Trying To Be Christian Before Having A Human Heart (9.19.13)
"He who fashions their hearts to be human." Psalm 33,15
An old friend of mine in New Mexico has a wise faith, beyond today's rah.
It seemed whenever we would talk one insight kept coming back.
(This was especially good for me because I sometimes "get" revelations long before I "get" them.)
When it comes to being a "Christian" (or insert your denomination here), it sure helps to have become a human being first.
Let me back up and explain.
When we come to Jesus he finds us not just with a heart that needs eternal salvation, but also a heart in need of a restoration to its baseline humanity, above the beastly.
Jesus starts his restoration not with us understanding the highest beatitudes of heaven, but by restoring our here-on-earth hearts, the ones he created in the first place.
Our here-on-earth-hearts are of supreme importance in God's plan because as the bible teaches our "heart" is the integrating principle of our mind, body, spirit and soul, and is also the primary source of our thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions.
It's what God has to work with.
Our hearts don't just lose connection to God from sin, they also lose connection to our God-given, here-on-earth, heart-based humanity too.
Why does this matter?
The "Good Samaritan" comes to mind. Better an unsaved half pagan with a still human heart than a busy Temple cleric whose heart has either fallen from, or never risen to, its baseline humanity.
Or, think of it this way.
Have you ever seen a churchgoer who doesn't seek or share any humanity there, let alone our precious faith and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Contrast the athiest who loves the teamwork of sports, or the yoga or martial arts enthusiast, who actually likes being around people.
I'm not blessing or not blessing these latter two activities, but doesn't it seem that sometimes church going "Christians" engage in these pursuing the fellowship they are not getting by their regular attendance at church.
Even unsaved human hearts like to gather together in community, whereas there are duty bound "Christians" running early for the exits just to beat the traffic in the parking lot. This "Christian" might use scripture to win an argument at home, or with the TV, or the culture, but there's not much evidence of his human heart.
But it is precisely here at heart to heart level where God's creation of us began, and where His restoration also begins.
After we have a human heart again, after the initial milk of faith, then we can fruitfully begin talking about becoming temples of the Holy Ghost through baptism in the Spirit (which is our norm), and all the rest.
After Jesus restores our baseline humanity at his wellspring, then we have the choice to go onward and upward unto the fullness of continually receiving and living what is promised in His word (John 8,31).
But try try try "Christianity" without a renewed heart is sort of risky, and puts the cart before the horse.
Anyway, I'm glad I had these many conversations with my wise friend, which put some light on the humanity, yet and still unmarked by any beast.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...