Deconstructing our non-relational god (part two)

Relationships “Religion is what you do when you don’t know you’re included.” – C. Baxter Kruger

For if we don’t know that God’s plan was to place us inside the Eternal Fellowship between the Father, Son and Spirit, we must invent something else. This is the impetus of all man-made religion.

Our need for intimacy and connection is hard-wired into our DNA. There has never been a time where God has been alone, and we’re not designed to ever be alone either. We were designed for relationship.

Finding the Main Thing…

In part one, I talked about how critically important it is to understand the relational nature of God. It affects everything. How you see yourself and others.

For we’re not defined by what we do but by who are are, and we find who we are when we find our place in Him.

As I write this, I’m wondering if I will be successful in coaxing you off of the shoreline of your perceived separation from this Fellowship. That perhaps you would take off your shoes and just dip your toe into this vast Ocean of Love waiting for you.

Because, if you’re waiting for “heaven” when you die, you still haven’t found it. You’re still on the shoreline of religion.

You still think there’s something more important than accepting the invitation to this Divine Togetherness. Something that will make you feel more alive than this.

You’re still dry and fully clothed, standing next to this Ocean. Like the “elder brother” (Luke 15:31), not knowing what and Who you already have in Him.

Until we understand this, we still have not availed ourselves to what was purchased for us.  We will still live like an homeless orphan even though we’ve been brought into the most Royal of all royal mansions.

Beloved, Jesus’ desire was not so much that we would do great things for Him as much as our entering into this relationship for which we’ve been created. Look at the language here… (bold-text added)…

“that they all may be one,
as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You;
that they also may be one in Us
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me
may be with Me where I am…” (John 17:21, 24)

Everything else flows out from here. Yes, greatness is found here. But more than that, the echoing of the deepest longings of our heart resonate here.

All is hidden for us in this place.

This is the why to what Jesus has done for us. Forgiveness, healing and finding wholeness for your soul are all important, but only in an ancillary sense. For they can never be more than a means to this end.

This is Jesus’ Christianity–the very center of ontology–touching the very heartbeat of heaven. To abide in the Father’s love as Jesus abides in the Father’s love. I talked about this in “Obeying Jesus’ Commandments.”

The Divine Tuning Fork

Last time I said that we understand the Godhead to be the Father, Son and Spirit existing in mutual union without loss of distinction. Kruger goes on to say in the video clip I’ve included here….

“Jesus and the Father are One, but Jesus doesn’t cease to be Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are One but the Holy Spirit doesn’t cease to be the Holy Spirit. This relationship is so beautiful that we betray the togetherness here if we don’t use the word, “One.” This is what the early church fathers came to see…”

So think about this in terms of all our relationships.

TuningFork1As Kruger points out, there isn’t a single person you will ever meet that doesn’t want this. They just don’t know what it is yet.

But when they finally stumble into it, the tuning fork goes off. For everyone resonates to this.

They know instinctively that this is what they’ve been looking for.

After all, isn’t this what we’re all really after? In our marriages? In our relationships?

“We want to be one but not get lost in the process.”

And I would add, not knowing this is the source of all conflict in relationships. We want the other person to be “us.” And we will judge them if they’re not like us. We will respond out of fear instead of love. For fear must control to feel safe.

But love is only found in freedom. And it only works between free people–who can be united as one without being lost in the process.

Beloved, this union is our calling. Do you see it?

There isn’t anything more important than this. It’s the very center of all theology.

Jesus is saying here (John 17:21-26) that we would be one with Him so that we would see Him as He really is in this relationship with the Father, and then we will finally see who we really are in Him. It’s that important.

To quote C. Baxter Kruger one more time from this video clip…

“It’s not like the relationship Jesus has with the Father, it’s actually the same life.”

Here’s the second part of the C, Baxter Kruger clip that will help us understand this wonderful truth.

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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6 Responses to Deconstructing our non-relational god (part two)

  1. Good article, Mel. I’ve never heard of this guy before, but someone mentioned him to me at church a few weeks ago – so, gonna delve into some of his books. This can’t be a coincidence.

    As a minor point, I’m beginning to distinguish between true religion and false religion these days, instead of just using the word religion. True religion is taking care of orphans, widows, and the poor as James says. And, it can only be walked out in abiding in the relationship with the One that you neatly describe above.

    Grace

    John

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, he’s worth looking into. His book, “The Great Dance” is probably the best place to start. He was an influence on William P. Young, who wrote “The Shack.” You can see a lot of his videos on YouTube.

      Your comment on the two types of religions reminds me of what Jonathan Welton said, “I believe before Jesus returns there will be two churches. One will be religious and the other will be normal.” (“Normal Christianity”)

      Thanks for your comments. Blessing.

  2. “It’s not like the relationship Jesus has with the Father, it’s actually the same life.”

    This is so so good…!

  3. nancyteague says:

    Great points Mel! I have some of C. Baxter Kruger’s books on my shelf – now I just need to get into them!

    When I saw your mention of the “mansions” (checked the link -great post too) this thought popped up – we are all mansions. We all have wondrous rooms to explore within ourselves. Rooms where Jesus will ‘wow’ us with who we are in Him and He in us. Then, because we are members of each other (1Cor 12:14,20,27), we get to (and are to) explore others’ mansions. In doing so we are ‘wowed’ with them and by them. There is no competition here of who has/is the biggest mansion – we all make up the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”.
    Here’s to exploring the vastness and beauty of His construction in each other! Seems we would even get to know Him better as we see Him dwell in others and discover their many rooms.

    Gosh, to think we are His favorite dwelling place, and to grasp He would never get bored because there are so many rooms! Hmm, that reminds me of a dream – just might have to share that on my blog – it has to do with rooms in my ‘house’ that I didn’t know were there!

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s a good way to look at it, Nancy. We have our “mansion” or dwelling place with God in the Spirit. And we are to no longer regard each other according to the flesh (2 Cor.5:16), so you could say we’re visiting each other’s mansion! And there’s never any competition between “sons” (not-gender but relational) in our Father’s house because there is no fear, only love. Only religious orphans who don’t know who they are in Christ ‘compete. And “all things are yours” (1 Cor.3:20), so what is there to compete about? 🙂

      And, yes, we are His favorite dwelling place! We are His house. That’s awesome!

      Your comments and insights are always appreciated. Blessings.

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