Saturday, October 15, 2005

 

Not Just Any Mandate

Mandate--an authoritative order or command, especially a written one.
Mandatory--obligatory; having received a mandate over some territory.*

"Fill the earth and subdue it" ~God

Man was given a purpose at his beginning: to rule over God's creation.

When I mentioned the dirty word, "relevance", knowing the communication problems it could entail, I was referring to the cultural mandate. The Colson/Vaughn book (Being the Body) helped me with my choice in word use. The foul meaning which could fit into a "relevance" definition is accommodate. The church's accommodation of the world is the actual fiery arrow that has pierced the Body's heart of Truth. Being relevant could mean bending to the whims of a culture in order to relate better and draw in the hordes of relativists. It can also mean, and should intend, to hold fast to the anchor of truth and relate the Word as a roadmap, the Holy Spirit as the Captain and Compass for weary travelers...seeker and finder alike. How sufficient is that? Being a source of relevance in every sense, the Church issues purpose, exposes God's grace, provides the Way, in Truth, for a fulfilled Life of service for the Creator's Glory! That is, when the Church is on top of it. Who needs gimmicks and compromise? There's nothing but irrelevance in satiating the world with their own lies.

God wasted no time assigning meaning to the life He breathed into man and woman. Fill, subdue, rule...coming from God, translates "mandation". Obligatory verbs, not for your consideration at a more convenient time, but legally and morally binding commands requiring our awesome and willing hearts.

According to Being the Body, the Reformers "were moved by a holy passion. Filled with the fear of God--the deepest reverence of the Lord Almighty--their cry became Coram Deo, in the presence of God. What seized them was the biblically informed view of life and realization that Scripture made Truth plainly known to men and women. (p 294). One of Luther's more profound statements was that church work was "in no way whatever superior to the works of a farmer laboring in the field, or of a woman looking after her home." (p 297) Life and living is service to our Lord for His glory and Kingdom! Some have said that this is the human condition rather than strictly a Christian phenomenon. I suppose, even with self-centered intentions, people are naturally creative and often tend toward order, beauty, and life. There is also much evidence to the contrary.

There are some questions that arise in this writer but more on that later.

""God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature. ~Genesis 1:28

*Webster's NewWorld Dictionary: Second College Edition; 1986

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