Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ~ John 3:5-8
These verses demolish so many doctrines, creeds, traditions, and systems, along with the ground upon which they stand. Why? Because so much of mainstream Christianity is man-made.
Enter the antagonist:
“Religion” is merely the projection of our deified personalities raging in an endless sea of slander and self-interest.
Put another way, “religion” is rigid, scripted, and scientific.
Enter the protagonist:
But think about the wind for a moment. Wind is not too common a feature in Phoenix so these basic qualities very easily escaped me up until recently.
- Background: The word for “Spirit” (πνεῦμα = pneuma) is the same word for “wind” in the Greek. They are interchangeable here, it seems.
Have you thought about the wind yet? Notice verse 8…
“The wind blows where it wishes,” stated the Creator and Sustainer of the cosmos.
This sounds radically free, undetermined, and uncontrollable. All who encounter it are at the wind’s mercy. You just perceive and then respond, like a kite or a sailboat. You flow.
“You hear its sound, but do not know where it comes or goes,” continues Jesus.
We might be perceptive, but we are SO small and ignorant.
Being born again and learning to walk by the Holy Spirit is NOT like performing algebraic equations. He is not near as linear, type A, logical, or predictable as our western society would have us think.
It appears that our theology is often informed by our science as we bow at the altar of reason. There are those who want a Deity in a laboratory…
Remember, Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, a religious ruler (Pharisee). It is the religious-minded who seek, nay, NEED these things. This is safe and contained.
But if all we’re after is something safe, predictable, controlled, regimented, and restrained, where is faith and the appropriate object of such faith? Gone, with the wind.
Hence, we march to the beat of megalomania and there only remains control.
To my fellow marginalized millennials, if you have faced the remnants of religion as you sought after Jesus, PLEASE know this was not the open hand of our Savior but the stiff arm of subjugation.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17
To my fellow Pharisees, I completely understand your desire for holiness and exhaustion over the rampant hypocrisy that pervades the Church. Something I had to embrace, before I gave myself a stroke, was that I’m NOT the Holy Spirit! It’s scary, but it is SO freeing to release the burden of controlling others and just worry about loving God and them.
*** More on “freedom” next time as this is such a misunderstood and abused issue. ***
“My heart becomes free and my shame is undone…Your Presence, Lord.”