The root of prostitution.

The other day I read something very troubling in the newspaper( I read that Saskatoon city council are contemplating a zone in Saskatoon where “massage parlours” can operate. This could be translated into having a designated “Red Light district” where prostitution would be “allowed”.

Now, in Canada it is not illegal to exchange sexual acts for money but it is illegal to market prostitution in public, make a living on somebody else (pimping) and to operate a brothel. This would suggest that having a “Red Light District” would be virtually impossible unless law enforcement agencies turn “their blind eye” to the activities because at least “it is in a manageable area” and “we can not get rid of prostitution anyway”. I believe City Council in Saskatoon are flirting with the idea of “managing” prostitution by having a “designated area for it” (since everybody seems to believe it is impossible to get rid off) so that the problem would be easier to handle. In practical terms it would mean that city council are contemplating to break the laws of Canada.

The ironic thing is that history shows prostitution and crime does not decrease if you “manage” it like this, it actually increases. To solve prostitution you can not manage it, you have to get to the root of the problem. And what is the root of the problem?

The theological answer would be that we do not see ourselves as being created in the image of God any longer (hey we do not even believe we are created).

The humanistic (which in essence is a theological answer as well) answer would be that we do not really believe that everyone are equally valuable and worthy of love and respect.

The economic answer would be that we believe that everything has a monetary value and should be possible to buy if we desire it.

The naturalistic answer would be that we in essence are animals that only follow our natural instincts.

It is how we view each other and ourselves that is the problem.

The word prostitution means “to put of front for sale”. It is no coincidence that it is in countries of capitalism we find the most buyers of sexual “services”. We have made it our creed that “everything can be bought for the right price.” We have come to believe that everything is for sale. This notion of that we can “buy happiness” is at the root of the problem of prostitution. There are not many woman who want to be in this situation. They are almost always forced to in one way or another. They are forced (by the pimps) because there is a demand for sexual services. The root of the problem is not found in the sex industry, it is found in the one who buys such services. It is lust that is the problem. And lust is rampant because it is promoted largely by society as a whole.

When society looses its vision for spiritual things all that “is left” is the physical. The adoration of the physical is called lust. The ironic thing though is that the spiritual does not go away when we worship the physical. No, when we give into lust, when we worship the physical, it has huge spiritual consequence.

We need to realize that not everything can be bought and sold, human dignity and morality knows this. Maybe that’s why it is human dignity and morality that are being persecuted by evil forces?

I would encourage you to study the root of the heresy (not problem) of prostitution. And, encourage your local politician to do the same. Until we do, prostitution will provide what lust demands.

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob

Ps. If you live in Canada, sign this petition Ds.


Church vs cult

We are now in the middle of “The Global Day of Prayer(s).” For ten days, Christians from different denominations are getting together to pray in the morning and in the evening here in Saskatoon (and all over the world). It is not a great success (as the world defines success) so far here in Saskatoon. There are not huge numbers but there are true numbers. The people who decide to put aside time for this are doing a good work. We are getting glimpses of what it means to pray without ceasing. Where the heart of Christian worship lies. There is not huge numbers but then huge numbers would have had me more concerned about the quality and integrity of the Global Day of Prayer anyway… The truth is that the Christian life, which is a life of prayer, of relationship and communication with God and His body claims our time and effort. And this requirement stands in opposition to the modern worlds creeds of quantity, business and instant gratification with as little effort as possible.

When you look at church history you see certain patterns. One pattern is the pattern of “Revival”. It seems like the cycle of “Revival” follows the following steps.

1. Divine revelation and intervention (Pentecost)

2. Powerful gifts and ministry (Mission/Incarnation)

3. Formulation of structure and tradition (To preserve the missional/incarnational work)

4. Status quo (Life goes on)

5. Nominalism (The “first love” and emotion seem to have been forgotten. Duty without life takes over).

6. Secularism/Death (Denial of the Spirit)

7. Stirring of the Spirit in a prophetic way.

and then it starts all over.

This cycle has and can be observed in all Christian denominations. And I think the Global Day of Prayer is a part of the number 7 point here in Saskatoon. The people coming out to pray, that are setting apart time to listen to the Spirit have a true desire for new life within the Church. I think the world “revival” is not the best word to describe this desire but rather it is a return, a repentance from the path that has led to a church that looks more like a company, a political organization or a museum (some orthodox churches)  than anything else. Many denominations in both the east and the west has turned to worship the actual worship ritual rather than Christ. Many has turned to worship the emotion rather than the One Who created us. Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes: (Bold words are added by me)

Having been turned into something ‘sacred in itself’, worship has as it were ‘profaned’ everything else in the Church: her government becomes juridical and administrative in our eyes; her ‘material’ life is strictly separated from its spiritual content; and the hierarchy (having become the celebrants of the sacraments only, in which nobody sees the expression, creation and fulfilment of the Church) are naturally pushed out of the sphere of Church administration, finances and even teaching since all these spheres have become profane and unsanctified (This is the disease of the East). The disease of the west is off course that in many places the Church has turned into an administration or business only without sacramental theology at all. Now the sole content of the Church’s life, worship has ceased to be understood in its own real content, which is to be the expression, creation and fulfilment of the Church. The overwhelming majority of orthodox people (or rather Christians over all)  have no interest in the meaning of worship. It is accepted and experienced in mystical and aesthetic but never ‘logical’ categories. It moves the soul of the believer by it’s sacredness, by it’s mysteriousness, by it’s ‘otherwordliness’ and by how good the worship team is. And everything that happens to fall within its orbit becomes overgrown and complicated with symbolic explanations or emotional addiction. It is characteristic that in the symbolism there is no symbolism of the Church and that in emotional addiction there is very little discernment. Thus people love to explain the Divine Liturgy (or lose themselves in emotion) as the depiction of the life of Christ. But who explains it (worship) as the expression of the life of the Church, as the action by which she is eternally realized? Who ever sees that in this action she is not depicting the life of Christ before the congregation, but is manifesting, creating and fulfilling herself as the Body of Christ? The believer loves the ceremonies (be it the orthodox ordo/typicon or mega church concert) symbols, the whole atmosphere of the church building, this familiar and precious nourishment for his soul, but this love does not long for understanding, because the purpose of the cult is thought of precisely as the bestowal of a spiritual experience, spiritual food. For the membership of the Church worship has ceased to be the Church’s selfevidencing.”

 of course when the worship itself becomes the object for our worship something has gone terribly wrong. And when something goes terribly wrong God usually stirs the gift of prophecy and sheds His light on the problem area.

Today we lift up the Church in prayer at the GDOP. We pray for true unity within the body of Christ. But this unity can only grow if we stop to focus on each other as members of the body and we start to look towards Christ the head. Yes, we need to know each other (and now each other deeply) to be able to “move the” body but it is Christ we must gaze upon to find life. The heart of the problem within the Church is that we worship ourselves or each other rather than Christ and from this we need to repent.

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob


Incarnational living.

My last post may have “flown over” some of you readers. If one are going to be able to see how the Divider tries to corrupt our view of incarnational, sacramental living one does need to know what that kind of life is in the first place.

In the early church, the sacraments/mysteries (Communion, Baptism) was very close to daily life. Communion was not only a “symbolic act or an act of remembrance” but is was (still is) Christs real presence and the bread and wine gave real nutrition to people who could not afford these things on their own. I realized during my journeys to Rwanda and Burundi that this is still the case. The Eucharist (Communion) is the only time when some of the people there get to eat bread. The sacraments/mysteries are bound to a physical reality in a very real sense. This is why our view of the sacraments is affected if we see that bread is not given to all. Everyone does not have water. We see many people who are hungry. Many people can not see a doctor (connected with the sacrament of healing/unction). We witness this imbalance of grace (some have, some do not have) and then we think it is “Grace herself” that is the reason behind this imbalance! The truth is that the mysteries/sacraments of God are not affected by “how we view them”. It is us that are affected depending on how we approach them. And the Divider tries to have us not approach them at all (because he knows that the grace contained in the Sacraments will bind together the spiritual and the physical into a holistic reality, we become whole) or he tries to change our view of them so that we deny that they actually are the presence of the Lord in the world today.

The Church is the body of Christ. The Church is the distributor of the mysteries/sacraments. This should not be so hard to believe if we truly take that first sentence at face value. The Church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the Head of the Church. The Church as the body of Christ are the hands and feet of Him and therefore the distributor of grace, of true nutrition. The Church was founded when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, they were baptized by fire. They received the Holy Spirit and that presence of the Holy Spirit within them was incarnated in how they lived their lives. It was a transformation, or rather a returning, to a state of wholeness. (God breathed life into the physical world once again just like He breathed life into Adam “and man became a living being”) The Spirit inside of the apostles manifests in their physical body. The anointing (Chrism, Christ – the anointed One) is poured out on the apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit (tounges of fire) so that they can be the body of Christ (the anointed ones). The Spiritual and the physical comes together into a state of wholeness. This journey towards wholeness can be described with another word, namely “salvation” or “healing”. It is the same process in the sacraments. The physical and the spiritual becomes whole by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have true, whole life again.

So the mysteries/sacraments are essential in facing the Divider. The wholeness and healing that the sacraments/mysteries brings stands in holy opposition towards the division and suffering that the Divider wants to bring. The sacraments/mysteries are relevant because they both depict what true reality is and they are also the actual incarnation of that whole reality.

If a person says that they “have the Holy Spirit” but nothing in their physical life testifies about this (true virtues) then there is reason to be cautious. Example: If a person says that “money” has no power over him but he works 300 hours a month you need to be cautious. If a person says that he is a Christian but is not connected to a church (a body of believers) you need to be cautious. The presence of the Holy Spirit (as well as other spirits) is always manifested in physical reality (now we do not always have the ability to see this because our ability to discern is under attack and therefore we need to stay in contact with Head quarters. We need to listen and pray to discern the spirits) but that does not mean it is not true.

Christ body (the Church) is incarnated (meaning “into the flesh”) by the power of the Holy Spirit. He ascended into heaven (heaven being holistic reality) “to release” the kingdom of heaven (that very holistic reality) into the world that had turned away from the path of salvation or wholeness. The world had been divided and separated by the lord of division and our free will. The anointing (chrism, charisma) by the Holy Spirit into this world of death and separation brings forth life and wholeness again, and “man becomes a living being once again”. The tree of life, in the garden of Eden (Heaven) is once again accessible for us.

Christ first descended to the world, then He descended into the low places (hell). Then He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven so that we can do the same, by the power of the Holy Spirit (remaining in Him, being members of His body).

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob

Dantes misstake

After reading the two last posts you may suspect that I believe in a big, red creature with horns and tail. Just to clarify. I don’t. The lively pictures of art that Dante and others presented to describe the reality of hell and the devil does not accurately depict those realities I believe. In a way those very artists in trying to describe the spiritual realm, made this reality a lot smaller than it is. The effect of it being that today we are “stupid” or “fundamentalists” if we believe in the devil, we are laughed at if we say that we believe in an evil reality. The devil twisted the good intended meaning of this artwork. He is the “father of lies” and the biggest lie the devil ever pulled was to convince the world that he does not exist.

Now, as I said I do not picture the devil as the Hollywood movies does (Hellboy), I do not picture demons like the demonic vampires in “Van Hellsing” or other films. If I must picture “them” I do believe that they “look” a lot more like a “thought” entering your mind. Spiritual warfare is not so much about “seeing demons everywhere”. It is more about knowing who you truly are and how you operate, “know thyself” . Everything you need to live a life of excellence, of goodness resides within you, because if you (with the help of Christ) tear down the lies, you will see that Christ lives within you. Everything you need to be truly human is present deep within, because your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. Your heart is a dwelling place for God. It is when you discover this that you truly touch your humanity and you become whole.

It is no surprise that we have a hard time seeing our “divine potential”. The devil has tried to influence our thoughts by manner of twisting them. We receive our thoughts from how we experience reality through our senses. Those impressions crashes into our freedom of choice and a decision is made. After this we act out in the physical what we decided in the spiritual. Since our thoughts are influenced by the physical reality we find ourselves in (which is a consequence of other people’s decisions) we must be cautious. The devil has tried to take out the content of the structure and vice versa from a lot of important physical realities by swaying the ideas of persons (with those persons often having good intentions from the beginning). Some of the fundamental ideas that he tries to undermine and twist concerns the sacraments (this is no coincidence).

Eucharist – The use of wine or alcoholic beverages/drugs over all has never been more imbalanced as in modern society. Alcoholism, and the violence that proceeds from it has many victims. On the other extreme we have a puritan thought that claims that any consumption of alcohol is evil, this side can probably present almost as many victims. Neither side is true, both are addictive. The bread or food in the Eucharist is not spared the attacks either. The distribution of bread in the world is very imbalanced. 15% of the world’s population lives in abundance (and suffers cancer, obesity and heart problems  for it) while the other 85% can’t afford to eat until they are full. There is enough food for everybody, that’s the physical reality. The spiritual reality is that we do not want to face the work it requires for everybody to have food. This laziness comes from the devil.

Baptism – Water is a necessity for life, yet huge numbers of people lacks daily access to healthy water. Many people suffer from thirst and disease because of a lack of water. Physically we could solve this with the knowledge we have today, but on a spiritual level there is greed and sloth stopping this work.

Chrismation/Confirmation/Unction. Oil is used in these sacraments. This essence of the fruits to anoint sick people and to bring about wonderful fragrance is today a huge industry filled with greed and a huge lack of morality, see my post The ownership over oil (or other resources) is a very common reason for the modern war.

Marriage. The sacrament of the union between a man and a woman is under heavy “gunfire”. a) The term “marriage” has been hijacked for usage in relations that are not actual marriages. b) People question if there actually is something like “male” and “female” at all. c) Divorce is rampant (expected by many) with all the consequences. d) Many marriages are violent and abusive, rape (both within and outside of marriage) is common. e) Oversexual behaviour, pornography and “recreational sexual relations” has nominalized and secularized the meaning of this mysterious union. f) New life has become a matter of personal convenience. And on it goes.

Orders. The sacrament of the ordination is under attack as well. Many are the examples of persons that has been ordained that has tarnished the office of deacon, priest and bishop by abusive behaviour.

Confession. This sacrament has often become the moment where the above abuses mentioned are occurring.

These are examples of how the devil tries to twist the sacraments. Not to mention the twisting on a dogmatic level where the sacraments either are taken out from the church all together or they have become nominal. Our decision may change when we connect the blood of Christ with alcoholism. When we connect the word marriage with an abusive husband. Since the devil does not have the power to erase our original “image and likeness of God” he tries to effect our choice (which is given from God). He can not touch our desire to be known and loved, it is ingrained in us so therefore he tries to fill this desire with everything but the one thing that will satisfy us, Christ. He can not touch our freedom hence he tries to make us choose all the wrong things. He can not touch the structure of reality with a physical and spiritual dimension hence he tries to disconnect them. He can not touch our need for food and drink so he tries to put this out of balance. He cannot touch the distribution of grace in the Sacraments, he can not touch the Sacraments, hence he tries to corrupt the way we view them.

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob

The unholy lord of divison

So, in this second post on the subject “spiritual warfare” I will write about the enemy we face. But before doing that I think some repetition is beneficial. Keep in mind that the language I use may sound fundamental but it is not intended to. You who know me knows that I am not a “fundamentalist”. I am rather “level-headed”. I need to use this language because it is the language that gives the most accurate picture of our reality.

1. We are at war, whether we like it or not, believe it or not.

2. Your awareness of this raging war depends on how in touch you are with your headquarter. Your awareness depends on how in tune you are with your morality, your sense of right and wrong, good and evil.

3. What army you are on in this war depends on how you act upon the information your receive. It all boils down to how you choose. Do you choose to do good things , do you choose not to choose, or do you choose to do evil things.

I realized that the language in my last post tended to lean towards describing the spiritual and physical as separate realities. They are not. They are very much the same reality but two “aspects” of it. When we try to describe reality we break it down in parts (spiritual, physical) but we must not forget to put the pieces back together into a whole. Why? Well, that brings me to the subject of our enemy.

In any battle it is good to have information about your enemy. But this greatest of enemy has the ability to sway your good intentions if you are not protected by the spiritual gear of a Knight of Light. This oldest of demons has been given the power to roam the air and to enter into physical beings by matter of their choice or non ability to choose. Therefore the demon can use your good intentions and twist them into something evil. To gather information about this “chief of demons” you need to be firm in your faith. You need to rely on Christ.

The word “demon” comes from the greek word “deamon” or “daimon” and means “divider” (from root da- meaning division). That meaning stands in opposition to the purpose of Christ which is to bring salvation (healing) to the world. Christ purpose is to bring wholeness and healing, the devils purpose is to bring division and through division suffering.

This reality is seen on the smallest to the greatest level. Take a wound for instance. Often imposed by another man to you by this mans ability to  choose. This bad decision causes division. It (most often) separates the hearts of the offender and the victim. It separates the body of the victim causing and awareness of pain from the wound. The body is put out of its “whole state”. Pain is a consequence of this, alerting the mind of that something is wrong and appropriate action needs to be taken (seeing a doctor). Point being the cells in the body are put out of their whole state and into disorder (division,, stress) and that hurts. This lord of division is present in the smallest circumstance of reality.

This old demon is also present on a greater stage. We see division within the church. We see division amongst people. Some people feel inclined to separate God the Father from God the Son. Saying that Christ is not God but only a prophet, they are separate in nature. (tribal Arianism or Islam) Some people claim that the Son is not as great as the Father, they are separate in dignity. (Various kinds of heresies). Some say that God is spirit only, separating the spiritual from the physical (Gnosticism, pantheism). Some denies the Spirit all together and only believes in the physical, separating the physical and the spiritual (secularism).

The deamon has from the beginning targeted the spiritual realm, the realm of ideas and of content. He is the “Lord of the air” for a reason. Since he is bound to the spiritual side of reality he can only enter the physical side of that one reality if he is allowed to open that door by the one entity that holds the key to the door. The door is called law or time (no capital letter). The entity is man.The key is called choice or freedom.  He began his work in the realm of ideas since that is his “place of habitation” (it is not against flesh and blood that we are fighting but against principalities…) nurturing the idea by highlighting the goodness of the physical. (“the fruit looks really good”). He high-lightes and lies about  the goodness so much that we than by choice push the good into the extreme. The extreme is a place in almost no proximity to the Center. It is the place of stress. To remain in the extreme you need to push further, hence the extreme is always the place of addiction.

The lord of division (the demon) tries to draw you from the Centre. He tries to separate you from the Source of life, Christ. Some of the big divisions that he tries to nurture are:

He tries to separate male and female. He tries to separate the Old Testament from the New Testament (Conservatism – Liberalism).  He tries to separate humanity from divinity. (Secularism – Gnosticism) He tries to separate the spoken and the written word. (Nominalism – Literalism) He tries to separate the Law from choice.  (Legalism /Fundamentalism – Liberalism) He tries to separate the body from the mind. (Physical – Spiritual) He tries to separate the members of the body (disease, insanity), He tries to separate the individual from the communal.(Individualism – Communism) He tries to separate the rational from the mystical. (Scholasticism – Spiritualism) He tries to separate western philosophy from eastern philosophy. (Rationalism – pantheism) He tries to separate science and religion. (Structure – Content) He tries to separate math and art. (Definition – Expression) He tries to separate matter and space. (Atoms – Energy)

Separation is his game plan. Lying is his method. The air is his habitation and death is his companion and destination. The best way to fight him is to expose him and call him for what he is, with Christ at your side. Because no matter what your wound looks like, Christ has established laws that puts the forces of healing right to work after you received a blow to your body. Cells are regrouping and restructuring, bearing witness to that there is healing possible.

Sometimes we need to shed light upon the things that happens in the relams of darkness but I advice you not to dwell on those things for to long, giving them more attention than they deserve. Focus on the Light and the darkness will vanish.

If you get overwhelmed by the number of wounds, addictions or other events in your life and you get “killed in action” know that it is not the end. Death separates the body and the soul but Christ has the power and authority to put them back together. That, He showed and still shows us, in the resurrection.

In Christ

Fr. Jakob

Beginners guide to spiritual warfare

The terminology I use in this post is there to bring forth and display reality as it is. It is not intended to radicalize opinions or stir up false emotions. Please consider that as you continue to read.

Strong words in the headline. Spiritual warfare. What does that mean? When I look at the world surrounding me I know that all objects that I see with my eyes also has a “hidden” side to them. If I see a stone I recognize it for what it is. But I also know it has a hidden side to it. I know that I can use it either to build a house for example or throw it on someone. As an object without will it is subject to my will, my choice. It is still a stone but the “hidden” side of it, its story depends on the will of another subject, namely man. It is this ability of man, to choose and therefore have dominion over creation, that makes him aware of what he is. It is actually, partially, this ability that makes man able to know himself.

Since we are partially (not fundamentally) defined by choices it is also choice that is the D-day of spiritual warfare. It is our choice that is the “Normandie” of our souls. And D-day is every day for the one that views the world with open eyes. This ability to choose and impose our will on creation places man in the armies of spiritual warfare. In what army depends on the choices you make.  Warfare is the consequence of one (or two or more) entities refusal to communicate. In the common understanding of warfare it is the enforcing of ones will by way of physical pressure (violence) instead of diplomacy (communication). The physical suffering and violence that manifests in war is the manifestation of a spiritual breakdown. It is the end of communication with the goal of eradicating the other.

Have you ever wondered why we are so fascinated by movies that portrays the struggle between good and evil? Well, I would suggest that you are fascinated because you are a part of it. Your soul engages in warfare every day whether your are aware of it or not. You make choices every day. You either choose to join the good army or the army of evil in every single choice you make. Sometimes it may feel like you  can’t make a good decision because you don’t have all the information. But I tell you, it is your responsibility to know. As a “soldier” you communicate with “headquarters” every day. You keep the lines of communication open so that you have access to the information you need to make decisions concerning life and death. The big question though is which head quarter you are communicating with. And if you say that you do not communicate with any side because they “don’t exist” (secularism) then that means that you by not making a choice is like that stone in the beginning. If you don’t make choices everyday you are subject to others will and choices (be it what clothes to wear, helping a stranger or what tv program to watch). By not choosing, you are choosing. And it is not the good side you are choosing by “non-choice”. In “no mans land”, between the frontlines there is corpses everywhere…

No, to keep the “high-ground” in any battle you need to have working communication. You need to tell command about your troubles and needs. You need to acknowledge your mistakes and you need to give thanks for “air support” and comrades. You also need to listen to the information that command send you and act on it. Communication (prayer) is essential for survival and for keeping the upper hand. You also need to check your gear (Eph 6:14 – 17). A blow to the head without the helmet on may be the last thing you experience.

Weather you like it or not, believe it or not, this world is at war. The physical wars of this world is only a reflection of what is going on in the spiritual realm. They are two sides of the same coin. Like in any war there are strongholds and there are different soldiers and powers. I will write about these in the coming weeks, approaching the Global Day of Prayer. But to talk about these strongholds, tactics, battle strategy and the best gear, we need to acknowledge that we are at war. We need to open communication, or at least turn on the radio to listen to “High Command”. A head in the sand will eventually take the better of you. Denying reality will eventually cost you your life.

You need to look behind the curtain that the evil powers of this world has tried to cover your eyes with and prepare yourself to join the fight that has been raging in the world ever since that “brightest of stars fell from the heavens”.

In Christ.

Fr. Jakob

Law and Judgment as revealers of reality

I was surprised the other day when I opened the latest issue of “Newsweek”. In it was an article about Jesus. It actually had both the word “Church” and the name “Jesus” on the front page. Read the article here:

Sullivan reflects on the separation/union of Church and State and how this has effected the message that Christ brought forth. He seems to blame politics and power-hungry individuals for the dire straits that the Church find herself in. I agree with some of what he says. I give him credit for raising the questions in such a secular media outlet. But then on the other hand, the question of Church and State can not be answered by the secular world because the secular world does not acknowledge the Church for what she is (that’s the problem…). The secular in essence denies the Church existence. The secular world views the Church as “a worldly power institution and structure only, a political organization”. And truth be told, many Christians views the Church in the same way. This notion is wrong and very far from what the Church is.

I said before that I do not believe in the union of Church and State on this side of judgment in the “political” aspect. I also believe that when judgment is upon us then the “State of heaven” will shine its light everywhere. From a eschatological perspective, I believe that judgment (in Love) will reveal that Church and State are the same. “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess”. Ultimately our world and reality will recognise her origin. When Church and State are together then we know that judgement is here. Because the State is the giver of judgement. The State has the Law as its foundation and the Law determines what is true and what is false. What is right and what is wrong. It is the “punish-er of wrong behaviour” and the “reward-er of righteousness”. The problem however arise when we, as humans stained by sin, start to determine and define when judgement is going to happen and what it should look like. As Christians we should not be so concerned with the things that are only known to the Father, we should be concerned with doing what His Son has revealed to us (Love each other with integrity). We see that the Church, as the body of Christ is supposed to be the outpouring of grace to the world. IN this act the Church often becomes the receiver of punishment. The Church (as the body of Christ) fulfills the Law by way of offering her life for the sake of the world. So no doubt, the two are connected.

So should this motivate me, as a Christian to not stop working until all other religions are gone? In a way, Yes. Should this motivate me to work against religious freedom? No. That sounds contradictory. It sounds paradoxical. And in the paradox there is truth hidden. The questions are posed wrongly.

The Law (as well as Christianity) has no function if choice and freedom is taken away. Because true Love is not possible without freedom. It is not the Law that offers true liberation, it offers information. The Law (State) is here to reveal to us the conditions of our existence, the boundaries of our freedom. The Law defines our reality (laws of gravity and time for example). How to make sense of reality and time and how to make a good choice. Law is the great reveal-er. God gave Adam and Eve one Law: “Do not eat of that fruit”. By communicating an objective command He gave them morality and the possibility to love God freely (religious freedom..). He revealed their purpose for being (That is: to be in communion with Him). In the confinement of a set number of physical laws and one moral law He gave them the freedom to choose. This is paradox. Because, we find our ultimate freedom and happiness by giving our freedom up and subjecting it to the will of the Lord, and the will of the Lord is for us to delight in Him.

To-days resentment of the Law and Authority springs from the notion that Law and Authority does not give us freedom. We think that Law and Authority only confines us and abuses us. This is not surprising given that law and authority has done this through history. This is what happens when rulers of this world forget where the ultimate Authority lies. This is what happens when ultimate concern is not about people’s salvation and healing but about personal power. Today we reject the Law because in our pride we used the law for the wrong purposes and in doing that, it turned on us with a vengeance (which is the very nature of Law, that there is consequence to our actions).

The Law defines reality according to Gods will so that we know when something in reality has been put out-of-place or is “missing the mark” (sin). We have intrinsic knowledge of the Law by way of our morality so that we know when we are doing things that are contrary to the path of healing and salvation.

So, should Christians advocate for a Christian State religion? Should State (Law) and Church (Love) be in union? These questions are posed in the wrong way, and has been since the fall. We think that we can determine the destiny of Law and Love and what they should look like by our own wisdom. We can not. It is pride that thought that we could steer the right hand of God (Love) and the left hand of God (Law) into the direction that catered to our own will. We would do well in recognising that we are subject both to the Love and the Law of God. We would do well in recognizing that the two has the same origin and eternal purpose.

I think a good starting point for Christians that desires to spread the good news of Gods salvation (healing) would be not to focus on uprooting the tree of knowledge (take away choice and religious freedom, I mean God Himself put it there) but instead to uproot some of the other trees that are blocking the way to actually making a true choice. The trees that are causing us to look at Law and Love, State and Church from a systematic perspective only.

In the “Newsweek article” Sullivan says that we should forget “Church” and start to follow “Christ”. This false assumption, that Christ (The Head of the Church,) is separated from Church (His body) is one of the major reasons why we are asking the wrong questions.

I believe one correct question to pose would be: “How do I find peace in the tension between State and Church, Law and Freedom, Head and Body, Mind and Heart?” And the answer off course is that you don’t. But you may exercise your divinely appointed freedom and let the Prince of Peace into your heart and fulfill His Law for you. Any thoughts out there?

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob

Just a reminder: These are only my personal ongoing thoughts and reflects the journey I am walking. I have by no means arrived at the destination.