SIN AND CHRISTIAN FREEDOM
by Roger Hathaway, February 2005
A friend, who has been a fundamentalist preacher in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, to the coal mining families, said to me: "It would be easier to sell these people bread that is baked from barnyard dirt than to sell them forgiveness!" I was speechless, for although I had been struggling with that very frustration, I had not realized it quite so clearly until he stated it so well. This article discusses both sin and Christian freedom.
Isnít it amazing, that in the religious tradition of Fundamentalists and Baptists, that the greatest obstacle is still to understand Jesusí primary work? Iíve asked myself countless times, "what is the problem here? It seems that I always come to the same conclusion, that they donít recognize Christís New Covenant as a replacement for the Old Covenant which He has brought to a close. If one thinks about this new contact which we have with God, then one realizes how complete is the forgiveness which it sets forth, and that forgiveness is unconditional; it requires no work or even repentance on the part of Godís children of Israel (we white race European Christians).
Ask yourself if you know where the New Covenant is stated in the Bible. You may be a dedicated religionist who goes to church and classes more than once each week, but it is unlikely that you know where to look for this contract which we Christians have with God. It is also unlikely that your preacher have ever told you about it from his pulpit. Here I am referring to just a few sentences that make up a short contract which defines our relationship with our Father, and it is largely unknown to Christians! Is there any greater wonder in our world? Do you not read this with mouth dropped open in awe that such could be the case? Or perhaps I should ask if you even care. Do you? Well, this article is not about the substance of that contract, which you can find if you wish in Hebrews 8, or in Jeremiah 31.
This article is about sin . Preachers shout about sin with great emotion. They usually also work in some kind of threat to sinners, perhaps of hellfire and brimstone. You walk into church thinking of yourself as a sinner, and you leave church even more convinced of your unworthiness! And that is the religious programming for Christians! You've been taught to despise yourself as a sinner. But I question whether you even know what sin is. Some preachers teach that it is a sin to wear makeup or jewelry. Some say it is a sin to dance or to drink alcohol. It seems to me that sin, for religionists, is the single most important tool which preachers use in order to make people feel guilty and bad about themselves. One who can convince a congregation that they are all contemptible and ugly in their Fatherís eyes has achieved a powerful result, a result which unexplainably keeps his followers coming back for more and more of the same, a punishment that never backs off and never shows any sign of that real forgiveness that Jesus obtained by His death, "once and for all."
I want to explain what sin is. But in order to understand that, you must first know who you are and what is the theme of Godís program. Try to follow me, slowly here, and think about what I am saying. God extends Himself through an Elect race of people who comprise the body of Christ, at the head of which is Jesus. This one exclusive race was created as Adam at the very beginning, before any other living creatures or races appeared, as described in Genesis 2. The first chapter of Genesis details the first six days of creation, but that first chapter tells only of the design in the mind of God. Gen. 2:5 states that no herb or grass had yet appeared, nor had it rained, nor was there any man to work the earth. No, Godís six day creation was the creation of a design, but the living creatures and races did not appear until Adam named them into being in Genesis 2:19-20. [Note to theologians: Gen 2 is NOT a retelling of chapter 1] It appears that the earth alone existed when God created Adam (a race of Men through whom God would personally live and act) in Gen 2:7, then placing him in a special garden. While Adam is a race of Men, we speak of him as an individual because it is the same as the Christ who is really a body of many members; yet we speak of Christ as an individual. No other living creatures were yet manifested, until 2:19-20 when God formed the theria (Greek LXX) (dark races - usually translated into English Bibles as beasts), the birds, wild animals, cattle (domestic animals), and other creatures. God did not make them manifest, but only paraded them as images across the mind/vision of Adam who then brought them into being by believing in them (naming them).
Sidenote: Scientists (particle physicists and quantum mechanics physics) have conclusively demonstrated that there is no such thing as a particle of matter that is independent of the mind of the person perceiving it. There are units of energy (like heat is energy) which oneís mind forms into an object by simply believing the object to exist. The passage of time is equally relative. So, the conclusion is that there is nothing but a mind-play in motion, something like a dream or vision or hallucination. There is NO absolute reality except for this mind-play of God, in which His Son/Offspring/Christ is a creative participant.
So, Christ is the instrument of creation, accomplished through the Word, namely a concept that is thought or spoken. Christian theologians universally agree that Jesus, as the Word, is the creative force. The Christ is a racial group of Elect, called Adam, and the group creates into their perception whatever they believe to exist. The entire divine pageant of God is a mind-play in which His own offspring have creative power to make manifest whatever they believe. So it was that no other living creature existed until Adam perceived the image and believed it into existence. The word, Adam, is the Christ body/race.
All the other creatures, after they were named into being, had lives of varying lengths which ended in natural deaths. They would breed, bear little ones, grow old, and die off. That process was their natural design. So, death did exist in that perfect world of Adam when the race was still one with the Father, but death did not exist for the Adam family. In Gen 2:16-17 God tells Adam that nearly everything will be permitted except for one taboo; no sex! God set this rule while Adam was still androgynous, having both male and female natures within himself, somewhat different from the other creatures which had separate males and females. The reason for the prohibition is simple; procreation is not allowed unless death is applied in order to prevent an uncontrolled population increase to an impossible situation. If there are births, there must be deaths to balance the numbers.
Okay, there is Godís setup for the play. He will live and act through His offspring, the Christ race, and will thereby make manifest whatever reality the race will believe. And that is the substantial nature of the play: to create whatever is to be perceived/believed? As long as the race realizes it is one with the Father and maintains its divine perfection it will then create a perfectly good and happy world of creatures who live in harmony and peace. But, if the people begin to believe in division, namely to reproduce themselves, then they will have separated the two gender natures and will begin a struggle with polar opposite forces, namely good and evil. Then they will become as gods, henceforth to engineer and manage a dynamic contest of struggle between good and evil. And that is a powerful temptation!
So, the very first SIN which Man confronted was one that would bring physical deaths to the Christ race members. The Greek word for sin is harmartia which commonly meant missing the mark to the ancient Greeks, whose language gave us the oldest text of the book of Genesis; in the Septuagint (LXX) of 285BC. Well, that first sin was a doozy; it began a pageant of God wherein His own offspring would be contestants in a war of good versus evil. Keep in mind that all other things were permitted; there were no commandments or other rules, so there was no such thing as sin.
For four thousand years after Adam the people of God were free of any constraints. They had no laws. It was God who lived through them as individuals, and God expresses Himself through both energies, the positive and the negative. They were born with an instinct to be Godly in their actions, but they often fell short Ė missed the mark. There were always consequences for acting ungodly, but there was no condemnation! There was no punishment, except natural consequences, for sin until the time of Moses, when he received the ten commandments and the people of Israel signed a contract with God to obey perfectly. Which, of course, they soon violated.
Those individuals of the race of Adam had free will, and as it happened, besides reproducing themselves there was another no-no that God could not permit, . Each species of creature was created to reproduce after its own kind, and that law of nature applied to Godís offspring, too. Natural laws can teach us Godís will if we will listen. The unnatural is wrong/sin/missing-the-mark. Unfortunately, Adamís descendants began to breed with other races who were seductively irresistible. Their race-mixing (miscegenation) was a bestiality that resulted in mongrel offspring who were then handicapped, being deficient in Godís empowering forces. Godís children are empowered by four minds of their Father, the physical nature, the emotional nature, the rational mind, and the spiritual mind. These four natures are symbolized in the book of Revelations as the four Living Beings: Lion, Calf, Eagle, and Man. But, the resulting mongrel mixed-race child from an Adamite and another race can have only the physical and emotional minds for their empowerment. They lack the rational and spiritual natures of God. Some centuries after Adam and Eve fell from perfection, the situation was so dire that only one family was still pure in race, Noah, his sons, and their wives. Time for God to clear the field and begin anew. So, with a great flood, that is what He did. The Cain race had already migrated to Sumer (later called Chaldea and then Babylon and now Iraq). Other races were all over the planet. But the race of Adam lived in one large basin, in western China, now called the Tarim Pendi, which was surrounded by high mountains. It was there than God destroyed all the mixed race mongrels.
Now, letís jump ahead from that time of Adam at 5500BC, and Noah at 3800BC, to the time of Moses, about 1500BC. Moses had led the Israelite families out of Egypt and into the Sinai desert to the base of Mt. Sinai where they were given a contract with God. The ten commandments were Godís will for them and were given on the condition that if violated, they would suffer spiritual death, which meant that they would lose the Spirit of God which lived within them and empowered them. While the first sin of Adam had brought physical death to His race, this time the penalty was far more serious; the result would be spiritual death. All the Israelites shouted with one voice that they would agree to the contract terms. Of course, it was no time at all and they had breached that contract. This dilemma was extremely serious. Fortunately, a provision had already been established by which they could satisfy the death penalty, and that was to pay it with the sacrificial offering of a perfect person. But, there was none! No unblemished Lamb to offer on the sacrificial altar! We all know that God finally permitted Jesus, as a perfect Lamb, to be killed in order to repair that breach-of-contract.
The good news of the Gospel is that the death-penalty was removed, hence Godís family of Israel was suddenly free of it. The Law of God is truly eternal, but Jesus removed the PENALTY for violators of it, thereby freeing Godís people totally. From the time of Moses until Jesus was about 1500 years. For nearly 4,000 years prior to Moses, Godís people expressed the Father in their lives without fear of Godís punishment, no matter how imperfectly they lived. Except for the natural consequences of misactions. And after Jesus, the situation is the same for His children; we are free without any threat of penalty for anything we might do. That freedom is affirmed in the new contract that Jesus secured, as stated in Hebrews 8, where we are told that GOD REMEMBERS OUR SINS NO MORE. Period! That is the true extent of our freedom.
As we study the words of Jesus, we can find but one qualification to such a total freedom. He said that if one rejects the Spirit of God which empowers his life, then one has separated himself from God irreparably. Thatís it! Today, the only way in which one of Godís countless children of Israel can lose his inheritance is to reject the working of Godís Spirit within him. Beyond that, we are free to do anything without suffering condemnation from our Father. That means ANYTHING! That is the kind of freedom that Jesus offers clearly, but which preachers will never admit. There are so many ways of waffling about this subject, and preachers are nothing if not skilled with verbiage.
The reality of the situation is this. If you are a child of God, in whom the Holy Spirit is working, then you will not want to reject God; you will want to seek after Him and find Him, for in Him you live and move and have your being. You are safe in His hands, so stop worrying about it. Sure, you are still tormented by your human nature and you will often stumble along the path, and sometimes you will fall on your face, and you will suffer natural consequences. You will do stupid things that you later regret and about which you will feel deep remorse. You will certainly do things which are contrary to Godís will, and you may sometimes even be defiant toward Him. But, those things God remembers no more! That means that you must get past those guilts, too. Let them go. If you refuse to let go of some terrible guilt that you feel, then you cannot stand up as free and bold and confident and radiant as a child of the King should be. You canít represent your Father very well if your presentation is with stooped shoulders, eyes downward, and fearful. That is not humility; that is just plain sorry. Jesus was humble in that He was not arrogant. We are to be humble like Jesus. Arrogance has no positive value.
Okay, that is your spiritual struggle, isnít it. How do you represent God and be saintly in your life? Knowing who you really are, my suggestion is that you feel compassion and genuine concern toward others. Isnít that the lesson we learn from Jesus? Part of that would be to stop being judgmental toward others. You might not like what they are doing, but if they are children of God, you might be witnessing what the Holy Spirit has prompted them to do. If a person is doing badly, you can either reach a compassionate hand toward him, or at least be a warm and welcoming light to him, or you can hit him with the Jesus-stick. I think you can guess which tactic might be more effective. You have choices regarding how you might act, whether you are a pauper, a priest, or a King. The most important thing is to realize who you are: the child of the Almighty King, and free, totally free. Once you realize that, then you will feel a sense of responsibility to act in ways that will make your Father proud.
Christian liberty is the very essence of your identity. No man can judge another! Part of the necessary training and strengthening for Godís Elect-ones consists of learning how to be boldly free. If you let a religion or preachers define what you can or canít do, then you have turned your power over to someone else and you wonít be independently strong after you inherit the kingdom. God needs heirs, to run the kingdom of Heaven, who are strong and confident and able to think for themselves. The sheep are in training to eventually become Lions for God. Jesus was a Lion. You are in training to fulfill your destiny as a Lion. The end-time is here, and the kingdom of World will soon come to its ignoble end; then the kingdom of God will begin, and Godís elect ones will establish a new society on this planet. We will found a spiritual civilization that rewards goodness instead of devilish scheming. Those whom God will place at the lead will be the ones who have learned to stand boldly free, for they will have already experienced the difficulties of judgments and condemnations by religions and social peers and their own families. If you hear Jesus calling you to follow Him in this difficult training, be assured that the Holy Spirit will empower you to stand boldly when things seem most bleak. God bless you in your freedom.
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