McArthur’s words sum up the boundary at the core of my Christian life – John 14:6; asking God to show me what He sees, so as to guide, guard and direct my path.
Scary prayer to pray. It means allowing grace to ignite and illuminate darkness. To see myself as the sinner I am, in the light of His Gospel and Law. To see where others too have sinned and fallen short of His glory.
As such it’s been the uncomfortable centre of my approach to the cycle of abuse, lies, welfare addicted, abusive, & highly dysfunctional home I grew up in – It’s essential to the Christian life, and not an easy boundary to live out. You’ll lose friends, family, maybe even a church or social club, and they’ll hate, manipulate and undermine you in ways you never thought were possible, wearing the veneer of victim-hood, maturity and innocence.
Then there’ll be the sycophants, who, to avoid conflict, or to maintain a position of acceptance with those people, enable that hate, accusing you of betrayal, being unchristian, discounting your own trauma, who don’t care to know the truth, will ostracise you to the outer circle, and talk behind your back. All for living out this boundary. But it’s worth living out, not for the sake of truth, but for the love of the vulnerable victims who fell prey to those people, and the hope that Christ, through letting His truth work through us, redeems and sets free, via this boundary, as it redefines those relationships, and liberates us from tyranny and the tyrannical.
I inherited nothing but ashes and brokenness. Yet, by Christ, in Christ, through Christ and with Christ, I am told by the Creator of the Universe that I don’t have to live there, stay there or wallow in that mess. The same goes for you. In Jesus Christ, we are embraced by grace – to quote Karl Barth: God the Creator reaches for His creature – we should, and ought, therefore, to reach for the One, who reaches out to us through His Word, in Spirit and in Truth.
Indeed, ‘unity is never to be sought at the expense of truth.’ We must question the “new normal” and resist its culture of silence, by following the Holy Spirit’s lead, not falling into step with the spirit of the age.
© Rod Lampard, 2020.