October 19, 2005

Whips and Chains and Biscuits Tim James

(Mar 5:3-4) Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

The treatment afforded the demoniac of Gadara is a treatise on the means used by false religion to keep its converts committed to its cause. In Mark 5:3-4, two words are used to describe this vile religious practice. The religious folks efforts to recover this poor sinner, were two-fold, to bind and to tame.

Their first efforts were to bind this sinner in fetters and chains. There can be no doubt that this is the illegal use of the law to control behavior (which is all the law can do, it never reaches the heart). This approach to life is the tool of those who would "make a fair show in the flesh". These love themselves and no one else, and believe themselves to be responsible for the behavior of others. They operate in the realm of guilt mongering. They keep folk in check with their rules, their regulations, their personal convictions and inability to look at their own behavior. They use scripture as a chain to bind the mind, and fetters to bind the feet, thereby keeping their subjects exactly where they want them.

The other means used to control folk is to tame them. There are only two ways to tame a wild beast, either with a whip or a biscuit. The whip is the slavish fear of wrath. Those who use this tactic hold their "beasts" in fear of loss and fear of punishment. They make God out to be a petty ogre, veritably licking His lips with pleasure at the thought of someone messing up, so He can ravage their lives. The biscuit is the promise of reward, the pat on the back, the public praise for the job well done. It is the carrot on a stick, held before the mule, to keep him pulling the plow while he stupidly chases what he can never attain. These are wicked means of control. THE GOSPEL SETS MEN FREE! BY Tim James