Sunday, March 08, 2009

There are times when a writer should be forced away from their keyboard

Denita sent me an e-mail the other day regarding some bible version surfing she was doing and passed on this "gem" from "The Message":

Romans 8:1-4
The Solution Is Life on God's Terms

^1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

^3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
My brain hurts just trying to read this. Christ's "being-here-for-us", "low-lying black cloud", "disordered mess of struggling humanity", "Band-Aid on sin"....

Sin and death are just low-lying black clouds?!?! Where/what is the offence of "low-lying black clouds"? Why should God feel wrath regarding "low-lying black clouds"? Why is eternal punishment a requirement for "low-lying black clouds"? Why is this author considered a Godly man if he removes the offense of our unrepentant existence before God from the Bible?

When we live in sin, we are a horrid stench before God. We are not like the old cartoons, just a bothersome rain cloud that hovers over the Almighty's head, occasionally irritating Him with a little bolt of lightning. Our very existence offends Him. He tolerates this only so that His Glory will be fully revealed to all in the end.

This watering down of the Word is 2 Timothy 4:3 in action. The more you pore over the style of writing in "The Message" you start seeing the man-centeredness of "The Message" as opposed to the God and Christ exalting message of the Bible.

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