Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmastide Homily (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

The following was original posted on my Jesu Juva blog in Novermber of 2008.

"[Lucifer is] the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms, that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the house of his prisoners." Isaiah 14:16b, 17

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath appointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, [...] to comfort them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.... I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God...." Isaiah 61:1, 3a, 10a

"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested: that He might destroy the works of the devil." I John 3:8b

To see Jesus as a social revolutionary is an injustice and a crime against the Gospel. To see Him as a mere statement of Divine sentimentality is a blasphemous hatred against the Gospel. To see Him as a cash cow, a cosmic ATM, is to rob the Gospel of all power and glory. To see Him as the liberator from cruel governments of men is to be as confused and disappointed at His coming as the Jews who eventually killed Him were. If you see and preach Christ as anything less or other than the propitiation for the Sin of the world, as the revelation of God's holy wrath and loving kindness, as the only mediator between God and man, as the Destroyer of all evil and corruption caused since the Fall, and as the Kinsman Redeemer of all men who have fallen, then you blaspheme and disgrace the work and name of our Lord, and we have no part in you, for what fellowship has light with darkness? Indeed, if you preach any gospel other than that which proclaims the forgiveness of sins and atonement of men back to God through the shed blood of Christ, then you are merely adding to the darkness that already blinds so many. Every breath you breathe that carries with it your false gospel sends unholy fog across the souls of men, furthering their natural obscurity, so that the true light is even harder to find. In the end, you will be one of the ones mentioned in Matthew 7:21-23; you will have your reward.

The lost and lonely people of this dying world do not need a social revolutionary. They do not need beautiful phrases of sentimentality. They do not need a cosmic ATM. They do not need a usurping liberator. They do not need a guru, an enlightened one, a homeboy, a co-pilot, or a moral mentor; they need a savior. They need the awesome and terrible truth that God is there, He is not silent, and He has come to us, "His arm [has] brought salvation...the Redeemer [has] come to Zion" (Isaiah 59:15, 20). This world needs good news that transcends and outlasts all cultures, kingdoms, fashions, and fads; news that is good no matter what social, cultural, political, or religious environment you live in. This world needs a saving truth that is the same for all at all times no matter what happens, and that truth has always been: God is, God loves, and God can be found. 

-Jon Vowell (c) 2008

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