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Just sticks

“Yet in like manner, these people people also, relying on there dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme glorious ones.” (Jd 8, ESV)

Jude is a letter for maintaining order; to keep the message of the gospel in tact through the tumultuous waves of generations which incorporate different cultures, nations, philosophies, ideologies, and so forth.  Yet Jude’s particular focus is on not only concerned for the oral, written, and didactic purity of the faith, but also for its expression.   What I love about truth is that it cannot be divorced from our existential experiences.  These both need to be coherent.  Philosophy is only as valuable as its practicality.  So it is the same with religion.  Any theological system, though it may give us a glimpse into life beyond the grave and eternal matters, is only valuable if it makes sense to our experiences on earth; that is, it defines us and gives us meaning for existence.  So all our fancy talk and robust theological terms and systems only mean something if they have effect for life today.

So where are the Christians?

So where are the Good people?

So where is the collision between the eternal and the practical?

So where is expression of it in your day?

Consider a time ages ago…

Numbers 15:32–36 (ESV)

“32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Who are the those that found this man?

Who are the those who brought this man to judgement?

Who are the those that restrained this individual to bring him before MOSES and AARON!!!

Who are the those that brought this man, this simple man…

by the arms…

Hear the plea…No! No! No! Sticks only sticks!

I need to build a fire for my family!

For food! For warmth!

No!  This is too much!  No! IT ‘S ONLY STICKS

Please! Just this one time! MERCY!! Please! No!  OH God! Oh God! No!

Who are the those that brought this man to his death?

“The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.”

Who are the those that picked up the stones?

Who are the those the watched him shelter his head and fetal positioned body?

Who are the those who crushed his skull, his jaw, his chest, his lips, his ears, his face?

Who are the those who left him there unconscious, moaning, convulsing?

Read Numbers 15:31 (ESV)

31 Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.”

The man was a lawbreaker.  We are the crooked, perverted ones who reduce and dilute the crime.  We reduce the crime…we reduce the holiness of God.

This man lifted his fist to God and presumed that gathering sticks could be overlooked.

This man sought to reduce God’s holiness…

He despised his Word…

Thus he despised his God…

Who were these people?

They were those who put the thought of God into practice.

These were people who did not play the games of romantic abstract thinking and churchy-consumerism.

These people had consistency.

These people were determined to make the holiness of God a demonstrated reality.

You may want to reduce them to barbarians? And if so, it may be if time was given to study the coherence between what you believe and what you practice that the results may yield a diagnosis that you are clinically schizophrenic.

Oh hah! A bit much I’m sure!

Careful…………

Pay attention to your persistent desire to reduce..to compartmentalize reality.

Shhhhhhhh……..

Listen!  It’s in your nature to reduce God…

…and others…

…and yourself.

So crazy person…..go on with your life.  You lazy person…who fails to make connections, so numb in conscience and soul.

Go on drifitng…reducing…maligning….

Go on Christian….gather your sticks.