"But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body." (Philippians 3:20-21)
I'm just plum tuckered out. I never realized appearing before our Bible College Advisory Board would be so taxing on the old nerves. Even though I had studied and planned for this interview to be accepted as the new professor of Christian Theology, I didn't seem to be as well prepared, as I'd like to have been. However, thanks to the board's Christian hospitality, I made it. Amen!
Thanking God for the board's approval, and being happy to start my new professorship, I just couldn't wait to get home to literally unwind. And unwind I did. Kicking off my shoes, and not waiting to change my clothes, I merely fell across my bed. I guess that's when it all happened.
I found myself traveling down an unfamiliar wooded path. Suddenly I saw the remains of an old church facility. The closer I walked towards this building, the more sounds I heard, what seemed to be a large continuous wave of voices. Numerous individuals were all talking very loudly at the same time, which caused the noise to blend into an impressive roar.
Following the noise of these voices, I was guided up the stairs and into the old church sanctuary. There was a host of people of all ages and of all dress milling around this large chapel, with no apparent organized pattern of movement and apparently no place to go.
Each person was shouting beyond measure, attempting to be heard above all the rest, which in itself made for mass confusion. The room was void of the normal church furniture, which caused an echo that added to the mass confusion.
Looking around the room, I could almost surmise their concern. It was as if they were just wanderers in search of some sort of divine help.
What exactly was this scene? And just how did I get here? I hope I don't have to stay here any length of time, I thought, as the entire scenario was just so depressing to my finite mind.
Then came a spark of needed relief. Seemingly out of nowhere came a strange looking character. He was very strange to me, for not only was his attire weird, but his voice was as well.
He was dressed from head to toe in some sort of wild-looking garment apparently made from camel hair and wearing a pouched leather belt.
He didn't say a word, just blessed the food that he commenced to pull from his leather pouch. This was bizarre in and of itself, for the food was a generous helping of locust and wild honey.
Just who was this bizarre looking man? I think I may know. (Matthew 3:1-6)
Anyway, after he finished eating, he began to speak in an ancient Hebrew dialect. Not looking at me directly, but as if he was addressing the masses all around me, he started in a preaching mode and said over and over, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
For some unknown reason, his sudden appearance seemed to instantly have a soothing effect on this disturbed crowd, for you could have heard a pin drop.
Then again, as if by divine inspiration, he suddenly stopped preaching and walked over to where I was standing.
"You seem somewhat bewildered, my child, " he said as he walked towards me.
"Well yes, I am." I answered. "I just don't understand what's happening here. Who are all these demoralized people? Where did they come from? It's as if they have all given up on life. And why am I here, in this depressing atmosphere?"
My remarks seemed to set off this strange looking character. Pulling out a small Bible from underneath his belt, he began reading from the First chapter of John's gospel.
Then, as if being divinely inspired, he continued his comments.
"My child, here you see a people that have abandoned all the characteristics of Bible faith as shown in (Hebrews 11:1, 6). They are all former theology students, who have failed in their Christian psychology concept. They have let their humanistic aspects of thought, behavior, development, personality, emotions and motivation get the best of them."
"Their theology has now reverted to that of head-knowledge, rather than heart knowledge. If only they had allowed the intangible to became tangible, and the untouchable to became touchable."
"If only their study of the unknowable had became knowable. If only they had allowed the impractical to become practical. They have failed to realize that the hidden God has revealed Himself in flesh and blood, and His gracious and loving disposition towards us is now a reality."
"Oh, I see, Sir, they just don't have a personal knowledge of Christianity's theological concepts," I exclaimed.
"You are so right, my Child. They have not accepted the fact that Christ has declared that God is now for us. That He has done away with all things that keep us from personally entering His presence, as He has restored us to a right relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
"This incarnation has healed the divide between theology and practice. There is no disconnect. God has become a man and died for our sins. Not just conceptually in an ivory tower, but in fact and in truth, His very body and blood was broken and poured out for us."
"This study of God is the real thing, it's called Theology. If only they had repented of their sins and walked in the newness of life, they would definitely have victory over sin, death, and the devil."
"OK, I get it. But will they ever come down from their ivory tower?" I asked.
"Well, that's where you come into play, my Child. That's the responsibility of your new position of Church Theology professor," he responded.
"Just remember this, my child, when preparing your upcoming lecture. Like all the other masses, these people were born into this world at this particular time. It's the only place they've ever known, but yet they have never been quite at home here."
"You see, none can never actually be at home in this current environment surrounded by pain and sorrow, with its imperfections, and the darkness of evil."
"But Sir, have you not just described our very life itself, down here on this old earth? Why can't we be at home in this world, especially in church?" I queried.
"You see, we believers are in a constant spiritual battle against evil's schemes. Our enemies are the demonic hosts of Satan himself, always assembled for mortal combat, be it in a church, at home, or at our work place," he answered, reading (Ephesians 6:11-12)."
"Our home will be where hearts will be made perfect in Him our Creator. And some day, it will be a place of no more sorrow, death, and no more evil imperfection. That place where nothing grows old. It's called glory land."
"And when we get there, for the first time in our lives, we will be home," he concluded.
"Oh, kind Sir, I have just one more question. Wait a minute, where did you go? Sir, Sir where are you?" I cried.
Suddenly, I realized the reality of it all. It had only been another of my bizarre dreams. For without warning, I found myself sitting up in my bed, my bed clothing soak with sweat, mulling over what I had just imagined or dreamed.
Ok, I get the message. For once, my dream had a positive conclusive impact. I know now exactly what I need to do. Taking my Bible from of the bed table, I began to study John's gospel.
In fact, I can't wait till my first initial study. I plan on entitling it "Ivory Tower Christianity." Amen!
Definition of Ivory Tower - an impractical often escapist attitude marked by aloof lack of concern with or interest in practical matters or urgent problems.
Basically, not looking to the divine.
I once had an unpleasant experience of meeting a fellow church member in a local shopping mall. This particular individual, who was known to be very enthusiastic in their Sunday Praise and Worship approach, literally went out of their way to the effect of changing shopping aisles, to keep from speaking to me.
Metaphorically speaking, Christianity needs to tear off the doors of the Ivory Tower and drag its inhabitants down to ground level, to show them the source of the clamor. (Matthew 7:12)
Christianity is real. It started with the first church (Acts 2:41-47), and moved through the ages. There will always be a church, as promised by our Lord. (Matthew 16:18) Amen!
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