Friday, July 21, 2006

Spiritual Undertow

"You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump." Galatians 5:7-9

Spiritual Undertow
by Oswald Chambers

"An undertow is an undercurrent flowing in a different direction from the water at the surface. It is the undercurrent that drowns; a swimmer will never plunge into an undercurrent, a fool will.

The spiritual undertow that switched away the Galatians was Judaism, formalism. It was not dominant, but hidden; it ran in exactly the opposite direction to the current of liberty into which they were being brought by Christ. Instead of going out to sea, out into the glorious liberty of the children of God, they were being switched away.

"You ran well..." They had been heading straight for the ocean, but the undercurrent of ritualism bewitched them, hindering them from obeying the truth." (page 904)

Note: This "undercurrent" illustrates the postmodern transformation of churches around the world. On the surface it looks good. Leaders quote Bible verses and point to the gospel. They tell us that their message of hope is based on the redemption. But then their message strays off course, drawing members and churches into an undercurrent that chokes out the truths that set us free.

The new church leaders and managers will tell us the opposite: that their psycho-social strategies and ground rules for group discussion free people from the burdens of shame and the pangs of guilt. But by presenting a feel-good universal gospel that rationalizes sin and shields the suffering sinner from genuine conviction can only bring an illusion of salvation.

For the person who believes in Christ without coming broken and contrite to the cross will not be

• cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus nor

• freed from bondage to sin nor

• filled with the Spirit that enables us to walk in the new life of joy, peace and victory.

Always striving to follow the new vision and social rules for "spiritual community," such seekers are hindered from the very Life of Jesus, the Shepherd that at first put the hunger for truth and God in their hearts.

"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:39-40


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