A Dream Of God’s Peace


You may have heard about a movie called The Shack, from a book of the same title by Wm. Paul Young (or William P. Young).  The book was hugely popular, and likely the movie will be too.  A friend loaned me a copy and I tried to read it, but I could only force myself halfway through the book.  I did not like it.  I agree with a review Tim Keller wrote, in which he said,

The Shack effectively deconstructs the holiness and transcendence of God. It is simply not there. In its place is unconditional love, period. The God of The Shack has none of the balance and complexity of the Biblical God. Half a God is not God at all.

Something about the dream I had last night made me think of the current discussion about The Shack.  I hope it makes sense to the reader.

I woke up this morning having been dreaming about being at church. In the dream I had awakened in the morning and was anticipating being involved in some significant but unidentified church sacrament – something like baptism, only I knew I had already been baptized, so it wasn’t that. I looked at the clothes I had been sleeping in and decided they were perfectly appropriate for the occasion. Two red cords around my waist, like a belt, represented the blood of Christ. A black T-shirt meant I was dead to sin.

Church wasn’t like any actual church building I’ve ever been in, but it was comfortable and familiar, like being at home. My wife was with me (In real life she does not attend church because of her OCD).  She was talking to the pastor’s wife, and everyone was young – maybe about 30. There were no worries, no problems to be solved, no needs to be met. I felt peaceful and everyone was calm and joyful, hugging and kissing.

When I talked to the Pastor (He and his wife didn’t look like anyone I know, but in the dream we knew them well.) I had the passing thought that I should be embarrassed about what I was wearing, but I wasn’t, and everyone was fine with it. Then, as I looked at what I was wearing, it had changed. I was wearing tan Bermuda shorts and a lighter colored shirt.

The Pastor was in the kitchen and I spoke with him across the counter, recounting to him that I had remembered finding a passage – perhaps in Romans or 1 Corinthians – in my old NIV study Bible, where I had made notes about the four categories of givers: those who gave nothing, those who gave sparingly, those who gave dutifully, and those who gave generously.

But that didn’t seem as important as the fact that all was well. I was not nervous or concerned or thinking of things that needed to be done. When I awoke, I was happy and felt a peaceful confidence. It gave me some perspective on why a book and movie like The Shack might appeal to those who feel the emotional need to resolve their concerns, yet for whatever reason they avoid resolving those concerns with Scriptural understanding.

It is a wonderful experience to be at peace. But real peace can prove to be elusive because there are so many “facsimiles” out there: drugs and alcohol; games and entertainment; fantasy and pretense; power and authority; avoidance and retreat.

I can understand parents who have lost a child wanting to find peace. But the feeling of peace offered by The Shack’s message can only last if it is sustained by genuine faith in the real Jesus, as revealed in Scripture.

I know that as long as I draw breath on this physical plane I will have to deal with “The heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” But because Jesus has overcome the world, I can know peace – not the peace that the world gives, which is circumstantial and temporal – but a peace that is beyond understanding.

This is because our faith is about things that are unseen, not seen. We are more than conquerors in Christ, not because we stubbornly refuse to buckle to circumstance, but because Christ offers something greater than circumstance which The Shack does not.

We will know God’s perfect and lasting peace when we are with him in glory. Until then, we must be satisfied with glimpses. When Paul says “in all these things we are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) he is referring to:

waiting for “the redemption of our bodies” (vs. 23),

we hope for what we do not see” (vs. 25),

all things work together for good” (vs. 28),

those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (vs. 30),

if God is for us, who can be against us?” (vs. 31),

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” (vs. 32)

Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (vs. 34)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (vs. 35)

For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” (vs. 36).

So, the peace we have in Christ is something we receive by faith, not by the resolution of our temporal circumstances. Having this peace is not just a matter of our feelings. If it were, all we would need to do is take a pill. Our peace is not based on ourselves – our strengths, our victories or any external resolution of our difficulties.

Despite the death of loved ones, and even if we are killed, our peace – God’s peace – is “in Christ”, not in the world or in ourselves.

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About retiredday

I am Michael D. Day, a regular, everyday guy -- retired. I stand for God-given freedom, which means I think for myself. I believe in being civil, because the Bible teaches that we should love our enemies. But I also believe in saying it how I see it, and explaining just why I see it that way, sort of like 2 Timothy 4:2.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christian Attitudes, The Supernatural and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Dream Of God’s Peace

  1. DO INFANTS QUALIFY FOR BAPTISM? BY STEVE FINNELL

    What preceded water baptism under the New Covenant?
    Under the New Covenant terms for pardon, all who were baptized in water believed before they were baptized.

    Jesus said in (Mark 16:16 Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. But those who refuse to believe will be condemned.)

    Jesus did not say those who are baptized and then believe will be saved. Water baptism always follows belief. There is no Scripture under the New Covenant where water baptism precedes belief.

    Infants do not qualify for baptism because they cannot believe.
    Atheists do not qualify for water baptism because they have not believed. Infants and atheists are both non-believers.

    On the Day of Pentecost all three thousand had some things in common.
    1. They heard Peter preach Jesus as a miracle worker. They heard about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They heard Jesus preached as the Lord and Messiah.

    Infants cannot understand the meaning of the apostle Peter’s sermon. They cannot believe. They do not qualify for water baptism.

    2. Peter told the three thousand what they had to do after they believed. (Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, “Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of yours sins; then you also shall receive this git, the Holy Spirit.)

    Infants do not qualify for water baptism. They cannot turn from sin because they are not guilty of sin. They cannot return to God because they have not left God, they are innocent of any sin. Infants cannot follow the instructions to believe, repent and be baptized.

    Acts 2:40-41 Then Peter preached a long sermon, telling about Jesus and strongly urging all his listeners to save themselves from the evils of their nations. 41 And those who believed Peter were baptized— about 3,000 in all.

    Peter was not urging infants to save themselves. Infants do not understand sermons. Those who believed were baptized. Infants cannot believe, they were not baptized on the Day of Pentecost.

    ALL OF THE PEOPLE BEING BAPTIZED IN WATER, UNDER THE NEW COVENANT, WERE BAPTIZED AFTER THEY FIRST BELIEVED.

    1. Acts 2:22-41 (The 3000)
    2. Acts 8:13 (Simon)
    3. Acts 8:26-38 (The eunuch)
    4. Acts 22:6-16 (Saul)
    5. Acts 10:30-47 (Cornelius)
    6. Acts 16:13-15 (Lydia)
    7. Acts 16:29-34 (The jailer and his household were all believers. Infants cannot believe.)
    8. Acts 18:8 (Crispus and his household were all believers. Infants cannot believe, they were not baptized.)
    9.Acts 19:3-5 (They were baptized in the name of the Lord (New Covenant baptism) after they believed, not before they believed.

    If infants can be baptized for the forgiveness of sins before they believe, then atheists can also be baptized for the forgiveness of sins before they believe.

    JESUS SAID BELIEVE AND BE BAPTIZED. JESUS DID NOT SAY BE BAPTIZED AND THEN BELIEVE.

    (Scripture from: The Living Bible —Paraphrased)

    YOU ARE INVITED TO READ MY BLOG>> steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    Like

    • retiredday says:

      I find it interesting that this comment has nothing at all to do with the point of my article. Mr. Finnell simply took the opportunity to write a polemic on his view of baptism, I suppose because of the brief mention in my post. Mr. Finnell is free to believe as he wishes. He should be convinced in his own mind (Romans 14:5) and I’ll not pass judgment on his opinion (all of chapter 14 to 15:7). For anyone who is interested, I touch on the subject of baptism in my post, “The Unseen”: https://retiredday.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/the-unseen/ I have no interest in debating the subject. What is most important is knowing Christ and abiding in him. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” — John 17:3

      Also, for a scholarly approach to studying Scripture, I recommend avoiding paraphrases, such as the Living Bible. If understanding Scripture is important to you, accurate language is a must.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful, Michael, thank you!

    Like

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