we three?

Continuing "Are We the People?"...

In recent years, a number of theologians have recognized the apparent spiritual nature of our institutions and organizations, Walter Wink being the most widely recognized (with his extremely popular Powers That Be series). But they do not seem to notice that, despite the powerful effect produced by many people believing in a god, an immaterial “power” that they depend on and serve, such a god is not actually real. People create institutions and organizations, corporations and nations. But people do not create spiritual entities. Their gods are not real (and so cannot be redeemed, as Wink claims). They are idols, the work of men's hands (and minds), with no breath in their nostrils or sight in their eyes.

Yet there are real spiritual “principalities and powers,” entities not created by us, existing long before we gathered ourselves into collectives and institutionalized ourselves. And these have always found our idols useful.

The question for us is who do we believe in? Who do we depend on for our daily bread, and our security for the future? Who do we serve?

Do we identify ourselves as members of the corporate bodies of idols, have we made ourselves their hands, their mouths? Do we wield their authority among those others who also believe in them? What is our answer?

Jesus' answer was clear:
And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.”

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”

(This essay can be downloaded as a RTF file here.)