Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Friday, 20 March 2015

Head and Heart

Colossians 2:1 "For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
We are about to enter into the conflict and the reason Paul is writing to this small group of believers he has never met. Apparently the pastor (Epaphras) has written to Paul seeking wisdom and counsel on how best to handle what is happening in the churches in Colossae and Laodicea and Paul has written this letter in response.
Before we get into the problem I want to pause and examine what Paul sees as the solution. Basically Paul is saying he is struggling because things are not as they should be in these churches and then he goes on to describe what he wishes they were experiencing:
1, hearts encouraged
2, hearts knit together in love
3, having the riches of full assurance as a result of understanding
4, deep knowledge of the Father and Christ in Whom are hidden all wisdom and knowledge.
Do you know what this sounds like? It sounds a lot like the prayer Jesus prayed for His disciples and for His followers down through the ages just before He died.
I want to specifically point out the dual elements of heart and head. As flawed humans in whom the image of God is severely distorted we tend to extremes. For some their faith in God is all about emotions and the heart. Ultimately this ends in disaster when someone comes along and crushes their heart and they have no deep understanding or head knowledge to carry them through the painful experience. Another danger of heart only religion is that it tends toward manipulation by others. Feelings and emotions are used to confuse and ultimately control people who are sincere but don't have the head knowledge to see through the manipulation and warped character of the dysfunctional leader.
Equally dangerous in the opposite direction are those who have what they think is perfect head knowledge of God and the Bible. What they really have is knowledge of facts and figures with little to no empathy or sympathy for others and no knowledge of the heart of God. Extreme examples on this side can quote chapter and verse and explain complex prophecies and concepts yet are unable to speak to or deal with the human experience on a practical level. Paul described these in 1 Corinthians 13 as reverberating gongs and clanging cymbals - lots of sound but no love to make it healthy and whole.
The solution for those in either camp? A deep knowledge of God and Christ in Whom are found the perfect balance of intellectual understanding and deep heart love and emotion. God is neither a brilliant but heartless robot or an emotional force with no sense. He is both in perfect balance and harmony.
Let me illustrate this way:
When Jesus was dying in Gethsemane as the weight of our sins began to crush Him you see the perfect character of God come into play in gut wrenching fashion. We're God and Christ emotionless Beings the cross would have been a far different experience. Jesus would not have been in emotional agony because pure logic has no emotions. The cross would have been a math equation. His perfect life given to balance a cosmic equation.

On the flip side if Jesus was all emotion and no deep understanding He would never have gone to the cross. The crushing pain of the moment would have caused Him to flee to seek escape from the pain. When emotions take over rational thought dies. The question "If it be possible let this cup (experience) pass from Me" is an emotional one balanced by rational, logical thinking. It was Jesus' deep intellectual understanding of our need combined with His exhaustless love for us that kept Him moving forward. It was God's deep knowledge of the entire situation and His exhaustless love for us and the created universe that kept Him from sending His angels to rescue His Son.
 Intellect without a heart is a psychopath. Heart without knowledge is a storm of emotion driven in every direction by circumstances divorced from principle and truth. A whole person is in connection with all their emotions without being a mindless slave to any of them. They make decisions for the greater good rather than in the moment. They are neither driven about by every wind of doctrine no are they double minded and unstable in all their ways. Rather they are like are tree planted by the waters whose roots run deep and enable the tree to draw from unseen resources and withstand any wind.
Paul saw in Colossae and Laodicea a lack of health in the Body that only a deep assurance rooted in a full understanding of the Father and the Son could supply.
Examine your life and your church. If it is primarily emotion based you are in danger. If it is primarily knowledge and theory divorced from compassion you are in danger.
Tomorrow we'll begin to explore both the problem(s) and get a clearer picture of the Solution.

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