The old covenant is the first part of human history. The new covenant is the next part. Over two years ago now a friend sent me a piece he had found in some prophetic literature in which the writer had observed that in some instances Christian leadership remained in cocoons of religion. As a result they had never become sons of our Father in spirit and in truth.
Richard Rohr whom I cite often here, asserts that if we never leave behind the first half our life in which we are striving to established a certain identity, an identity that we believe is ours and which describes us – we will not in the second half of our lives be positioned to boldly enter the real identity that is being revealed as ours as sons and daughters of God.
This second identity – this second reality that is the reality of ourselves in Christ marks the transition from being sons in theory to sons in spirit and in truth. But some Believers do not make it here. They live in retardation because they think there is something about their lesser life that makes them special. Apparently some would sooner get an identity from ‘their perspectives’ than they would from being sons of God.
Jesus was one with Father, received His identity as Son from His Father and had the Spirit without limit. Jesus was His real and authentic self without limit. One with Father He was fully a son and fully Himself as an I AM.
My friend’s quote above had focused on the fact that until these ‘leaders’ could break the shackles of this limitation, they could be ‘fathers’ in name but never ‘fathers’ in the faith in any real sense. This is why we cannot be apostolic in old covenant mode. We are not one with Father and not fully sons.
CLOUDS WITHOUT RAIN
Some people have a following yet are not spiritual leaders. Religious leaders they may be but they are not apostolic leaders. The piece my friend shared brings to mind the unfortunate condition where spiritual leaders are not in fact spiritual leaders. Not spiritual leaders because they are not actual sons, not spiritual leaders because their vision is not sharp enough to distinguish between spirit and life and the flesh. They are however religious leaders. The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of sons.
CAPTURED IN LIMITATION
Contained in religion many leaders are insulated from sharp revelation. Not having morphed from the old self into their new union with God self, they lack the sharpness of revelation. They live minus the comfort of union with God that increases as we leave behind old wineskins and have our lives carried in the life that is Christ. They are in fact the holders of religious positions of influence over those, who like themselves have yet to discover the fullness of God and the completeness of their genuine selves. All of us have scope for growth but all of us have more scope when we are living from the new covenant and not the old.
New birth is birth into the new covenant – into the second part of life. The new covenant is the Kingdom of God realised from Christ in you. Christ your life is you in the trinity and the trinity in you.
Blind people are comforted by blind leaders. They confirm for them vain verities and make them comfortable in their chains – chains that are invisible to them but clearly seen by those who lead in the tradition of Jesus. There are many blind folks who are led by the blind. It results when leaders do not make the sacrifice to discover what is true as opposed to what is popular. It occurs because many of the blind are attracted to what blind leaders offer – a false sense of security in the myths they have always believed and a sense of spirituality that does not involve changing one’s life. There’s a strange phenomenon that medical people have spoken of. This is the comfort some can get from making a companion of their disease.
‘Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’ John 3.3 NIV.
Speaking of new birth into a higher form of life Rohr writes, ‘First of all, you can only see and understand the earlier stages from the wider perspective of the later stages. This is why mature societies were meant to be led by elders, seniors, saints, and "the initiated." They alone are in a position to be true leaders in a society, or certainly in any spiritual organization. Without them, "the blind lead the blind.” Those who are not true leaders or elders will just affirm people at their own immature level, and of course immature people will love them and elect them for being equally immature.’ Rohr is not saying that people are mature because they are old. He is affirming that leaders are leaders because they really have been reborn from law/religion and from shadows into the reality that is Christ. They are new creation beings.