Righteous Circus

Today we begin reading and studying Romans 10.

Righteous Circus

What is the price of the soul? In all of us there is a sense of deficit. More than anything we want things to be right. We want life to be right. The deficit of the ideal presses people to extremes.

I do not understand drug addiction but in talking to those who do there seems to be sense of deficit. Dull the senses and escape the pain. Find ecstasy chemically. Compensate. Rebel. Kill the soul and end the cries of the conscience. It is violence against self.

A group of men hijacked a plane and drove it into a building in the name of Alla, god. They did it because they believed it would make them right. They did it because they believed it was right. Destroy the infidel. Usher in the righteousness of Alla by force.

Jewish history is not immune to these moments. Just before the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 there were zealots, the Sicarii to be exact. They carried daggers under their robes, went into crowded areas and stabbed those they thought were sympathetic to Rome. One blow in blood and disappeared in the crowd. Sympathizers to Rome were enemies of God. About three years after the movement began Rome destroyed Jerusalem.

Let us not forget the crusades in the name of Christ. Every religious based movement has its moments of misguided zeal. Attempts to force the world right that end in horrible tragedies.

There are those who seek to atone for the deficit of the soul through extreme righteousness in an ascetic sense. Simeon Stylite was an ascetic who lived thirty-seven years on a pole in the desert for God. Martin Luther and throngs of others climbed Pilate’s Staircase on their knees, kissing each one and praying intense prayers as a means of somehow gaining the favor of God.

It happens in religion, church, charity, love. . .it is the perversion of truth to justify the self. It is the stunt on which the righteous circus is built.

The righteous circus is any futile man made attempt to erase the deficit of the soul. Self-abuse, violence in the name of god, and extreme asceticism are all in strange ways expressions of the righteous circus. It expresses itself in manifold ways in a variety of venues. Justification by faith is the end of the righteous circus.

Romans 10 is a rebuttal to the righteous circus. Any extreme one resorts to to make up for the deficit of the soul is a futile effort. Romans 10:6 says, “The righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is to bring Christ down) or ‘who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is to bring Christ up from the dead).” Extremes are the logical conclusion of the impotent attempt of humanity to reconcile the soul. The righteous circus is not true faith. We cannot create our own version of Messiah and appease God, the conscience, or the human soul. Romans 10:6 affirms that true faith is no participant in the righteous circus.

God has put an end to the righteous circus by sending Messiah from heaven. He has brought Christ down. God has put an end to the righteous circus by raising Messiah from the abyss. He has raised Christ from the dead. Faith alone is the end of the righteous circus. The only way to rid the soul of deficit is to receive the gift of eternal life by faith. When men try to placate the wrath of God it is a righteous circus. When men invent the ways of God it is a catastrophe of misdirected zeal. God alone reserves the right to define what it means to be right with Him.

God has done for man what he could not do for himself. In the Son God has paid the debt of sin. The only right response is to end the circus and receive justification by faith.

“But what does it (faith) say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:8-10)


Popular Posts