Christ as me is me as I really am, for real. Christ as me causes me to abandon all forms of pretending and allows me to be real, just to be me, often wrong, often foolish, often nonsensical, often bull-headed, often thoughtless of others. Me. Christ as me. No pretending I'm something that I am not. No pretending that I am a “man of God,” or that I have some great “ministry” to the church. And only when I see me for real without any pretending do I look at you for real with my heart filled with compassion and the delight of the Father.
I had thought to talk about people in general, both regenerate and unregenerate, people as we find them to be. I will do that, but as usual, as I proceed through ideas I am mulling over, things shift and move around. Thus, this is the letter I referred to earlier, as “Scorn.” However, since I feel an aversion to placing “Scorn” in any table of contents or at the top of any page, I will simply leave the title as “People.” Further, I find I must split this in two, thus a later letter, the second half of this one, will be titled, “Face.”
I am typically a meek and mild man; in my classroom, I bear with all sorts of things, except one. I do not tolerate scorn; I do not allow it to continue or to give voice. I do not walk with scorn. Since I also actively choose not to manipulate others with what I think is “right,” when I see scorn established, then I must simply and quietly walk away.
Let me explain a simple difference between “church” as most of our brethren experience it and cCchurch as I knew it for 18 years in 24/7 Christian community, cCchurch life. You may wonder at my spelling of cCchurch, I hope you see my meaning.
Here is a group of people meeting in an artificial, arm's-length capacity, either once a week for a couple of hours or even through long distance correspondence. They are all love and smiles. They are clueless. No Church is taking place. Church happens only inside of cCchurch.
Take a group of 100 people, every individual from a different family line. Let's leave out children so that we have a real range of personality types. In so much of my writing, I realize that I have, in fact, laid out an almost complete theory of human psychology; that is, what makes people tick. I suspect that my theory of human psychology will not end up in any psychology textbook, yet I also suspect that it is more accurate than some.
I draw my theory of human psychology from a continual study of Adam and his rebellion, of Jesus as the express image of God's Person, of the full meaning and ramifications of Christ living as me, of humans as I have known them in the close social milieu of community, the school classroom, and my own personal relationships, and of what God says in the Word concerning the nature and construction of the human.
All of my ten “most important” verses in the Bible, especially the first four, have to do with human psychology, that is, what are we and what is our purpose. I would contend that any study of the human that does not move out from the fact that man is created to contain ALL of God in fullness and to release an invisible God out into visible manifestation, cannot be talking about man as he is.
At the same time, most of mankind, including most Christians, live out from a consciousness of God far-away and the weaving of a story of self that includes every form of pretending. Every time I observe people, I see all these things in full operation all the time.
The Bible is very much a handbook of human psychology; thus, it is clear that God wants us to know ourselves and humanity as we are constructed and as we operate. In fact, the knowledge and revelation of God through us can come no other way.
In this letter, however, I want to present a theory of human psychology, not as it applies to individuals, but to the breadth of human society. In the physical sciences, differing theories are usually in conflict, such as the gravity theory of the universe versus the electrical theory of the universe. In the behavioral sciences, however, differing theories can be complimentary. That means that differing ways of looking at people and what makes us tick, arranging the human experience into different patterns, can enhance our understanding of mankind.
I consider this a critical task for us because man is the image and likeness of God, because Christ revealed through us requires a real Christ and a real us, and because our role in this world affects everyone everywhere.
Let's return to our group of 100 individual people; some may be married couples, but all are from different genetic lines. All are Christians, all meet together once a week in a Spirit-filled, union with Christ, present grace environment. Their fellowship is rich and full; they express wonderful love and grace to each other during their two hours together each week.
This group of people has very little real knowledge of Church.
Now, take this same group of people to a piece of property together. Each person/couple will have his or her own little cottage, yes, but they will share the land, they will work together and eat more than half of their meals together. They will enjoy several worship services of differing kinds together through the week. Remember, these are people who believe in grace and the expression of love.
After six months, what will you see growing larger and larger in all?
Complaining, griping, complaining, gossiping, complaining, and scorn. And that's just for starters. The thing is not broken until after ten to twelve years together. Those who leave before it is broken in themselves will count their community experience the worst thing that ever happened to them, the biggest mistake of their lives. It was. Now scorn is embedded deep on their insides as the very thing they really WANT.
Unless. – Unless someone shows them how; but that is a topic for another letter on “Church.”
You see, people just treat one another with disrespect, thinking all the while it is “normal,” never considering the other person. People don't know how to be wrong in relationships or to rightly value other people.
Notice that scorn shows up last, yet scorn is always first. Complaining, griping, and gossiping flow only out of scorn; they are immediate symptoms of scorn. But scorn has a religious manifestation as well, elitism and superiority. I know elitism; scorn is the father of elitism.
The scorner is the supreme pretender. Thus the scorner cannot truly know Christ as me.
Christ as me is me as I really am, for real. Christ as me causes me to abandon all forms of pretending and allows me to be real, just to be me, often wrong, often foolish, often nonsensical, often bull-headed, often thoughtless of others. Me. Christ as me.
No pretending I'm something that I am not. No pretending that I am a “man of God,” or that I have some great “ministry” to the church. And only when I see me for real without any pretending do I look at you and see you for real with my heart filled with compassion and the delight of the Father.
I think that Fred Pruitt, the one through whom I have received from Norman Grubb, would agree that Christ as me does have one enemy, pretending, and that pretending is the true nature of Adam, useless and without reason. However, we in no way come to know Christ our only life by “getting rid of” pretending. Absolutely not. Rather, we embrace Christ as us with all joy, coming to know that we are fully inside of God, fully accepted as Christ Himself, and bit by bit, the pretending just falls away simply because there is no more need for it.
A pretender pretends out of a false fear of God out of a false knowledge of God. Yet outwardly a pretender exhibits no fear of God at all. In contrast, I am NOT afraid of the God who fills me with all of Himself in Person; rather I walk in His utter delight. That means that outwardly, you see in me a true and very real fear of God. I will NOT mess around with His woman. Not for anything.
We must understand human psychology. The moment you put two people together, those two people connect with each other spirit to spirit and mind to mind, both are included in psychology. Now, I wish to speak hypothetically. In other words, this “theory” of human society is simply a framework of understanding. I suspect it is generally true, though it can never describe any exact gathering of 100 people.
This theory I have titled “Relations to Power-Over.” The premise of this theory is that whenever two or more people come together, there is an immediate and continual jockeying for power. There are those who exude power-over, and there are those who draw power-over upon themselves for the sake of riding the coattails of those to whom power-over is just natural.
Power-over is the sickness that comes from Adam, it is the destroyer of all Church, it shows up in every gathering together, it is not part of Christ-as-us because it goes beyond “me” to manipulate others. Power-over is based on the deal made between the serpent and Adam, a deal continued all too readily by almost all Christians. It is the positioning of superiority over the “other”; it is the envy of the serpent against man, the image of God. Power-over expresses itself as “thus saith the Lord,” yet it's root is scorn of the other, of Christ as the other.
Every time there is any form of gathering together, two or more, the positioning of face against face runs as an electric undercurrent. People can be sweet for awhile, but the realities of life together in Christian community forces scorn front and center. Yet the faces of people are not all the same. Rather, there is a full spectrum of response to power that runs in a similar way across any group of people large or small. This spectrum contains two extremes with a range of differing responses to those extremes across the middle.
In this graph, each small column at the top is 5 people or 5% of the population.
Since we do not live in the tree of knowledge, we do not use a chart like this either for self-analysis or to analyse others. We use it, rather, to understand people and to understand Christ.
There is also a second division running all the way through these “groups” of people; we could call it a division of IQ, with a broad definition of IQ as all forms of natural ability. On the #20 side, we see that the low IQ people are those who commit crimes and go to jail. The high IQ people rise to the top and become the named rulers; they also commit crimes, but they typically don't go to jail. Conversely, on the #1 side you will find many diagnosed as Down Syndrome, but you will also find people like Isaac Newton, of brilliant mind, but incapable of hurting a bug.
I am very serious when I say that Down Syndrome individuals, when their bodies are transformed, will be seen to be those closest to Christ in heart and being. At the same time, God picked a man, Moses, from the very far left of this spectrum for the most terrible task in the history of His dealings with man, the speaking of the ministry of condemnation. Moses was incapable of commanding anyone; he was the meekest man in Israel.
That's why Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 6, that if there is a divisive issue in the church, always go to the bottom of the spectrum, the “lowest” people in the church, in order to find the wisdom of guidance from God. A true pastor of God's house will find it natural and normal to ask the janitor for advice in difficult matters.
In actuality, we should see this column as #20 on top, #1 on bottom, to those who do not know God, but #1 on top and #20 on bottom to those few who do see God alone. Thus we refer to the least of the #1 as the bottom one percent, or, in God, the top one percent.
We must also understand that, just as there are those in any group who tend to abuse others without conscience, so there are those who draw abuse to themselves. That is, there are those persons who need, almost, to be manipulated by power personalities. Look at the chart from #6 to #17, roughly 60% of the population. These people go from willing to be abused to needing to be abused.
Now, before going any further into this discussion, I must draw a line in the concrete. We do not use such a model to judge any individual person. More than that, a theory of “psychology” cannot be any sort of exact explanation. People are people; you cannot put them in a box. A person will show up in one column one day and in a totally different column the next. No percentages could possibly be exact, no group would ever be quite the same. We use this kind of a model only to understand, never to analyse.
Everyone is different. God takes some from the bottom and places them in prominent positions. He takes some who would claw their way to the top if they could, and places them always bouncing along at the bottom of any group of people. In other words, just because someone is at the bottom does not mean they would not abuse others if they could. And just because someone is at the top does not mean they don't respect all others fully to their own hurt. I have been in category 18, at times, as much as a bit of category 1, yet I do not judge myself, for there is no “myself” to judge. Jesus is my only life.
It all boils down to one word: respect. Christ our life brings everyone out of these “categories” and into love.
Respect means that I regard you above my own inclinations. Respect means that I never assume, but only ask. Respect means that I would find it more sensible to endure pain and loss myself than to see any element of abuse or hurt directed at you.
It is stated that 4-6% (say 5 out of 100) of any population are psychopathic, that is people who have no real conscience, no thought of any pain borne by others. Of this portion there are always one or two who simply need to inflict pain on others; their lives would be miserable if they were not making other people suffer. Typically, these are not the most dangerous unless all of society has been perverted. In a healthy society, the majority draw away from this two percent whose victims are found primarily in the low IQ portions of the #9 to #18 strata of the graph.
Joseph Stalin was a high IQ from the top #20 1/10 of 1 percent who weaseled his way into power and spent 26 years living off the death and suffering of millions. No “free” people can remain free if they do not know how such a wolf gained power.
Notice that both sides of the graph are “independent,” that is, they never come under anyone else's control.
The most dangerous people in any group are the #18-19's on the chart, especially those with a higher IQ, and especially when they are anointed by God. Notice that #19 plus the lower end of #20 constitute about seven of every 100 people. These people, by nature, become the leaders because they will not be anything less.
I have discovered something amazing about this strata of human society in recent weeks. I have been astonished at how utterly religious the doctors of literary theory are. They are astonishingly religious. As I contemplate this religious cult I have stumbled into, a religious cult that fills all colleges across the world, primarily inside the arts/humanities/sociology/literature/psychology sections of human learning, I observe every single element of religious brainwashing and mind control in FULL operation.
When I say “religious,” I mean they are powerful in the realms of spirit, and they use spirit to abuse and to control. The power people among them are in the high IQ #18-19 of the graph.
Amazingly, I see that running deeply through so many of these “literary experts” I am required to read is a deep loathing of a particular group of people through the centuries of the past. This hatred of this particular group of people is open and stated. They hate the scribes and Pharisees, the doctors of the law. They hate the doctors of theology in Roman Catholicism; they hate the doctors of theology in Puritan Protestantism. They hate all religious high IQ figures down through the centuries who have used “religion” to manipulate and abuse others for their own gain.
They hate themselves. – It's true; these are the exact same people. What astonishes me is their almost desperate NEED to speak scorn against others.
You take these professors of literary theory I am required to read back in history when everyone was forced to be “Christian,” and they would have been the very theologians condemning Galileo, the very Puritan “divines” condemning witches to be burned, the very doctors of the law who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus.
I have suddenly begun to thank God for modern secular society, for atheism and evolution. It has gotten these people out of the church. Most of the mucked up nonsense called “Christianity” was created by these very same people who now find themselves so wise to denounce all belief in a “fictitious” god!
For the most part, they are no longer in the church. That's why the church of Jesus Christ today is much more able to hear the grace, that is, the gift of God and the revelation of Christ our only life.
Now, back to our purpose. You take 100 people and place them all together on the same property with the thought that they will work life out together as the church. Give them no structure and appoint no leaders. (It is worse to give them a structure and to appoint leaders as happened in the move communities.) Let's also assume that there is a wall around the property and no one can leave; thus there is no thought ever of “leaving.”
Someone says, “Okay, we're all equal here. Does everyone agree?” 100 people will raise their hands that, yes, they do agree that all are equal. Most of them are lying, even if they don't know it.
(Let's use the chart exactly, even though no actual group of 100 people will ever fit it precisely.)
Within a few months, everything will have shifted.
You know, understanding comes bit by bit. I never would have seen this clearly until I wrote “Appearance versus Substance,” and “Adam's Grave.” Let me explain all human psychology again briefly.
Adam and the serpent made a deal. Adam already was like God, like El, a judge. The serpent was all outward appearance and no inner substance. The trade was simple. The serpent got to call his outward appearance “what God looks like” – inside the human experience, and Adam got to be a serpent-kind of judge, that is, power-over.
The dynamics of all power-over – ALL power-over – RULES without question in ALL human interaction unless God takes a handful of people out of its horror and gives them CHURCH.
Power-over has two parts, domination and being dominated. Both are essential to 60 out of 100 people; of the other 40, 15 will think they must be abused, even though they aren't made for it and will be destroyed, and 10-15 will find a way to live with the abuse, even though they don't need it. (I speak from my experience.)
Within a few months, the dominators will dominate. Understand this, the person who says forcefully, “I don't believe in leadership,” is a dominator and that person's domination is sabotaging the whole enterprise.
The dominators are the high ability #13-18's and all the #19's, about 15 of the 100. Low ability #18-19's have a name in society – bullies. They have a slight sense that they are not very bright or capable, and they just love pushing people around to make themselves feel superior. None of the #18-19's ever think of the other person. If there are any true psychopaths in the group, they will be mistrusted. Psychopaths rule only when they can manipulate (brainwash) enough #18-19's to grant them the power in the way Stalin and Lenin did.
This group of 100 are all Christians, all having had an experience with the Holy Spirit, all professing belief in the grace of God. Ideas change no one. Change comes only by the Person of Christ personal in us. No bully can ever change until he can stand in front of the whole group and say, “I am a bully. I am the worst sort of bully. I need your help. Please help me.” In that moment he is real; in that moment Christ is as him.
Now, let me insert this. In my life experience – looking back, I see that God has graced me with an incredible range of experience with all types of people, male and female. I have had female bosses slightly more of my working life than male bosses. Females have the same range of power-types as males. I have known vicious female dictators, the very worst. The best bosses were male, but I have had wonderful female bosses as well. Male bosses tend more to being really good or really bad. Female bosses tend more to being middle of the road.
If you want to see what people really are, make them the boss, put them in charge, then strip them of everything. That's what all author's do to show the real center of their characters. It's also what God does.
Now, you might think, “This is all meaningless; I want to know Christ.” Well, this is people, most certainly, and the Church is full of people, and the Church is the plant of Christ. So, you can't have one without facing the reality of the other. I have spent a lifetime trying to figure out people in the light of Christ; as I have come to know myself for real, so I know people.
All dominators in the church rule by religious psychology. And here is where we place scorn. Envy is the serpent looking at Adam, “I wish I could be God's image instead of that jerk.” Scorn, on the other hand, is the serpent now in Adam, “I'm superior; you are all fleshy and inferior.” Scorn is the expression of the serpent's envy. That's why Nicene “Christianity” hates the human.
Now I understand my natural revulsion to some of the things I am required to read, and especially Thomas Hardy. They are not attempting to understand the human. When I read someone who is simply attempting to understand the human, I enjoy what they have to say. Much of what I have to read, however, is filled with and based on scorn, thus I am repulsed by it without even knowing why. Here is the graph again.
Look at the graph, 99 out of 100 people are open to scorn. Only those who are fortunate enough to be Down Syndrome or something similar are free from scorn, thus gaining the most heart-shaping by God of all people in this life.
Yet some initiate scorn while others repeat what they hear in order to “belong.”
You will know that God has won your heart and can now shape it for Himself when you are thrust into horrendous awfulness and you discover that there is no scorn in you. When you walk away from everything, losing everything, not once, but again and again, without blaming others and without blaming yourself, just holding onto Jesus, then you know that scorn is finally gone and now you belong wholly to Jesus. Such people can certainly make mistakes, all the time, but they cannot scorn.
And they cannot remain in the same room with scorn.
Yet they will not “tell others” to stop scorning. They simply and quietly walk away.
Back to our group of 100. This is so important; no group will ever discover cCccCcCCChurch until they pass through the reality of what I am saying.
Without any need for “appointment,” a natural leadership will arise. That natural leadership will come from across the whole span of the graph. Let's say that twenty-two people are in that natural leadership. And when I say “natural” leadership, I'm not speaking of those, necessarily, who “should be” leaders or who appear to be leaders. Leadership is by psychological power as well as by natural gifting. Just because someone does not have the appearance of power does not mean they are not a primary force dominating the situation.
I have said that the 2% psychopath column does not produce leaders. That's not quite true. You see, the kind of psychopath who feeds off of hurting people does not usually show up in a church group, yet I have known such in community. This kind of person does not become a recognized leader, no, but you will see them underneath, biting and biting at the weakest, seeking to maim and pull down. They know how to use psychological power-over better than anyone. If they obtain open power, then people start to die, even in “church” groups, aka Jim Jones.
Listen, I'm just talking about people. It's the reality of church. All this is 100% normal.
No one in the #1 column will be in the leadership, not even Isaac Newton or Moses. Moses “led” only because God did some big stuff all the time to make sure people noticed him.
The best natural leaders, wonderful people, come from the #2-5 columns. David was such a man. I have known many wonderful leaders from those columns, men and women who respect you fully, encourage you deeply, and always point everyone to Jesus. But the largest number of “leaders” will be from the #18-19's; Saul was such a man. The leaders we like the least are from the #13-17 columns. They can talk like the #2-5's, but they will always betray you. The #18-19's can be trusted to dominate; the #13-17's can be trusted to betray. The #13-17's gain their identity by serving the #18-19's; they are the obsequious ones, though they don't know that.
Don't think that you will gather together with your “group of people” and not find all of these types of relationships to power operating among them. Don't think that you (and I) will not abuse our brother or sister.
Let me point out this absolute of human life together. We will abuse our brethren, guaranteed. And we won't even notice it, not for years. But there does come a point, in the hearts of those who truly want the Lord, when the eyes open, and the horror of the endless, thoughtless disrespect comes front and center before the eyeballs and a person wants it no more. From my own experience, I would say a minimum of twelve years in Christian community, twelve years of treating others with disrespect and being treated by others with disrespect, is required to bust that thing out of my heart and yours.
God's leaders, the men and women He is preparing, are in the bottom 15%. That does not exclude anyone else. Anyone can follow those who are real; all they have to do is accept Christ alone as all that they are. That is, all they have to do is be real themselves. How do you identify the real leaders in the bottom 15%? That's easy; they will always make you feel like a winner, like you are as wonderful as Jesus. At no point will you notice in them any need to be “superior.” Never do they wave their “ministry” before you.
Read A Tale of Three Kings. David had no idea why on earth all these men were following him. He never saw himself as any kind of boss.
Now, don't get me wrong. To the froward (to the pretenders), God shows Himself froward(pretends to be hostile), and so will His leaders. But they will be ready to drop into joyous laughter with any pretender the moment that pretender shows the slightest symptom of becoming real.
What is the first symptom of becoming real? You know someone is becoming real when you hear them say, “I am so wrong. Please forgive me; I don't know what I was thinking.”
Let me pretend to be hostile. And sometimes its hard to remember that I am just pretending, even though lately I have been finding Gladness welling up in me, carrying me, just all the time.
I am hostile to all who will manipulate and abuse God's precious people out of the scorn of a false self. Typically, I will simply and quietly walk away, but that doesn't alter my hostility.
Scorn is rooted in “Christian theology” and draws its power from that theology. When you see me angry against certain elements in Christian theology, I am not angry because of the bad ideas, I am angry because of the use of those bad ideas masquerading as “deeper truth” to manipulate and abuse God's people.
My God, I know the devastation; I have walked among the ruined people. I have wept with the unhealed.
I was most certainly one of them. As Christ rescued me, so I will withhold Him from no one.
We must never think that “our” sweet little group of precious saints would be different. It cannot be different.
I just watched a video someone had posted on Facebook of two young and healthy Christian fathers who agreed to be hooked up to a labor-pain simulator to demonstrate that women are just “making it up” when they say how awful travail is. When the pain had reached the half-way point, they were finished, utterly debilitated, desperately gasping for breath.
There is nothing in the human experience more difficult than Church. My wife, being a practical person with FULL experience of Christian community, and a tender and compassionate person who believes the best in everyone, wonders at me that I would even think about returning to community life.
There is nothing in the human experience more difficult than travail.
There is nothing in the experience of the universe more difficult than church. Conversely, there is nothing more glorious than discovering the reality of Church, found only inside of cCchurch.
Those who know Church also know unbearable pain.
What is the answer then? Is there an answer?
Yes, there is an answer. That answer is part of the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in the life of the Church.
The answer is 1 John 3:16; that is, this is the foundation of the answer.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
You see, Jesus does not require us to “lay down our lives” in order to know Him in all fullness filling us with His glory. And His servants never ask their brethren to “lay down their lives” for the “leadership.” No, godly leadership is death always against me and my ideas, but life always towards you, lifted up and victorious. You know a godly leader, because that one is always laughing, that is, they are always laying down their life for you. You know a godly leader, because that one never asks you to lay down your life for their vision of “the kingdom.”
But as the foundation of the answer, a core leadership that knows life-layed-down, that shies away from any form of manipulation, there is a further reality that causes Church to be the full revelation of Father.
You see, church has had the other for 1900 years, people “correcting” people and calling it ministry. I think it's time for something different.
I think it's time for the Song of the Lamb.
I think it's time for a ministry who will speak, not puff-up, but speak Christ into themselves and into one another.
I think it's time that all notice of outward appearance cease and with it all accusation of not-Christ coming out of the mouths in which Christ alone belongs.
I think it's time that we alter the substance and reality of the universe.
I think it's time for Father to be revealed.
I think it's time for Church