Enlightenment

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We abandon what God has made simple for enlightenment. The promised reward for disloyalty and disobedience.
Alfred Plummer/Chuck Swindoll

The promise of enlightenment is heady, intoxicating stuff.
We want to know more,
we want to know more than others,
we want to be in the inner circle, in the know.
Enlightenment by definition is to be free from ignorance and prejudice, to inform and is worthy of our attention.
But when enlightenment is the promised reward for disobedience and disloyalty we abandon what God has made simple.
Sounds a lot like what seduced Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 doesn’t it.
One tree leave it alone.
This morning I read this passage from
2 Corinthians 11
But now I’m afraid that as that serpent tricked Eve with his wiles, so your hearts and minds will be tricked and you will stray from the single-minded love and pure devotion to Him.- 2 Corinthians 11:3

In the battle for our hearts and our minds this kind of enlightenment still wages war.
A war that seeks to divide our loyalty
A war that promotes disobedience in the name of the cause.
Jesus spent little time in His earthly ministry addressing the issues of His day. Slavery, oppression, corrupt governments, injustice existed then as it does now.
But the issue that concerned Him most was the trickery that had led the hearts of people astray.
Trickery that suggested rules and regulations were acceptable substitutes for simple devotion and love.
In our day many are convinced that the cause justifies any means when confronting the issues with face.
Violence
Lawlessness
Hate
Disrespect
Racism that knows no color
It’s just a matter of enlightenment.

In Luke 4 Jesus defines His ministry prophesied by Isaiah.
And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Luke 4:17-19
And then He said
“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4:21

If Luke 4 describes Jesus’s mission statement, Matthew 22 is the action plan for us.
Jesus (quoting Scripture):
“Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.”  This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is nearly as important, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  – Matthew 22:37-39
Love God with all you are, all you have
Love your neighbor as yourself…
Simple, uncluttered, single-minded, pure undivided devotion.
I have struggled with writing this post.
I have attempted in light of recent events, to uncover my prejudices, my ignorance, to define what I really believe. I’m not sure I have accomplished that mission.
But I want to see both sides.
To further my understanding I have read books from both points of view on the issue of racism and equality.
I have listened to the voices on both sides, and I have come to the conclusion that on both sides we are mostly wrong in our identification of the problem and the solution.
Wrong because we miss the central issue.
While we  all are created equal, we are also created equally in sin.
Until we address that central issue and learn to
Love God
Love each other
Not much will change…..
What God has made simple needs no further enlightenment.

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