Gospel Fairies And Spiritual Unicorns
By: Danny Wallace
Well, there’s a title, right? I could have easily picked others to represent my thoughts. For instance, “Every Pecan Tree Is Filled With Squirrels and Nuts,” would also work. The point being, where the fundamentalists of religion burden their followers with rules and Law – Charismatic religion often accomplishes the same with the notion of gospel fairies and spiritual unicorns.
Where one is structured to the point of leaving no room for independent breath, the other is “let’s just script it as we go.” In the end, seldom does either stipulate to the absolute “finished” work of freedom by Jesus Christ on the cross. Whether burdened by rules and regulations, or strapped with the constantly changing gospel of fairies and unicorns, each group believes there is so much more that we must do, experience, and accomplish through our gifts and service to finish what Jesus began. Therefore, each group comes with a different set of burdens, both equally heavy to bear.
The bible tells us of 9 fruits of the Spirit, and 9 gifts of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are as follows:
4. Forbearance (longsuffering)
There is no law that stands against these bountiful fruits – neither God, nor man’s.
We are also told of 9 differing gifts of the Spirit, but this is where it gets a little tricky. Depending upon “whom” you follow, you may hear of anywhere between 9 and 30, or more spiritual gifts. I will stick with the 9. They are as follows:
1. Word of Wisdom
2. Word of Knowledge
4. Gifts of Healing
5. Working of Miracles
7. Discerning of Spirits
8. Divers (or different) kinds of Tongues
9. Interpretation of (different) Tongues
The fruit and the gifts of the Spirit go hand in hand. It is easy to gauge whether or not someone is operating in a true gift of the Spirit because without exception, that gift will operate in the fullness of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If it fails on any of these fruits then it is a curse, and not a gift. A curse is generated from Lucifer’s sad and illusionary imitation of God’s authentic gifts. A true gift operates in the completeness of the Father’s heart, producing the Spirit’s fruit. The Spirit has but one purpose, and that is to magnify Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Spirit is simply a spotlight on this gift of Grace.
Everything that is credited to the Spirit will “always” (without fail) pass this simple test. “Does the gift edify Jesus, and does the fruit bear witness unto the finished work of His great glory? If it doesn’t, then it is fruit from the wrong tree, and gifts, that when “unwrapped,” come with heavy burdens, indeed.
The fundamentalist message acknowledges Jesus, and then stipulates that our works, obedience, and performance are key elements to unlocking the fullness of His glory. The Charismatic message has elements of the same, with the added touch of stipulating that our “gifts” allow us to script the gospel story as we go. Therefore, depending on whom you follow in either group, the rules grow and differ, as do the words, revelations, and “unicorns” of this continuously, unfolding “new gospel.”
Nothing that man touches is perfect. If it was perfect before we touched it you can rest assured that it becomes truly flawed once it passes through our hands. Therefore, it is only fair to stipulate that there are also good elements to a group that operates in either of these varying mixtures.
A person can prepare a perfectly good stew. Every ingredient can be perfect, and of the highest quality. Without question, it is a very good stew. However, not wanting to waste a single ingredient, the person tosses in a couple of small, but “not so good” potatoes. After all, there are many more redeeming elements to this stew than non-redeeming elements, right? Therefore, by the logic of excusing these religious mixtures, it shouldn’t make a difference. Why should we focus on the two small, yet “rotten” potatoes, when we have many excellent, high quality ingredients in the stew? The answer is simple. “Taste it and you will have your answer.”
The work of Jesus is perfect. Granted, it is not as intriguing, nor as “flash in the pan” as the razzle-dazzle that our new script brings to this every growing saga of gospel fairies and spiritual unicorns. However, the truth lies in understanding that neither our gifts, nor our spiritual fruit add a single merit to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were never meant to do such a thing. They are nothing more than a product of being deeply rooted in the Tree of Life. The fruit of the Tree does not contribute to the Tree. The Tree gives birth, and new life to the fruit!
In the fulfillment of Jesus Christ there is no further need for penance and sacrifice, just as there is likewise, no need for gospel fairies and spiritual unicorns to demonstrate His infinite glory. Penance is the voluntary self-punishment for sins already forgiven, and fairies and unicorns simply do not exist. They are a figment of man’s gospel, not God’s.
The truth we all seek is in discovering that Jesus is more than enough for what ails us. This truth is most glorious in the fact that Jesus did not just die for you and I, who love and seek Him – Jesus died for the whole world. Therefore, let His name be glorified by every gift, and in the bounty of His fruitful table.
There are hundreds of names for Jesus in scripture, but I will end with only a few that diminish both the burden of religion’s rules, and the smoke and mirrors of our spiritual unicorns. In the name of Jesus, hope is found, and all is made new. Jesus is…
1.Beginning and The End
2.Lord of lords
3.King of kings
4.Eternal Lamb of God
5.The Anointed One
10.Savior of the World
11.Bright and Morning Star
12.Fulfillment of the Law
13.Author of Salvation
14.Faithful and True
Jesus Christ - The Finisher of Our Faith. Jesus Christ – frees religion’s slave, and the captives of sin. Jesus Christ – far greater than religion’s focus on sin, and far greater than all of our gospel fairies, and spiritual unicorns.