Posted by: mamaamy | July 27, 2008

What’s The Story?

Following is an excerpt from a letter that I recently sent to a young man for whom we made the offer to live under our care for a time: Those of you who attend our presentations in ABQ or speak with me frequently know that I spend hours talking about Narrative…the power of stories to shape our lives. This post does not reflect the importance that I place on narrative nor does it cover the topic thoroughly. I am posting it in an effort to illuminate, for our frequent readers, the “world-view” or paradigm from which our other posts originate.

Mitch

Narrative: A story that tells of origins and envisions a future, a story that constructs ideals, prescribes rules of conduct, provides a source of authority, and above all gives a sense of continuity and purpose.

Niel Postman, The End of Education

You know from our time at the cabin that there are many narratives: Communism, Atheism, Polytheism, Socialism, Catholicism, Meathodism, Darwinism, etc…These various narratives guide, direct, empower and constrain individuals in their daily decisions.

You also know from our last visit that my narrative is the Kingdom of God. This narrative tells me how and why we are here, what our future is, what ideals I should live by, who is the ultimate authority and sets forth my purpose in life. This narrative has served me well and I intend to continue to live according to this narrative. I will conduct myself and my relationship with you according to the narrative of the Kingdom of God. You may be asking what that means for you. Before I answer, I would like to continue to elaborate on the Kingdom of God narrative.

Our Origins: “Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” Malachi 2:15 The narrative tells me that God’s desire is to have offspring. Not robots. Not servants. Not puppets for His entertainment. He wants sons! Sons made in his own image.

Our Future: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” Matthew 25:34 God has always intended that His sons inherit the “family business.” The ”family business” is His Kingdom.

The purpose of time is to prepare us for that responsibility. More specifically, our souls must be trained to submit to the authority of the King. That training is necessary for all of us, but it is different for all of us.

The Ultimate Authority: Every kingdom is held in order by the authority of the king. So it is with the Kingdom of God. God has the ultimate authority in His kingdom. You know that the word “authority” has a negative connotation for many. Very few of us appreciate being “under” authority. In the Kingdom of God… AUTHORITY =RESPONSIBILTY + SERVICE. At least part of the reason we rebel against authority is because we don’t understand that it is RESPONSIBILITY+SERVICE. The other reason we rebel against authority is because some in authority use their authority for their own benefit. They exploit those that are under them through manipulation and intimidation. To be sure, God does not manipulate or intimidate His sons. Instead, God takes responsibility for you and serves you. This is what all good fathers do. This is what I am willing to do for you. I am willing to take responsibility for you and to serve you, but the ONLY way I can do that is if you choose to submit to my authority.

You should also know, however, that the narrative tells us that it is God’s desire to delegate some of His authority to us. He does this as part of our training…our preparation to inherit the “family business.” The small parts of the Kingdom that He delegates to us I call “stewardships.”

In the KOG (Kingdom of God) narrative, the hero of the story was born a king, and yet He had no authority, no responsibility, no stewardship to rule over. As he matured he was given more stewardship, more responsibility and more authority. By the end of the story the hero King is said “to have all authority in heaven and on earth.” Further, He is given the title “King of kings.” The graph below illustrates this concept. (Note: Nepios is the greek word for a newborn son, Teknon is the greek for the teenager stage, and Huios is the greek word for a mature son)

Authority is what holds the kingdom in order, so you should know that I too am a man under authority. I have chosen to submit myself to the authority of Russ Marr. You may have heard your mother speak about Russ and Laura Marr. They are dear friends and he is my “spiritual father.” The narrative speaks of this type of relationship between the Apostle Paul and a young man named Timothy. Essentially, Russ and I believe that God has established our friendship and Russ takes RESPONSIBILTY for me and SERVES me. In turn, I willingly submit to his authority out of reverence for the King and His ultimate authority. We believe that this is the manifestation of love and Kingdom order. Put simply, Russ watches over my soul…that part of me that God wants to train.

Even Jesus asked a few of the apostles to watch over His soul as he prepared for his biggest challenge (the cross.)

“Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Matthew 26:38

We all need someone to watch over our souls, to hold us accountable to the standards, to the ideals of the Kingdom. Alone, we may succumb to the temptation to “rule” for our own selfish interests. Together, we can remind each other of the ideals, standards and goals and encourage each other to fight the good fight. This is the relationship of father and son. This is the relationship that I offer you. I am willing to watch over the development of your soul if you are willing to submit to my authority (RESPONSIBILITY+SERVICE).

Should you ever have any disagreement with me or the way that I treat you, you can appeal to the authority that has been delegated to Russ Marr. Russ will judge the matter and speak words of correction as needed. Feel free to contact him any time at:

Russ’ address removed for privacy.

Ideals: The KOG narrative tells me that the ideals that govern the Kingdom are:

  1. Submission to/respect for authority.
  2. Obedience to the direction of the King.
  3. Righteous rule. That is exercising delegated authority in accordance with the standards of the Kingdom. To rule as the King himself would rule in a given situation or stewardship.

Prescribed Rules of Conduct: The narrative tells me that I should conduct myself and train those under my authority to conduct themselves according but not limited to the following standards : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, respect, courage, integrity, etc…

Our Purpose: I believe that our purpose is to please the Heavenly Father, by submitting to His training, learning to rule righteously and exercising the authority that He has delegated to us according to the standards of the Kingdom so that we might be well prepared to “rule and reign with Christ.”

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