Random Blog Clay Feet: March 14, 2008
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Friday, March 14, 2008

The Subtle Deception of Force

After a full week since I first arrived for a weekend visit at the 12 Tribes community I am starting to get a much better grasp of my feelings experienced since then. I realize that what I have been going through is a grieving process required to disconnect or let go of a hope that has died. To lose something that promised so much is like losing a very good friend and that always produces grief. But if the grief is embraced and processed and accepted then a new hope can take its place which will always be much better than the first. I feel that I am finally reaching closure for this week of uneasiness.

The only real foundation of hope is the God of all hope. I turn to Him to receive a better hope that will not disappoint my heart. I realize that as I let my own hopes and dreams die it makes room in my heart for much better hopes and dreams to take their place. I do not know the details of this new hope but I know that this new hope when realized will be far more pure and powerful and fulfilling than any imitation that tries to approximate it because it comes from the One who designed my heart and knows how to really satisfy its needs and desires.

What has become more and more clear to me throughout this week as I have repeatedly mulled over my experience and analyzed it from many angles is that one of the key elements in the apparent success that I saw last weekend is the indulgence in the employment of coercion of conscience. I believe that it does not matter how much force is employed or how subtle or blatant it may be, that the resorting to force, intimidation, threat, fear or anything else along those lines that interferes with a person's soul and conscience connection directly with God is a violation of the most foundational principle of God's true kingdom – freedom.

Just because all religions employ this method to some degree or another does not in the least justify it or make it right. Just because it produces what appears to be fruits of righteousness also does not justify it or make it Godly. Just because it has been used so successfully for thousands of years and is deeply entrenched in our belief systems, child-raising techniques and religious domination over others does not make it any more legitimate. Just because it produces unity and apparent harmony within a fellowship of believers also does not justify it or make it righteous. Force in the area of conscience is always dangerous and diabolical not only because it violates the freedom of will that God values so intensely but because it is so deceptive in making us think that because it produces results we are looking for that it makes us think it must be of God.

The “results” that force and fear produce can be very tangible, very quick and very effective, but it will always be at odds with the true spirit of the Kingdom of Jesus. Fear is one of the most basic foundation stones of Satan's counterfeit system and anything that points toward fear as our ultimate motivation for righteous living is infected with the spirit of the enemy of God. No matter how religious or spiritual or positive or powerful it may appear to be on the surface, if a belief system or an outside person or group dares to enter into the sacred arena of the intimacy of the heart directly with God and tries to meddle with the control system of the soul, then it is no different than an intruder violating the sacred intimacy of a married couple in their sexual privacy.

Marriage is a symbol and practice area of life given to us by God to illustrate for us and teach us about the much deeper intimacy that He desires to have with each one of us. As our ideas of marriage have become more muddled and confused and we lose the concept of covenant that it was built on, we also lose sight of the immense importance and exclusivity of the relation of the soul to its Creator. Just like society is experimenting with all sorts of alternatives to the original design of marriage, religion is experimenting with all sorts of variations of heart-bonding that drift farther and farther from Gods plan for us. And the farther we get from what we are designed for the more dissatisfied we become and the more restless we feel. There is only one object of affection that can ever possibly perfectly fit the emptiness of our hearts and every imitation will only leave us ultimately frustrated in the end.

Those who acknowledge more quickly the failure of a counterfeit to satisfy the soul and turn to their Designer to seek a more perfect solution/relationship will be found to be in the process sometimes referred to as “sanctification”. It may not be apparent to others and that person may even not appear to be religious at all by the world's standards, but if they are responding to the unrest in their soul by continually seeking a better solution closer to their source of creation then I believe they will be led by the Spirit of truth sent by Jesus to guide them ultimately to Himself and their true Father in Heaven.

What makes me very sad about my recent experience is that what I see taking place in the live of these people perfectly parallels what is also taking place in our country politically. We as a people have bought into the faulty formula of thinking that security can be purchased with the loss of freedom, that somehow if we are willing to relinquish personal freedoms one by one that in exchange we will be given more safety and peace and protection. But this formula is another basic tenet and lie of the enemy of our souls and is ultimately a trap into which we will be enslaved. But we will not realize this until it is too late to escape.

It is impossible to purchase security by relinquishing freedom. It is an illusion of the highest order but it seems very attractive and convincing on the surface. But at its core it is a terrible lie and we are selling our very souls along with the blood of millions who have given their lives to secure our freedoms since the beginnings of this country. By selling the very thing that our forefathers died to purchase for us, we have sold the very soul of our country and the lamb has been morphed into a dragon.

This has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout history in the story of nation after nation, but we have cast off wisdom and knowledge in favor of pleasure and ease. We have blinded our minds to the lessons of the past, distorted and rewrote history to fit our desired beliefs and goals and will live to suffer the tragic consequences of living out the lie yet again. By suppressing the knowledge of the past experiments with this formula we are doomed to repeat the results, but this time because of the interconnectedness of the whole world it will be in proportions far greater than ever before seen in history. Hitler used this very same path quite successfully but we only view his experiment from this side of the story. If we realized the mindset of the people in his country before all the tragedies came to the light and learned about the incremental steps toward tyranny subtly encouraged throughout the early days of his most promising career we would be shaken to the core with horror at the striking similarity to what we are doing as a country today.

The common denominator in all of these experiments gone bad is the belief that unity and success necessarily requires the increasing sacrifice of freedom for the sake of the good of all. Hitler was extremely popular in the early days, not only within Germany but throughout the world. Even America viewed him in mostly a positive light because he appeared to be restoring hope and health to a debilitated and discouraged people. He was producing wonderful progress and was achieving great accomplishments that were very promising for prosperity and peace. He initiated the building of great highways, started a very successful automobile company, set up manufacturing, created thousands of jobs and stimulated a wonderful revival in the economy. In short he produced all the results that our politicians clamor for in our own country today.

But he accomplished most of these achievements at the price of incremental sacrifices of freedom. And the same is taking place right before our eyes today while we blindly stumble deeper into the trap. We have once again bought into the alluring fantasy that security and prosperity are more valuable than freedom. In fact, we mistakenly believe that once we achieve security – which is a total illusion – that we will be able to restore our freedoms. But once sold into slavery and tyranny the bodies and souls of people are no longer able to return to what they gave away. Tyranny is never satisfied and will never release its desperate grip on those under its control. But it does remain very camouflaged until its iron fist is firmly in control and domination and then its true colors began to be revealed.

This is the doom of our country and I am afraid it is already too late to reverse the accelerating slide down the slippery slope to slavery. We have bought into the lies as a public and we are doomed to reap the whirlwind.

But what is sad is when we follow the same path in the name of religion and paint God with the same colors of deception and control. To establish “unity” we believe that it can only be achieved at the price of freedom. Oh, we don't dare state it in so many words. We loudly proclaim that we are still free, but we simply reinterpret what the word free really means. I heard this reinterpretation during my discussions with those last weekend explaining to me their beliefs and I heard it again from a pastor of my own church a few days later. We define freedom as the ability to chose whether you will submit to our control of your conscience or whether you will leave our group/church. But clearly implied in that statement is that if you choose to remain that you must give up your freedom for the unity of the group.

That, my friends, is not the kind of freedom that Jesus died to secure for the universe. That is not the freedom that the forefathers of our country died to secure for their posterity. That is the counterfeit freedom that was offered to Germans before it became clear what the end results of Nazism would produce. It is the tragic and similar philosophy that produced the results that have been experienced repeatedly throughout history after similar attempts to form unification in all sorts of ways. It is the consistent result of adopting the faulty formula invented by the father of lies that appears so appealing that it is believed to be of God.

Freedom of personal conscience and accountability to God is at the core of the whole Great Controversy of the universe. If we fail to respect anyones freedom and accountability directly to God and attempt to insinuate ourselves into that most sacred place of the heart and soul, we are considered by God to be adulterers and rapists. It matters not how spiritual and religious and positive the outcome of these experiments may be, we have violated the sacred place that is reserved for only God and that soul in intimate communion and love. Every such violation contaminates the soul's image of God and inhibits their ability to respond to His love and the drawing of their heart towards His heart. This is considered in the heavenly realms to be a crime of the highest order of treason. God forgive us!

Tragically all of us have been caught up in this kind of thinking to some extent or another because it is inherent in the very presence of sin itself. But God's plan and desire is to remove from our minds this kind of faulty reasoning and restore the perfect image of His true character into all who are willing to be restored to their original design and function. That is what is meant by the word “salvation”. That is what I desire to experience and I pray that God will continue to reveal and guide me toward the more pure exposition of His perfect ways.

God's ways never resort to force and never values “obedience” that is motivated by fear. Fear, shame and blame along with force and deception are the ingredients of the counterfeit system introduced into this world at the fall in Eden. God's plan is to cleanse us of all these things that heaven considers to be unrighteousness. If any of our hopes and plans include the employment of any of these ingredients then they will have to be dashed to pieces and replaced with hopes that are intensely exclusive of any of the counterfeit ingredients that poison the soul and perpetuate the great lie.

It matters not what label is found on the surface of a group or a religion, what denomination it is or how insistent their claims of the divine approval of God; if they value the importance of their organization above protecting the sacred freedom of the conscience before God in a personal pursuit of real truth, then that group is destined to failure in the sight of heaven. This is impossible to believe by those who have invested more of their hope in their organization than they have directly in God, but it is true nevertheless.

As I have processed the natural grief of the loss of my hope that I would see genuine joy and community based on united hearts intimately connected with heaven individually, I turn to trusting that God is somehow going to produce what my heart is really yearning for but that I have never yet seen or experienced. I will not settle for a lesser imitation when my heart was designed for the real deal. And while I appreciate the many positive things that I can learn from what I observed and experienced and that I value, maybe the greatest and most valuable benefit that I have received from this experience is the intensified awareness of my own hunger for true community that will only happen under the unifying influence of the Spirit of Truth and Freedom. Where is Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom – always. Whenever it is believed that freedom of soul must be sacrificed to some extent for achievement of unity, to that extent I realize that there is still a lack of the genuine Spirit of God. For God will never, ever violate the freedom of the creatures He created to love Him freely.

Love apart from freedom loses its very identity as real love and becomes morphed into something far inferior. God will never settle for anything less than absolute freedom, unforced, spontaneous love and complete loyalty based on appreciation for His true character of love and respect for every one of us. When we come closer to relating to each other like He really relates to all of us in this way we will begin to experience the genuine bonding of heart-based community the way we were designed to live and thrive. We will become intensely aware of our value in God's eyes and will cherish the value and freedoms of all around us.

By contrast the counterfeit systems will become exposed for the cheap imitations that they are. Because the true is not yet revealed the counterfeits still look very convincing, but once the true glory of God fills the whole earth the counterfeits will all be exposed as naked and incompetent and inferior. At that point the rage of man will know no bounds and the polarization between the true and the false will become complete and permanent. Both sides of the controversy will become perfect in their beliefs and will act out the natural results of the beliefs that they have chosen; those who indulge in force will become perpetrators and victims of force and those who believe in pure love will become cleansed and purified in that love. They will then be no other options. The controversy will be ready to be wrapped up forever and God will be able to share His heart of infinite love for eternity with those who have chosen to believe in the superiority of love over force and fear.

God, you have been showing me that most, if not all of my problems stem from a continued faulty view of who You really are. To the extent that my heart believes that You use force and intimidation to induce me to love You, to that same extent I experience pain and confusion and dysfunctional relationships with others. Please help me to perceive Your face and Your true character more clearly. Show me Your face and Your glory for Your name's sake and for my heart's sake.