could it be that the biggest deception we have been caught up in is the focus on a single point of conversion?
we faithfully remember the exact day, time, and event when we first believed… and we carry this as a banner of our dignity and rite of passage into eternal security and present and future salvation
but strangely there is no account of Jesus ever taking any individual behind the Wailing Wall, handing him a “4 Spiritual Laws” booklet and telling him to, “repeat after me….”
yes, Jesus spoke of being ‘born again’ but that was once in a specific confrontation with a religious ruler named Nicodemus… and in the epistles Paul writes conceptually of being ‘born again’ to a living hope…
but both Jesus Christ and Paul the apostle spoke of dying daily, not only once… and communion (proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus) is not done only once as a lasting and final eternal event, but as something extremely important to be done as often as we eat together…
… and this “dying daily” idea was spoken of by both in graphic detail
the metaphor of life and death points to a seed which is planted inside soil and grows…. like a natural seed the seed of the spirit may indeed seem to have a measurable chronological beginning but that seed like the natural seed faces life and death every second of its life from that point on
from the very beginning it is involved in a perpetual struggle for life and this struggle is what brings the strength of character and establishes the longevity and fruitfulness of the life
just the same as a seed that dies, falls to the ground and germinates does not immediately become or remain a fully formed mature life form could the same be said of the spiritual seed?
perhaps the biggest problem could be that one single eternal and immutable event can so easily result in an ushering in a of a rite of privilege… and there are no “rites” and privileges other than loving, serving and dying to ones self… at least this is what Jesus and Paul seem to be suggesting to my mind
and if this attitude of rite, rights and privilege is established could this be a root contribution to the apparent shallowness of true spirituality in our lives?
so many Christians (and followers of other belief systems for that matter) claim to believe yet so few seem to read let alone study the scriptural texts and even fewer seem to understand it
and it seems very apparent that most feel fully content to be told from a pulpit what to and what not to do
… and maybe the spiritual leaders really like it this way?
personal rite and privilege conveniently instills an attitude of superiority and elitism and tends to leave one feeling totally qualified, guaranteed recipients of absolute benefits with no responsibility nor personal application required
… perhaps much like the Apartheid system injected into the “White” minority in recent South African history and that which is being injected into the “Black” majority in the present
what could it mean to “die daily?”
in our modern world of instant gratification and self actualization, individual rights, demands and democratic freedom how would this all work itself out?
and with all the feel good sentiment abounding from our TV’s and pulpits (religious and political) does this not seem like a huge negative, … a heavy bring-down?
or maybe these passages need to be erased from our scriptures…?
…. or maybe these emo-depressive meme-spinner Jesus and Paul characters need to be fully exposed and defrocked for the negative killjoys they clearly are?
…. or could it be that by thinking and believing we died once and that is enough we now are really well and truly dead?