Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

James 2:12

"So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty."

This is a tough passage for us Western-20th/21st century-evangelical-post-modernist Christians to get right. The minute we hear "liberty" we think of Thomas Jefferson's words "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Or we think of civil libertarians, and hear "keep your laws off my body!" "Live and let live," "Do whatever you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone." But that is not at all what this passage is saying, and it should never be construed to even vaguely take us in that direction.

The "law the brings freedom", quite simply, is what Jesus said in John 8:32, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." The greek word here for free or freedom and for liberty is the same exact word and is used to mean both english equivalents. So it comes to mind that we now need to know what "the truth" is that sets us free. Back to post-modernism, "my truth is not your truth"... "what's true for you"... stuff like that. But what did Jesus say? "I AM the way and the truth and the life" Him. Jesus himself.

But wait. I just said "Jesus". Back to postmodernism. Because today you can make Jesus be anyone you want him to be. I'll cut to the chase here: I'm talking about the second person of the eternal Trinity. Everyone LOVES JEEEEsus. What's not to love? He's a blonde surfer-dude with a real laid-back personality who goes around just loving and accepting everyone and heals and raises the dead and neat crap like that. And other than asking him to be your "savior" (and we're really not sure if there's anything we've done that we need to be saved from, since sin is a non-word in Newspeak), there's nothing he requires of us at all.

Everyone loves Jesus. Not everyone loves the Christ of God. Because, you see, the eternal Christ is the one with whom my soul must deal. And it is not MY definition of sin that counts. It is HIS definition. It is not my definition of truth that is important. It is the Truth that is eternally IN him and by which I will be judged. And it is the law (truth) that brings liberty. How can I say that? Because it is HE who saved me from my sin and who offers me back my freedom in relationship with him. If I will BE in relationship with him he promises me that I will be free.


Jon

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