5 October 2020

I talked to my Dad yesterday with Kea. Today he had all the Auckland family getting around him: it is his birthday tomorrow. He gleefully informed me that he’s getting close to 90. Not this year, but close.

The last verses here he recited to me many times when I was growing up. That we are a chose people, a royal priesthood, a people chosen by God.

But many reject this.

1 Peter 2:4-10

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is]choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

“The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,”

8 and,

“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

My old man loves that song. He is bold. And he taught me not as much to trust in any institution as in God. To follow him. He was able to lead — and would start by sweeping the floor. I saw the cost of leadership, emotionally and in fervent prayer, up close and personal. He’s in the faith, hating the modern worship music (he takes his hearing aids out for worship services) and still doing things for the faith.

His most recent request was for the email of a mutual friend we are praying for.

The old man is bolder than I am. Perhaps that comes with old age. But he knows that it is not the structure of the organization that matters, but the spirit within it. That which is of the spirit of this world is doomed.

Any organisation will, sooner or later, become anti-God.

In other words again: All organisations are evil – if not already evil, then they soon will be.

This is the lesson that our times are trying to teach us. Or rather, it is a sub-lesson of the fact that abstraction and system are by now so infected with evil as to have become un-usable for Good.

But the implications are so very far reaching that it is apparently almost impossible for people to learn the lesson, no matter how often reiterated. Certainly, I find it very hard to hold, even as I found it hard to grasp in the first place.

The habit of placing one’s trust – one’s hopes – in organisations, systems, abstractions… is something that is very difficult to break (after so many centuries of cultural assimilation).

We should not expect wordily organizations — even glorious empires — to be eternal. The only things that will go to the next existence is God and people. Our nations stay here. So do our possessions, our ambitions, and our achievements. The spirit of this age is a spirit of antichrists, and we should expect therefore antichrists to infest any secular structure, including the parts of the church which function as if they are secular.

But we have been called out of that world into something better. Give God the glory, and do not be like them.