Thursday, February 28, 2008

Definition Of A Biblical Freak

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word "freak" as follows: "One that is markedly unusual or abnormal: as a : a person or animal with a physical oddity who appears in a circus sideshow; a thing or an occurrence that is markedly unusual or irregular. An abnormally formed organism, esp. a person or animal regarded as a curiosity or monstrosity. An eccentric or non-conformist person, esp.a member of a counterculture."

Certainly such definitions if taken objectively would bring no offense, but say such a word to someone in a derogatory fashion, and the intent of insult could hardly be missed. Such was the intention of the Romans who perceived the disciples of Jesus Christ as objects of curiosity, or even monstrosities, and at the very least, enigmatic followers of a strange religion.

However they couldn't deny how these people loved one another, or the One that they claimed to be the Son of God, only begotten of God. In a derogatory manner, the Romans referred to this strange lot of people as "little Christs", a term meant to ridicule and insult.

Yet when the disciples heard of it, they were humbled by such praise, as to even be compared to the LORD of Glory whom they served with love and obedience. They were first called "Christians" in the city of Antioch. Christians today are similarly confronted with another derogatory term, "Jesus Freak" and take exception to such words, for as we look upon our past and compare it with the life we now have with Jesus, we would readily agree that we WERE once freaks, but are now as God intended us, redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb and indwelt by the Spirit of the LORD.

Yet really, if one carefully considers the ramifications of such a word in light of the spiritual workings of God within our hearts and lives, there need be no offense, but rather the makings of yet ANOTHER badge of honor, similar to the one the first century church encountered with the Romans! Jesus said in regards to salvation of human souls, MATT 7:14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it". In light of this truth, any that come to salvation are comparatively few, and would naturally be seen by the majority as 'freakish, different, odd, unusual,' etc.

In life, conformity to the 'norm' is something that we've all been subjected to, and it starts early, when we are first affected by the social structure in any culture. This is the essence of peer pressure we all experience in our teen years. We want to dress the same, act the same, like the same things that are considered 'cool' and thus be in the "in crowd".

Such conformity are established outwardly upon any individual from the group that the individual wishes to join, much the same as any league or club or society that adults seek to find a place in. Even in religious circles, such modes of conformity are found as the seeker adopts the practices, beliefs, even manner of dress and diet of the religion he desires to join.

All of these are objectives to be attained by the individual that wants to belong and are achieved by human means and outward manifestations. But none of these practices and procedures can do a thing to change the human heart any more than teaching a pig to bark, bury bones and chase cats can make it into a dog!

This is the very thing that Jesus rebuked in the Pharisees and scribes, for they were so obsessed with the outward show and religious trappings of their Jewish religion, that they missed the entire intent of the Law which was to be used as a Mirror, revealing the human heart for what it is, and its dire need of God's transformational power. And this is yet another aspect of our "freakishness" that the world can't understand.

For as Christians we are not to be conformed to this world by the many pressures it exerts on us in order to be "accepted" but to be transformed... how?

ROM 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

The renewing of our mind is a process beyond our own capabilities, for it involves the introduction of pure thoughts, holiness, divine love, all of which are positively alien to sinners.

It requires no one less than God Himself to initiate this process, and He does this in the life of a believer from the INSIDE, OUT. He starts at the very core of our being, He begins within the essential stuff that make up our genuine being: our heart, or spirit as it were. He can't simply reform our hearts, or by outward influence, conform our hearts, for there is nothing within it that's curable.

Jeremiah states:

JER 17:9 
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 

The word used in the verse above "desperately" literally means 'incurable'! Thus God must grant to us a new heart, and in an act of divine creation, He fashions for us a new spirit, infused by His own Holy Spirit Who enters in at the point of salvation, that is, when we receive Christ into our lives and hearts as LORD and SAVIOR.

EZEK 36:26 
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

JOHN 3:3,5 

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

The transformational power of the spiritual rebirth by an actual Divine intervention within the human heart of any one who approaches Jesus Christ for salvation has absolutely no parallel in the world whatsoever.

It is a phenomena and an experience exclusive to the realm of the kingdom of God. Thus we are called "the sons of God" by the power of receiving Christ, as mentioned in JOHN 1:12. (An interesting side note: Adam was called "a son of God" as were angels in Genesis and Job. In these instances they refer to the direct creation of God; certainly Adam was directly created by God from the dust of the earth. All angels were directly created by God as well, for there are no angels that have parents or grandparents. The Christian is also a son of God in that these have hearts that are a direct creation of God Himself at the point of salvation! ... wow, huh?)

Oh, certainly you will find in such orders and occult circles as the Masonic order and various branches of witchcraft, among others, and of course Hinduism, this idea of being 'born again' but none of these transform the human heart and consciousness to the point of being something other than merely human, and conduct that portrays something more than human behavior, rather divine.

Its only the Christian, who under the influence of and obedient yielding to the Holy Spirit of God, that can "love those that hate" him, and "bless those that curse" him. Its only the Christian, who when subjected to horrific experiences of persecution and tribulation that can "count it all joy" when all circumstances are contrary to him. Its only the Christian who can rest in blissful assurance when they lay at death's door, and whose breath is labored in wheezing and shallow gasps, and yet within the eyes there is a light of hope and the gleam of joy in departing this world to be present with the precious LORD and KING, JESUS our SAVIOR.

The world can't understand this behavior and this conduct any more than a microbe can understand the scientist that has it under his microscope, for they exist in entirely different planes of reality: the one being the mere physical and the other being spiritual, specifically the Kingdom of Heaven, or God.

1 COR 2:14 
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned

Ever notice how the principles of the Kingdom of God are diametrically opposed to the rules of conduct as established in this rebel world of sin?

That's not by accident! God desired to establish the ambassadorship of those who would represent Him and His Kingdom in such a way that would violently clash with the ideologies of this world, and so the Kingdom is full of these freakish, unusual, so-called abnormal people known as Christians! Review the beatitudes as found in MATT 5 and ponder how "otherworldly" these principles really are! They are positively "freakish"!

So if you are ever called a Jesus Freak, hey . . . it shows that you are behaving in a way that contradicts the world and the darkness that has enslaved it by the rule of the god of this world, Satan.

And that's a good thing!

Amen? EPH 4:17-32