Monday 20 April 2020

A Text for our Time - "He that is not with me is against me" - William Wildblood explains

There are many ideas put forward as solutions to the crisis of the modern world (not Covid 19, that's just an element, albeit an important one, of something much larger), political, ideological, even spiritual of sundry sorts. But they all lack overall coherence. However, there is something that stands above them all which reconciles any good there might be in them at a higher level without including the dross, illusion and bad qualities they all contain without this thing. It can be summed up in a sentence.

That sentence is Matthew 12:30. "He that is not with me is against me". This pithy injunction means if you are not actively for the truth of Christ, you are against it. Not passively against it, actively so. According to this saying, there is no middle ground. If you are not for Christ, you oppose him. Neutrality is not an option. 

 This might seem unreasonable. Why, if you don't accept Christ, does that mean you are the enemy of Christ? Why can you not be a good, upstanding, morally decent person without acknowledging Christ? 

You can't because Christ is the embodiment of truth and if you don't recognise that then you don't recognise truth in which case you will be on the outside of truth, working against it whether that be in a greater or lesser sense. Christ is like magnetic north. If the lodestone of your being does not point to him then it is broken. You are broken. Your soul is sick.

William goes on to say that, although this sounds harsh, it is true. It is indeed a harsh text; and harshness is appropriate. Because life is for learning from our experiences - looking towards life everlasting. Life is not meant to be unrelieved niceness. 

This applies with especial force when our society is set on a determined course to be ever-more value-inverted, shallow, smug, hedonistic and cowardly than the low-water-mark we have already achieved. And now we - as a society - are about to experience the consequences of generations of dishonesty, evasion and hypocrisy.

Our coming challenge is to meet a catastrophic situation without bitterness, fear, resentment or despair - and with that trusting confidence that comes from faith in the loving God who is our Father; looking-ahead with indestructible hope for that eternal Heavenly life promised by Jesus to any and all who choose to follow him through the transformation that is death.

Another text from Matthew that should guide us in the days, weeks and months ahead:

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

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