs. female, part 2

Last week, we considered how world view shaped your definition of what male is.  So, how is female defined? In Red Pyramid world, being female means being either sad or angry. To be a woman in this model has always meant either suffering or fighting (which includes suffering). Held down, tyrannized, and forced about, the female human in this world has had enough. Feminism calls for revolution and full equality if not the reversal of traditional privileges. Happiness in Red Pyramid world depends on power, and that is what feminism seeks, according to a woman’s own desires. Bearing and raising children are also seen as threats to a woman’s autonomy and an unfair, unfortunate bit of bad luck in the evolutionary process.image001Now, take a look at the Green V world view: a female is supported, cared for, and uniquely gifted with an ability to be creative. Females mature to be mothers to whom children submit. Mature women are able and free to pursue command of every skill and endeavor that contributes to the support of the next generation of people—because they are fully supported by men. Conceiving, bearing, and raising children is neither accident nor burden, but the opportunity to reach every kind of human potential in providing life for her offspring. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation.” In caring thus for children, a woman comes to appreciate what is provided for her by her husband, father, brothers, and any and all other men in general according to God’s design and will.

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Male vs. female, part 1

How does world view affect how you define male and female?  This week we’ll consider male, and next week, we’ll take a look at female.  In Red Pyramid world, everything is either accidental (arbitrary) or artificially imposed by other people who came to power before us. “Male” is considered only on a material basis, but even male physiology is considered accidental, i.e., you can change that if you want. Gender terms and relationships are a social construct. “Male” means whatever anyone’s evolutionary, Freudian, virtual imagination can make of it in the pursuit of self-gratification. Feminism looks at men and history and concludes that “male” has usually meant tyranny and abuse: claiming privileges of power and authority as given by God, which are used to keep women in their place as servants to the men. Today, “male” tends to mean either a powerful competitor or a lazy, pathetic, burden.

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Take a close look at the Green V world chart below.  In Green V world, “male” is fundamentally concerned with responsibility and providence for others and only by extension a matter of physiology. Babies mature into adults; maturation meaning the ability to care for others because you are cared for by others, most ultimately by God. When all of humanity comes to full maturation at God’s recreation, the physiology of gender will have served its purpose. All people, made in the image of God, are essentially a soul, having a body as a temporary means of experiencing and learning, animated by God’s Spirit. Responsibility for others is complimented by submission to Christ, who submits to God though He is Lord over all creation. Male means to bear others’ burdens, which press us more fully into relationship with and conformity to Christ, who provides for others through us.

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What is Wicked?

We now know what evil means.  What about WICKEDNESS? Most people assume that “wicked” is just evil of greater magnitude. In Red Pyramid world, because “evil” is what gets in the way of my happiness, wickedness is a kind of evil that really gets in the way or stays in the way, like a god who fails to make me happy according to my will or people who stubbornly refuse to affirm my assertions and preferences.

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Wickedness in Green V world is neither logical nor a necessity. Wickedness is of corrupt human invention: evil people who oppose God’s design and think, speak, and do wickedness. Wickedness is a categorical shift beyond evil. Natural disasters are evil and a hardship but nothing like the horrible, abhorrent, despicable, dastardly, unthinkable kinds of harm that people invent to inflict on each other. Falling down and scraping your knee is evil. Consciously inflicting suffering on another person is wicked. A surgeon’s knife does evil but it works for good; a murderer’s knife only does harm, wickedly.  Wickedness is hated by God, opposed by God, and will eventually be overcome by God, either by redemption or abandonment.

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Defining Evil

Last week, I presented the definition of good, based on your world view.  Now, how about evil?  Good and evil are parallel to and inseparable from life and death. In Red Pyramid world, whatever keeps me from being happy is evil, most of all other people’s contrary opinions and rules. What is especially evil in Red Pyramid world is any disposition that does not affirm, fight for, and fund my claims to and methods of taking happiness. Here is a powerful source of conflict in Red Pyramid world, where some people call others evil for opposing them, but refuse to consider themselves evil for their opposition to others. People in Red Pyramid world demand a world without evil, which results in burdening everyone and everything else with the task of always, only, ever supplying happiness according to each demanding person’s preferences.

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In Green V world, evil simply means the opposite or opposing force, like gravity. Evil is a necessary and unavoidable opposite of good. Light and darkness, heat and cold, thirst and drink, fatigue and rest. There is, at least in theory, the possibility of the opposite or absence of anything good that God created. If life is good, what should we call death? Evil. If God designed creation to work in a certain way, anything that opposes or corrupts that design is evil. The beauty of Green V world is that we have time in a material place in which to learn how good “good” really is and why, and also by experiencing how bad evil really is and why.  And all this learning happens within God’s gracious and wise providence, so that all things work together for good.

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