One of the things as of late seems to be this glorification of the concept of rebellion and the effects that the Star Wars movies had at their core a message of rebellion. And as of late, I see lots of progressive “Christians” talking about rebellion and debating protesting a certain orange politician (his name will neither be disclosed here nor do I want to make this the focus of this post). And then you couple in a celebration of such movies as Rogue One or this new episode VIII or even other movies that are about opposing the “status quo”. It concerns me that society has glorified rebellion so much. The Scriptures affirm it as “the sin of divination” (1 Sam. 15:23).
But then there is even more problems. I see Christians embracing this glorification of rebellion especially as so many New Testament and Biblical Scholars present Jesus as some sort of counter-cultural prophet of the ancient world ushering in a new generation and rebelling against the current one. This horrifies me especially as these are actually supposed to be qualified at Biblical interpretation and yet they do not know the Scriptures at all. Either that or they are trying to reduce the Scriptures to a platform of their own intellectual habits.
The Scriptures were clear when Samuel spoke to King Saul–rebellion and it’s Satanic origins have not changed one bit. The problem with the glorification of rebellion in our present culture is this: we have missed the story! Not only have we missed the story but we have also booted ourselves out of the story. Any literary scholar notes that there is in a story a beginning, middle, and end. We also have parts of the story such as the introduction, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, the resolution, etc. Then there is theme, moral, characters, etc.
The Scriptures are not just any story but they are a story about humanity’s relationship with God. I open a book for the first time and I read in the middle of the story. I am missing a chunk of the story when I do that. When we go into the Bible, what we must start with first is the beginning. For instance, it is easy to go into the Scriptures and see Jesus struggling with the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and think that he is some sort of heroic rebel who intends to overthrow the status quo of his time and that Christianity is about constantly overthrowing the status quo but this misses a key context of the story. He never intended to overthrow the Pharisees or the Divine Law. He stated:
Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. (Matt. 5:17)
The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. (Matt. 23:2-3)
Jesus came into the world to teach and give us the Divine Law which we missed initially because of our idolatry when Moses brought down the first tablets God gave him. Moses came down Mt. Sinai and the people were worshiping a golden calf. He had the tablets God wrote for him and he broke them for the people were not worthy to receive it. They had rejected the laws of God. The people were rebelling against God. It was for the hardness of the people’s hearts that Moses wrote laws for them rather than presenting the full meaning of the Divine Law (Mk. 10:2-8).
But the Scriptures do not stop with the mission of Jesus there. We are missing one significant element about the character of Jesus. If we go into the Scriptures and start with the middle, it is easy for us to miss who Jesus is. When we start with the beginning we see he was the Word who was God (John 1:1-3). He was the Creator of all Heaven and Earth. He came into the world that he made but the world did not know him and he came to make us children of God (John 1:10-14). Jesus wasn’t on a rebellious mission to defeat the principles of evil. If he was, then how could he be the Creator?
The second temptation of the Devil’s to Jesus was to offer him the all the Kingdoms of the Earth (Luke 4:5-8). Jesus’s response was to cite a Scripture that said “you shall worship the Lord and him only you shall serve”. The entire offer on the Devil’s part is actually moot. To think that the Creator of all the kingdoms of the Earth does not already own them is nonsensical yet nevertheless it is the Devil’s hot-headedness and the Lord lets the Devil believe he is in control even titling him as “the Prince of this world” (Jn. 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). But the problem is that Satan does not have control over anything. He thinks he does but we see in his fall,
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Is. 14:12-14)
So the Lord submits that Satan has foolishly declared himself such but what follows afterward is the reality that he does not hold control of anything. That he will descend into the pits of Sheol. That people will wonder if this was really the man who made the Earth tremble with fear when it was not. It was a sham.
The Scriptures began at the very beginning with God creating the Heavens and the Earth and he made man–Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They ate from it. They broke their innocence. They rebelled against the Creator.
Thus, the story of the Bible and the work of Christ is not one that glorifies rebellion but one that contends that rebellion is a Satanic practice equivalent to witchcraft. The first pair denied and rebelled and were made a shamed. God covered and atoned for their shame with the blood of the lamb. The Blood of the Lamb covered and atoned all of humanity. Christ’s mission was re-institution, not a rebellion. It was a response to an attack from the supernatural enemy. It was a retaliation against an enemy that had raised its head against the Most High. That had the confidence to say the Creator could be conquered. And he lost. He was thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10). It was a response to rebellion to show that there will be consequences for insurgencies. The Scriptures are a continued fight between the Empire of Light and the Rebellion of Darkness. We can either choose light or dark but where light shines, dark must flee and where darkness reigns all light must cease.