Monday, July 13, 2015

On My Own - Part 2 (Revisit)

The Dark Traveler
Isaiah 56:10-11  His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.  Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

In Part 1, which really was an introduction to this series, we talked about man going astray and still considering the path we take as being clean, error free, righteous.  That dichotomy between reality and mental understanding comes from misunderstanding.  Either intentional or because of what we’ve been taught.  And what we’re mistaught is either out of honest error by the teacher or intentional deception.

You might recall that we touched on this subject in “Destiny: Blessing or Curse?”, awhile back.  If you remember, that post came out of a friend’s rant against “greedy, lazy sinners” as our shepherds.  My issue with the rant was the finger pointing seeming almost all-inclusive, with the exception of the ranter.  I have no doubt there are still pastors shepherding portions of God’s people strictly for the financial gain and the power.  Indeed, the verse we began today’s thought with says exactly that.  If you look at the full history of Israel and God’s people, there are instances throughout of self serving leaders.

In the Matthew 23:27, Jesus calls some of the Scribes and Pharisees “whited sepulchres” because everything they did  looked good, but they were spiritually dead inside.  Everything they did was for outward appearance only, no spiritual value at all.  You might recall the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican in the temple for prayer.  The Pharisee was thanking God for all the righteous things he did for God and not being like the sinner with him.  Being so self absorbed that he never realized it was the repentant sinner who was truly justified.

The kind of self focus that’s described there creates an interesting set of self perpetuating circumstances.  If the focus is on self instead of God,
  1. the individual makes decisions based on benefitting himself, even if it harms others or ignores God and Godly principles,
  2. we train others to think the same way, as long as they stay subservient to us for as long as we’re in power or a position of wealth.
The Roman Caesars were an excellent example of this type of thinking.  They were so self oriented that they taught everyone else that the Caesars were gods.  Rome owed them whatever they wanted, both financially and in power, because of who they “were”.  They could take someone’s property, wealth, spouse, even life because it was going to a Caesar. 

The Caesars had to be very careful of having enough protection.  Because, as they taught this kind of thinking, there were those who would kill a reigning Caesar to take his place.  And we see similar Caesardoms in modern government, business, and some churches, don’t we?  The kind of thinking that is described in Isaiah 56:10-11.  Intentional misdirection of those under us, based on self promotion and self protection.  Based on concepts totally alien to the Cross.

Fortunately, there are ways out of that teaching.  And we’ll get to that.  But, as we continue on the main part of this subject, we still need to look at the thought that started us on this series, individual responsibility.  And we’ll get into that next time.  For now, we can think of Mary Kay's copyrighted "Dark Traveler" as depicting that debilitating separation of self orientation.

1 comment: