Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The God of the Mundane: Part 3 - Just When You Thought You Were Spiritual

16Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,d puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22(referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. - Colossians 2:16 - 23

We just might have it all backwards. We are trained to declare as spiritual those who stay away from temporal enjoyments or at least don't enjoy them too much, for these enjoyments are worldly and therefore unspiritual. They are mundane. And those who enjoy them are worldly and practicing worldliness. We have a sneaky suspicion they are most likely repeatedly dreaming of food (Acts 10:9-16) and supplying the best vino ever made for parties that go on for days (John 2:1-11).

That is weird.

According to Paul, it seems the very opposite of what we deem as spiritual is often the case. In fact spirituality has the distinct aroma of fermented grapes and pork ribs being cooked over an open flame while crustaceans are sauteed in a fiery pan. And this spirituality is done on a lovely Sunday afternoon filled with laughter. All ordered up by our gracious Father who loves us as if we were his his only Son.

Paul makes it clear we have died to the elemental principles of this world. What do those worldly elemental principles look like? "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" Yep, there is more than one kind of worldliness. You can actually be worldly by denying the very world God created and treating it as if it and it's fruits are evil. These kinds of teachings have all the "appearance of wisdom... but they are of no value in stopping indulgence of the flesh."

You just thought you were worldly/spiritual when actually you might be spiritual/worldly.

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