IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTEXT...
I am a Bible college grad. I took Hermeneutics. I plodded through courses on biblical languages. I have had my share of epistemology, ecclesiology, philosophy, apologetics, etc. One thing that was drilled into me from the beginning was "context." Many an argument was spawned due to a lack of context.
Folks, I see that today. Western Christianity has boiled the Gospel down to our own limited scope and understanding, based on the current social and political - and dare I say, religious climate. We limit Father to our finite thinking. He is so much bigger. And the Gospel is so much more simple.
CONTEXT: If we want to understand Father...if we want to appreciate our part in the Kingdom...if we want to truly discover the purpose of creation, then we must apply the rules of context here. Let me summarize what could take me pages to unfold. We are, first and foremost, His bride. Read Ephesians 5:21-31. This passage references Genesis and the fact that we were made to be a bride, cleaving to her Bridegroom. That is the context from the beginning.
We easily get caught up in fancy arguments on dogma and theology. We criticize others in the Body with whom we share little in common. We make ourselves "watchman on the tower" - sounding alarms when we feel that our theology and believe systems are being threatened by those who may see things in a different light. That seems to have become a clarion call by the religious elite. STOP!!! It's context!!!
Does a critical heart sound like a bride? Does false humility sound like a bride? Does worry and over-reaction sound like a bride? Does open contention, brother against brother sound like a bride? Does doom and gloom theology sound like a bride? Does beating oneself up over weakness and past mistakes sound like a bride? Does a "woe is me" victim mentality sound like a bride? Folks, He chose us to be HIS bride. That, in and of itself, is the highest honor one could give another.
What does a bride sound like? EXACTLY!!!!!!!! That's what we should be concerned about. She only sees her Bridegroom, therefore, she says what she hears Him say (what is He really saying?). She is enthralled with HIm. She is consumed with His passions. She sees only Him. He is the central fixture of her gaze. When she hears Him speak (i.e. from the words of Scripture) she hears it in the context of "nuptials". His words don't become dogma soundbites. They don't become arguing points. They do become an intimate expression of absolute and poured out love and devotion. That's context. IT IS NOT SLAVERY as many would think. It is about the bride and Bridegroom in an intimate love affair, culminating in pure joy and abandonment. CONTEXT!!!! CONTEXT!!!!! CONTEXT!!!!!
Jesus is not fully understood by systematic theology or our pursuit of knowledge. That is, our attempt at trying to figure out what our earthly minds cannot fully grasp. We can only truly understand Him when we abandon ourselves to the throes of intimacy. The next time you are tempted to give into self-condemnation or judgment of your circumstance or of others, stop and remember CONTEXT!