Welcome to Camp All things are New

“Ladies and gentlemen, if you will direct your attention to the left side windows, you will see that we have arrived at Camp All Things are New…”

OK, well maybe I didn’t need to do that a second time, but here we are as we continue our road trip of discovery, exploring that little theory of mine, which you will recall is…929 093

“Christian theology is not particularly difficult to understand.  Its precepts and premises are fairly simple, it was given to “regular” guys to share with the world, and they did it.  Yes, of course they had a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, but then so do we. Yet we love to argue, follow tradition and form to avoid spiritual growth and reaching out, because they are counter-intuitive, and the fact that they are counter-intuitive is exactly the point of all things being new, for our human intuition isn’t new, it’s the old thing that Jesus died to free us from.”

Earlier today, we finally got started on out journey, our road trip of checking into my little theory, when we looked at the idea of “intuitive versus Counter-Intuitive.  If you missed it, you might want to scroll back one post before you continue…

Now, all things are new.  I really don’t think you need Bible citations for this post, because I have the sense that my awesome readers are familiar with this concept.  Of course if you want some, just let me know.  We know that the New Testament is full of the idea of things like “born again,” “dying with Christ” new life, regeneration, transformation, being dead to sin and so on. Being familiar with these ideas as generally accepted Christian concepts and teachings, we should be able at this point to draw a distinction between what is typical human intuition or human nature, as opposed to the counter-intuitive teachings of Christ as we discussed earlier. If that is true, and I believe that most of you will agree that it is, then what shall we say about it?

All things are new in Christ.  The old is gone, the new is here… NOW. That’s what we can say about it.

So then, why do we insist on clinging to the old?

Now dear reader, I am sorely tempted to stop typing right now, in this place and just leave that question hanging, I really am.  What more is there to say?  That is the point, after all, but there’s a nagging little voice in the back of my brain that says I’d better explain…

Sadly, not all things in life are simply rational, and let’s face it, some people have an easier time responding to logic than others.  I’m probably one of those, since I can accept a logical explanation and be done with most emotional things, while many others can’t quite let go so easily.  I don’t know if my personality is better or worse in this regard than someone else’s of course.  More likely we each have our strengths and weaknesses.  Bridging the gap between what may be logically obvious and how a person feels about it is where relationship enters the picture. For our purposes, the relational aspect of following Jesus is the reaching out I wrote about a little ways back. Many of us just assume that “newness” is something still off in the future, but that isn’t always quite right.

To be born again in Christ makes things new right now.  Most of you know the verses I’ve referred to above sort of vaguely, go back and take a look at them again.  Notice the grammar. Notice the tense of the grammar: present tense.  A few posts back I used 1 John 1:9 about forgiveness of sins: present tense.  I realize that there are many who question these things because they don’t always quite believe or feel that they are forgiven, but they are. I don’t want to make light of this in any way, and we will get to a place further on in our journey where we examine these things more closely.  At this stop, the goal is to just understand that all things are new, even though it may be counter-intuitive to fully accept that.

I think that this might be enough for one day, so we’ll head to the hotel now.  Tomorrow morning, let’s go and take a look at “Christian theology.” Yes, if you noticed that we are looking at our theory from back to front, you’d be quite right; often that makes things easier to see.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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4 Responses to Welcome to Camp All things are New

  1. People Empowerment Project says:

    I’ve featured this site in my Hopeful Links list page at http://hopealliance3.wordpress.com/hopeful-links/

  2. Little Monk says:

    I am laughing uproariously at myself in this moment, Don… I had a thought in response to your blog, realized that it was beautifully examined by CS Lewis in the Screwtape Letters… and my fingers had a momentary impulse to type the most pretentious, pompous, “proud” (in the worst sense of that) line that I have ever nearly conceived… The Line was…

    “CS Lewis and I agree that….”

    Omigosh! Lol, just pray for me today. Clearly, *pride* is going to be crouching behind every corner for me today. I think I’ll go wash some dishes or sweep a floor or something after this… Anyway…

    The THOUGHT behind that hubris was simply…

    I suspect our “old man” has such a hold on us, clings to us, or we cling to him, so desperately because we can “co-create”, we can “think”, and we can conceive of and believe in “fantasy”. In this case, the “Fantasy of the Past”.

    All that we truly HAVE… All that truly EXISTS… All God truly GIVES US… is THIS MOMENT RIGHT NOW. But we seldom dwell in it. We invest our minds in the past, or in the future. We generate multiple alternative futures and worry about all of them at once. We ruminate on either victories or defeats of the past, settling either in pride or in shame…

    All we HAVE… is THIS MOMENT RIGHT NOW… AND we have the grace and strength to cope and deal with this moment in grace.

    Now, that’s not to say that NOW may not call forth some “history” (I’ve just spent three days of blog investing in a lesson learned 30+ years ago). Or that we may not need to discharge a NOW duty by planning a future sequence… budgeting for next month, whatever.

    But somehow, when we engage in the Fantasy of the Past, we hold to the belief that the Past reaches forward in time, into the Present, and binds us in a particular place or state. The sun rises anew every single day. I tell those I serve sometimes, “When you walk down the street and a stranger sees you, all they see is YOU. You are not wearing a big sign on your chest showing either your triumphs or your failures. It’s just all brand new, and whatever you choose to make of it.

    Every NOW moment, for me, is a singular “decision opportunity” of saying “yes” or “no” to Grace of the Moment. Relationships, chores, duties, recreation, whatever. God has a prompt for the Now Moment, and we can say yes or no, and so we move through our days.

    Anyway, appointment time… Blessings to thee! LM

    • Don Merritt says:

      Well I must say that you and Mr. Lewis might just be on to something there! You boys are doing good work today! 🙂

      Yes, if all things are new, then they really can’t be old… unless we hand on to the past. (I’m not sure the past can hang on to us, but we might just as well get into that another time. For me, the really scary thing happens we we as a body of believers insist on holding on to our corporate past… but that’s another stop on the tour…

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