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The Grace Project

The Pathway

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Part One: Stumbling on to The Pathway 

 
I imagine that if you find yourself reading this material that it may be in part at least because you suspect that there is something wrong.  And you would be right. There is something very wrong indeed.  
 
That something has negatively impacted our understanding of how we see and feel about ourselves.  That something informs directly or indirectly every aspect of our lives.    That something is our vision of God.  If I don’t know not only if He is, but who He is then there is no prospect of discovering who I am. 
 
In the 1960’s Thomas Merton said that he doubted if there were twenty men in the world who knew who they were.  Over the last decade in spite of a proliferation of ‘grace’ teaching I suspect that Merton’s assessment is as bewilderingly accurate today as it was nearly five decades ago. 
 
Our vision of God conditions our every experience.  We are pre-disposed, pre-programmed if you will to an anti-christ vision of God.  I know that is dramatic language but this is a deadly serious matter. 
 
One fateful day many years ago there was a meeting. It was more of a coup than a meeting held at the foot of a mountain that confirmed that the default setting of humanity had been changed forever.  
 
I have come to wonder if the in part at least, the reason for the predicament that Merton speaks of is that for most of us who start off down the pathway of grace after the great initial opening that all of us attest to, we often find that we leave off our pilgrimage and settle-down in Haran.  Assuming it to be infinitely preferable to Egypt, which of course it is but not realising that it is also infinitely inferior to the Promise Land which is the fullness of who we are in Christ.  
 
Before long as residents of Haran (the half-way house between the realm of the flesh and the realm of the spirit) having swapped our ‘wrong doctrine’ with our ‘right doctrine’ we discover that only the object of our prejudices have changed. Previously we disliked  the unrighteous, now we dislike the self-righteous.   Where once we refuse to stop working until we perceived that we had earned God’s acceptance, now we refuse to work at all because we are accepted.  We are hard pressed to say which of the two positions is less favorable and least conducive to our life in Christ.   You see, Haran is where the Grace Pharisees reside and they are fortified in their community bonded together as they are by the things that that despise.  Grace for them (and I speak as one who has been Mayor of Haran so to speak, is a protest, but and here is the paradox, love is a demonstration. 
 
The Pathway series has been written for pilgrims whether they be residents of Haran or whether they be still in the Egypt of self-harming-self-effort.  It has been written in the hope that through the flickering candle-light of my seeing you will see an opening for you in the spirit through which you may enter and find more light, more life, more love and more of who you know yourself to truly be. 
 
The audio version of this series as broadcast on Premier Christian Radio is available for download.  See link below

 

 
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