Sunday, 23 March 2014

Let's take advantage of God: the evolution of a hypocrite

"Let's take advantage of God," a conspiracy springs up in the mind of the reasonably seasoned believer. He gingerly vocalizes this heretic thought as his lips tremble. And he waits and waits for the divine wrath. He waits but nothing happens. He is not struck dead like the way Uzzah was struck dead when he touched the ark or when Onan masturbated onto the ground.

That emboldens his heart and the believer wavers a little. He wavers in his faith. He thinks he
 can get away with it. He thinks maybe he could stay hidden in God's blind spots. Laboring under this belief, he returns to the thought of taking advantage of a loving God like a husband would cheat on his devoted wife or a teacher would abuse a besotted student.

The believer now gets bolder and he digs deeper into this dark conspiracy. He becomes less flippant about it. He takes the first step in the plan. His plan would involve faithfully going to church no doubt. For there is no better way to lay low than to lay
 close to the source of his faith.

For the plan to work, he knows he has to be subtle, nuanced and quiet. He needs to blend. He cannot openly exploit without arousing attention. He cannot take advantage of God so publicly without being the receiving end of a pastoral rebuke.

He does not want to be singled out as a hypocrite. That would be a big spoiler for his plan. He knows a hypocrite has no credibility and his plan needs credibility as the currency to make his new persona 

Still, he knows somehow that he is beginning to turn out as a hypocrite. But that has to be one arising in undefined form out of gradually unfolding circumstances and not by conscious personal design. He has to deny this duplicity so as to avoid distancing his integrity. This is of course a fine dividing line to make but it is one he needs to make if he wants to take advantage of God without the guilt and the self-condemnation. His rationale is this, "If a little oil is needed to grease the 
wheels, then a little denial of hypocrisy is needed to grease the faith."

So, the believer will keep up the appearances while he exploits the lover of his soul. His inveterate self with its umbilical cord still attached to the fallen nature will take liberties with God one sin at a time. Under the self-denied tent of duplicity, he steels his resolve to live a life that is more Christ-less than it is Christ-like, and in all public acts, he endeavors to project the fullness of his Savior.

He knows he can get away with it because the new covenant is a
 covenant of unconditional love and instantaneous absolution. In fact, the balm of forgiveness that eases his conscience is the same balm that frees him to act with divine impunity.

Not one day goes by without the believer thanking the divine grace for its unreserved generosity. And while he initially feels the deep moving remorse to transform for God, he soon takes this soft side for granted like all doted children unfailingly do and turn His generosity into a calculated self-serving affair. His faith
 progressively becomes more extractive  rather than inclusive and he gets more out of it than what he puts into it.

Of course not all believers will follow this path of an unconscious hypocrite but as it stands, the temptation is made far easier and even more accessible by the way the divine Creator is projected in this day and age. The believer knows the salvational “bait” that hides the Calvary “hook” is  not so much about embarking on a self-denying journey to personal sanctification after the altar-call

On the contrary, it is now more about putting the "justification" wheelcart before the "sanctification" horse and to live out in this perversely reversal of priorities in the natural order of things. As such, the believer has found a short-cut to the journey of sanctification. It is a truncated road of personal convenience coupled with a pragmatic sense of public devotion and reverence. The appearances will still have to be kept but only as a means to a self-exalted end.

In other words, there is still conviction of sins in 
him but such conviction is no more than just a license to sin a little more boldly each time absolution is readily granted when requested. This form of confession is nothing more than a confession of form and not of substance and what is dealt with in such a confession is the sin and not the sinner.

As an unfortunate result, the hypocrite gets a free pass while the practice of hypocrisy is momentarily arrested. But as the practitioner is still very much alive to his unregenerated nature,
 drawing from it the defiance to rebel, his remorse does not nail his flesh to the Cross. It merely places it on the bloody stake with a slap on the wrist of light admonishment.

Given time, the believer will readily return to his condemned form since such return is no more inconvenient to him than a murderer finding his way back to the murder weapon he had once discarded in a moment of feel-good guilt.

So, "let's take advantage of God" is the enslaved melody of a believer who thinks 
he can get away with it all. He relishes this ability to worship his Creator in the open marketplace of faith and to perpetuate his iniquities in the shadow market of doubt. No doubt there is still redemption hope for him in the long journey of life and faith. But this hope will never see the light of day as long as the deluded believer still thinks that he can take advantage of a loving and gracious God this side of heaven. Cheerz

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