Friday, April 26, 2013

Beauty or Beast?

The cleanness laws were for the purpose of training Israel in the virtues of distinguishing between the holy and the common and between the clean and the unclean. But now Jesus has declared all foods clean. Therefore, we no longer have to have our senses trained to distinguish between holy and common, clean and unclean.


Not only is that conclusion wrong, it is dangerously wrong. Our God is a consuming fire who will show himself holy. People die when they make his holy things vulgar. That in itself is enough motivation to pursue proper distinctions.

But that is hardly the whole story. Proper distinctions and harmonious order make the beauty of our Lord apparent to us. We were created to have our souls overwhelmed with the joy of Awe-full Beauty. We have been called to become like our holy Lord. And since we become like what we worship, as we observe the distinctions between holy/clean and common/unclean in our worship, we will enjoy more and more of the beauty of Christ. Life becomes more and more meaningful as it is more and more a participation in the eternal life of God by the Spirit.

But if we blur those distinctions, we actively work to erase all that makes us glorious in Christ. We take a wrecking ball to our reason and plant maggots in our minds. We warp our wills and hollow out our hearts. Our affections become mere appetites. We become a parody of what it means to be human. We become bestial.

High Country Baptist Church is committed to worshiping in the beauty of holiness. We would rather not be the local herd of steers, grunting and bellowing our approval when the feed truck shows up on Sunday morning to fill our bellies. We live in a society hell-bent on ignorant bestiality,  but like Bunyan's Christian we run after Christ crying, "Life! Life! Eternal life!"

Come with us, and make proper distinctions.

Psalm 117b
Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken (#220)
Come We that Love the Lord (#223)
Lord, How Delightful (#726)

Scripture Reading
Old Testament: Leviticus 20:1-9; Psalm 106
New Testament: Luke 12:22-34

Worship, Wisdom, and Work Series: Clean and Unclean in Our Worship (Part 3) - Leviticus 11-15

P.S. Here's new song by Josh Bauder that I have enjoyed meditating on this week. Perhaps it will stir up your soul to find delightful rest in God.

(HT: Chuck Bumgardner)

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