Nearly three years ago, on New Years Day, 2012, this blog was launched. The name I chose for it, “Christ-Centered Christianity”, represented then, as it does now, the primary vision and burden that I have in the Lord for His Church. As the Holy Spirit has built this focus and passion into my life over the past three and a half decades, He has revealed, expanded and distilled down some very specific teachings in relation to it.
At the time of launching this blog, I was working on a manuscript for a book called, (surprise, surprise), Christ-Centered Christianity. It was something of a life-time culmination, distillation and dissertation of these teachings. The Lord had given me a considerable amount of free time to devote to the writing of it as four months earlier He had allowed me the “good fortune” of falling off of a ladder and breaking my back!
I started the blog as a way of simultaneously getting some of these teachings out to the Body of Christ in more bite-sized pieces. Once I returned to work, blogging became pretty much all I had time for, and even that, much of the time, has been difficult. (As for the manuscript, it still awaits completion, which I hope to get back to later this coming year.)
So, now as I draw near the end of my third year of blogging, I pause for reflection, looking back over the past years, and also forward to the coming year ahead.
As I look back, I see the past three years, as being a very good and substantial start to the blog, and yet also as being mostly preliminary and preparatory for what is ahead. Some of the most significant teachings I hope to ultimately share have only begun to come out in certain posts and series. (See, for instance, Centrality and Eccentricity, Centrality and Balance, and the most recent, “Tradition… ” series, especially parts 4 and 5.) My hope is that in the coming year, by God’s grace, I will be able to share more fully and deeply on the content of these teachings so that the full picture may come more clearly into view.
Before we go forward, however, I want to go back and re-share a few of the earliest posts I published, as most of you were not following the blog then. I’m going to start today with sharing the very first main post I published called, “Christ-Centered Christianity – An Introduction”. To “tee that up”, I’d like to give just a brief explanation, and also a slight disclaimer.
As a newbie blogger, I came out “guns blazing” with a first main post that even now, three years later, I think might possibly be a bit “too much to swallow” for some. As I was writing it, my thoughts and words went off in a direction and in a creative form of expression that even surprised me at the time. I felt the Lord’s inspiration and revelation in it though, and the words kept coming, so I kept on writing. In the end, I believed the Lord’s hand was on it, and though it pushed the limits of understanding beyond what we might normally consider, I felt, at its core, it was a true expression of the Lord’s unfolding purpose for His Church.
As you read it through, please know that the definition of “Christianity” that I give is my own, and that my use of “Christianity” throughout is simply in light of that definition and not limited to the normally accepted understanding and usage of the term. If you read it with that in mind, the post will most likely make more sense and be more meaningful.
I offer it, then, for your consideration…
Christ-Centered Christianity – An Introduction
In this post I would like to give a brief introduction to “Christ-centered Christianity”; what is it about, and why is it important? Let us begin by looking at the last part of this phrase, “Christianity”.
“Christianity” is a complexity. It is comprised of all of the things which somehow relate to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this regard, and in reality, “Christianity” began before the events recorded in Genesis 1 and 2. “Christianity” began in eternity past in the eternal counsels of the Godhead, when God established His eternal purpose. Christ the Son was the center of that eternal purpose and all that would unfold throughout the epochs of time would be “through Him and for Him.” (Col.1:16) He was the eternal Word (Jn.1:1), the DNA if you will, of all that would follow.
The creation event, in reality, was “Christianity”; a complexity which came into existence through and as a manifestation of the Word, Jesus Christ. All creation, seen and unseen, was fashioned by and according to Him. He was the Source, the Center and the Pattern of it as the all-creative Word of the Father.
The Old Testament in essence was “Christianity”, albeit in a hidden and symbolic form. It evolved and developed according to Christ, through Him and to reveal Him. Even as the DNA of a butterfly is in the caterpillar, so the DNA of “Christianity” was in the Old Testament, leading and preparing the way for the coming of the Word into the world in human flesh.
“Christianity” quietly and inconspicuously was birthed into this world in a dark and lowly stable in Bethlehem in the time of Caesar Augustus. “Christianity” grew and developed as Jesus of Nazareth grew and matured into a man. As Christ entered the waters of Jordan and began His public ministry, “Christianity” became public and began to develop a corporate expression. Through the impartation of His life, righteousness, teaching, and power, the DNA of the Word began to be implanted into the band of disciples that followed Him. Through the cross and the tomb, as a seed falling into the earth and dying, the DNA went into the ground… the promise of a harvest to come. Through resurrection, ascension and outpouring, the Seed was multiplied, scattered and implanted within the earth. “Christianity”, now indwelt with His overcoming, reproductive life, began to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Gen.1:28)
Through two millennium “Christianity” grew, developed, evolved, propagated, proliferated, and flourished. Throughout two millennium “Christianity”, simultaneously and tragically, adulterated, distorted, inbred, mutated, apostatized, demonized, darkened, died… After two millennium, a vast complexity called “Christianity” fills the earth; a confusing mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. The gene pool of this matrix is a mixed bag of the heavenly and the earthly, of light and darkness, of Christ and Satan, of Sarah and Hagar, of Isaac and Ishmael, of a Bride and a Harlot. The vast landscape of “Christianity” barely resembles the days of its youth and yet the DNA of the Word can still be found subsisting within it.
The end of the story is not yet told. The eternal purpose is still unfolding. The Lord is separating and preparing a pure Bride, spotless and blameless. The day is coming when she will be ready and the Bridegroom will come. In His Day the earth will be purged of the Harlot and her unwashed children. The bloodline of the Lamb alone will remain. The DNA will once more be pure. The creation will be renewed by the Word and all things will be consummated in the One who began it all.
We are now nearing the end of the Church Age, a day that heralds the preparation of the Bride, the heavenly, purified line of the Church, and a day that culminates the development of the Harlot, the earthly, adulterated line of “Christianity”. If we are to discern what lies at the heart and core of the difference between these two lines, we would see that it boils down to one thing: Christ. Is Christ central and supreme in all things, or is He not? Where He is, we find a Bride coming forth, consumed with her Bridegroom. Where He is not, we find a Harlot evolving, deceived and defiled by her duplicities.
What develops out of and around the corporate life of the Bride is what can be called “Christ-centered Christianity”: a complexity that is oriented around, unto, and manifesting Christ in all things. What develops out of and around the corporate life of the Harlot is what we can rightfully call “Eccentric Christianity”: a complexity that is oriented around a multiplicity of secondary matters and manifesting a confusion and confliction in all things. “Christ-centered Christianity” will inherently be marked by ever-increasing degrees of unity, fullness, purity and balance, reflecting the fundamental nature of its Center. “Eccentric Christianity” will inherently be marked by ever-increasing degrees of disunity, diminishment, defilement, and distortion, reflecting the disintegrative nature of its eccentricities.
The umbrella term of “Christianity” now comprises both of these “Christianities” and only as we view what exists through the lens of God’s eternal, Christ-centered purpose, can we discern it properly. Only as we discern it properly will we be able to navigate our way through its complexity and align ourselves with God’s eternal and end-time purpose in the bringing forth of an overcoming, purified Bride.
This blog is dedicated to the unfolding of these foundational truths and distinctions for the promotion of God’s end-time purpose in the Church in these last days.
~ ~ ~
I pray that you have been blessed in reading this through. Please feel free to share any thoughts or questions you may have in the comments!
Love and blessings,