Jesus, the Iconoclast

God’s Thoughts to Me

Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.
(Matthew 21:12, NLT).

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. (1 John 5:21, NLT).

For, as I have often told before and say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. (Philippians 3:18, NIV).

And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles, on behalf of the beast – miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. (Revelation 19:20, NLT).

Deceiving Idols

My husband is clever…a living, walking, talking Encyclopedia of Trivia, he modestly claims. Oh, he does not suffer foolishness gladly!! Whenever Fibrofog pitches its tent around my mind, he suffers BIG time!

Then, one day I discovered a word…a BIG word! With glee, the somewhat malicious kind, I rejoiced with a wordless scream,”Bingo!”. Of course I did not know the meaning of the word, but neither did he.

According to WordWeb the meaning of “iconoclast” is:

1. Someone who attacks cherished ideas of traditions or institutions.
2. A destroyer of images used in religious worship.

I want to tread softly, delicately in my exposition, taking off my shoes, for this is “holy” ground. I can almost see the stones flying and feel the tar and feathers! And, I don’t suffer suffering gladly!

Then, I remember my Beloved, our Lord Jesus, the greatest iconoclast of all times. He was ruthless and showed no mercy when He condemned and criticized the Scribes, the Pharisees and the religious elite. Matthew 23 paints a vivid picture of our Lord’s attitude towards the religion of the Jews, and by implication, all religion through the ages.

And!!!! He was despised by His people and far too many people through the ages as well. He was ostracized, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering and crushed for our sins. (Isaiah 53:3-5).

Religion produces enemies of the cross; for instead of denying our efforts to save ourselves and allowing our Lord Jesus to do His job, religion teaches us to cling to our rules, traditions, programs, laws, do’s and don’ts, for the whole focus of religion is on our feeble performance which at best is usually just less than pathetic and of no use.

I definitely am not a Communist, but Carl Marx did have his bright moments when he observed with unusual wisdom that religion is the opiate of the people.

Our Lord Jesus identified Satan as the father of religion, and those who misused the common people for gain through their religious practices and rules, the “children of the devil”. (John 8:44)

He labelled their religiosity as evil and as hatred of the truth He came to bring; binding the poor, the over-burdened common folk, the laity like us who are easily duped by the charisma and rhetoric
of anyone who claims to speak on our Pappa’s behalf! Spiritual discernment has become extinct!

Please allow me to be a teeny bit iconoclastic. An idolatry I have found amongst our God’s children
is bibliolatry…. esteeming the letter of the Word above the Living Word, our Lord Jesus. A dear friend of mine has accused me of calling our Pappa a liar, when I told her that the Bible is not a book of rules, but a story of redemption…pointing to Jesus, our Redeemer, not the letter of the law. I lost a dear friend in the process and it hurt…very,very much.

Currently there are about 41 000 different Christian denominations worldwide, all claiming their fame from the Bible. Common sense, which is not so common nowadays, should tell us that everything is not so kosher as far as to who has the hold on the truth!

Looking at origin of the word “Bible” we see that it is derived from the Greek ” biblion”, meaning “book”, or more accurately, “papyrus scroll”. In some aspects the Bible is just like any other book with pages and printed letters. What makes it completely different and unique is that its Author is our Heavenly Father…His letter of love! What makes it completely unique and different from any other book ever written is that it is the only book where you need to know the Author personally to understand His words and heart towards you, always wooing you back into His Loving Embrace!

The Christians after Pentecost were mostly illiterate and socially unimportant. An estimated 80% could neither read nor write and came from a slave background. They had no Bibles, but they had the Divine Teacher living within them through His Holy Spirit. They lived in Him and that was all they needed.

The human race is not irreligious; just the opposite! They are extremely religious as we see through the ages. Looking at the religious Crusades, I can only say AMEN to the words of Blaise Pascal, “Men never do evil so cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” We are all created with the need to worship. Whom or what we worship is the daily choice we have to make.

This, in my mind at least, is a humungous, monstrous problem, for many of our Pappa’s children have been deceived by the Great Deceiver…that beast who forages through the world, trying to lure us away from our Beloved Lord Jesus! And his bait….the sometimes undetectable lie of religion.

The mark of the beast has been associated with many things, but I ask you to consider the possibility that accepting religion might just be the mark etched on our foreheads, on our minds, into our thoughts! The mark on the hand might also just be our efforts trying to replace our Pappa’s saving grace with the work of our hands.

I consider this a very serious matter and carry a heavy burden in my heart today, robbing me of all my peace. Thank you for indulging me and, Pappa, for returning my peace.

Much love and blessings to you

Mia

Linking-up with Mindy at New Equus.

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13 thoughts on “Jesus, the Iconoclast

  1. Mia, thank you for having the courage to write this thought-filled post. Traditions are such tricky things. The challenge is to discern those that point us TO our Father and those that begin, inch-by-inch, to draw us away or diminish the importance of relationship with our Father. I came out of a church that was full of man-centered traditions. Salvation was an ‘accomplishment’ of ‘arrival’ by works. I remember being utterly overwhelmed when I learned that God’s sweet, forgiving grace is ALL that’s needed… Nothing I needed to do except receive by grace…Hallelujah!
    I always appreciate your visits and encouraging words. You are a sweet blessing!
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

    • Dear Mary
      I am honored to welcome you to my blog. Yes, dear one, our Lord Jesus has set us free from any works to earn or augment our salvation. The moment we try to do something to be sanctified, we are cut off from our Lord Jesus (Galatians) and then grace is no longer working in and through us. All we need to do is to abide in our sweet Lord, receiving everything from His generous Hand!
      Blessings
      Mia

  2. Hi dear Lucy
    Yes, this is quite a serious matter. Our Lord was not very happy with the religionists of His day. Thanks for your visit.
    Hugs XX
    Mia

  3. Hi Michael
    Thank you so much for your visit to my blog. I feel honored! The quote of Lenny Bruce contains a world of truth!! I need to thank you for all the help I received this year from The Wilderness Voice. Our Father brought your site into my life at just the right time of my walk with Him.
    Bless you and George
    Mia

  4. As for Jesus the iconoclast, I could not agree more. Considering the following passage it would seem that we also are to be iconoclast if we are in the same war He is waging, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2Co 10:4-5 KJ2000).
    Add this one to your quoteable quotes Lenny Bruce said, “Every day, more and more people are leaving church and returning to God.”

  5. Thank you so much for your visit. This was not a easy post to write, but I knew in my heart that our Pappa wanted me to. I relate 100% with your wanting to earn our Pappa’s love. I used to be exactly the same. Yet, the harder I tried, the more distant He seemed to be! I know what it is to suffer from a religious spirit. Today I am able to say with a thankful heart, which by the way is also a gift fom Him, that He has set me free.
    Earning everything is the way the world operates…you just don’t get anything for free. Perhaps that is why our Lord told us not to become like the world. It was only when I admitted to our Lord that in and of myself I CANNOT BELIEVE and if He does not help my unbelief, I will die in my unbelief, that I truly received the precious gift of faith.
    I just love your blog and your precious sense of humor, although I detect a lot of tears behind all the laughs. If you allow me I would love to walk alongside you with your opp and the rest, for we Fibrosisters walk better when we walk together!
    Much love and big bear hugs to you
    Mia

    • Was here looking up the word iconoclast, because of doubt and unbelief. About my relationship with God. I have done many ungodly things and try so hard to do right. And yet I have continually fail and make mistakes. But I was having feelings of disappointment . I know that without God I can’t live let alone move forward. I have been doing ARTWORK and COMICS ABOUT MY LIFE. And they don’t seem traditional. But I tell the truth about the thoughts and CHANGES within. How I tried to be all these different people , instead of being myself. Today I’m seeking to get closer to God in a deeper way. So many things, people who may not serve God. I’m not a judge but I seek to be used by the Lord in a great way. I wanna make God proud, he has saved me from so much. Despite all my failure. I truly love Him and try to live out his plans for me and my family through JESUS. Thanks for these posts.

  6. Mia this truly makes me think. You bring up some strong and critical points. Before I joined my current church, I was rather taken aback by their attitude. This belief and CERTAINTY that the grace of God could not be EARNED through any act of man. That man could be saved by grace by merely ACCEPTING it. Accept with a whole heart what God has offered you, and you shall be saved by His grace. I was always one who felt that I had to earn His forgiveness, His love, His grace…. OK I have done my job now where do I sign…where is the contract? And the leader of the “Discovery class” I was in at the new church gently laughed and kindly said “He knows what is in your heart.” You see, I never felt WORTHY to earn His love and grace, and yet the Church pointed out that I am kind enough to forgive anyone anything, to extend my grace to a stranger, so why would our God, who created me, withhold His grace from me? He created me, and surely I am worthy of it. No physical act I can perform would be enough to “earn” His love and grace; yet the seemingly simple act of asking for it, or accepting it, into my heart is all it takes. I am not perfect; I am a sinner and always will be. I can only strive to live the way He bids me to live, and in turn extend grace to others. Many blessings to you, Mia.

  7. Hi dear friend Markus
    Thank you for always encouraging me. I don’t always tell you how much I appreciate your just “being there” and not only to me, but my dear Andre as well. I am overjoyed that you are learning some South African culture by watching rugby. That is now SA’s biggest religion and I love it!! By the way, the Boks did not only play against the English last Saturday, but against the referee as well. Therefore we did not win by a margin, we destroyed two teams!!
    Much love to you and your family
    Mia

  8. AMEN!

    My dear sister, yes, the real Jesus crushes every man-made concept when entering our lives. He never tolerates anything other but having Him as a living, solid, fact in our lives… with direct interaction and communication! No dead one-way street from earth to heaven… but a busy interstate buzzing with bi-directional traffic :-D!
    So love your point of mainly illiterate first believers… but living this vibrant life in God the orchestrated and kastratated “today” lacks completely. Even justifying it with arguments like: The gifts God gave just for the first church. We have God’s word today and all we have to do is living by it alone!
    Well, absolutely no difference from Israel living by the written law of Moses… frantically trying to even overfullfilling it by self-imposed “hyper-laws” we find in the jewish traditions.
    A static, fixed faith will always end in spiritual stalemate… and as the Jews were crucifying their promised Mashiach we see the same happening in Christendom today.
    Limited by god-given human restrictions, fixed by self-imposed, lifeless rules, deeply entangled in affairs of this world… a Laodicean Church opposes the One their lips profess as Lord with cold hearts far away from Him.
    May God give heavenly ointment to open the eyes after His perfect will!

    … and :-)… there’s absolutely no reason to be “robbed of your peace” at all! Give those baseless fears… those thought-arrows of your enemy… a hearty kick in Jesus’ name!
    You’re His precious jewel He’s so proud of :-D… and instead of trembling there is absolutely nothing hindering you to sing and dance… basking in His loving embrace instead :-D!!!

    Blessings and drukkies

  9. always love a Blaise Pascal quote…Thank you for the reminder that we must not lose our love of Jesus, and relationship with Him over trying to earn His love by our religious good deeds…blessings to you, Mia 🙂

    • Hi dear Dolly
      Yes, I love that Blaise Pascal quote. It speaks of a lot of discernment and wisdom! Dolly, I just love your series on the Alphabet of Thankfulness! I hope your sinus infection and flu are better now.
      Bless you, sweet Friend
      Mia

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