This is part of the Synchro Blog April meme.

This month we invite you to play the ‘what if’ game with us. Try to imagine that some or all of the Bible narrative is not necessarily true history, but is myth of one sort or another. What sort of effect would that knowledge have on your faith? What effect might it have on the larger church? How would it change you? Would it change you and how you view the world?

Here goes my first stab at the question of “what if…?”

The metanarrative of my spiritual journey has been the sublimation of ego; the seeping of a self rooted in lies I had come to believe about myself. At times it has been a house of pain, akin to debriding the burn victim’s necrotic tissue. More often it has thankfully been a languid spring walk through the blooming desert with the dearest of friends.

Now in my sixties I find myself approaching ever nearer that blessed estate of freedom from that old self that was rooted and grounded in the misdirection, the confusion and the deceit the world dropped on me as a child. The place where my view of self, of others and of my place are grounded in a biblical narrative. It is the narrative of regeneration, of new birth, of being an entirely new kind of creature.

Paul captures the truth that has freed and is continually freeing me in Galatians 2:20–21.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

What if this were not true? What if Paul were mistaken? What Christ’s life were not exchanged for mine?

  • Christ does not live in me
  • I am not a regenerate man
  • I am persuaded that a falsehood is true
  • I am trapped in the tissue of lies and web of deceit
  • My value as a person is still dependent on my accomplishments
  • The rich, interior life I now enjoy is a delusion
  • The strength I feel in Christ is a deceit; I remain spiritually impotent
  • I am that second grader who could not make friends at school
  • I am that third grader who blushed effusively when teased
  • I am that seventh grader who was paralyzed by fear of girls
  • I am that college student whose wellbeing rose and fell with his GPA
  • I am that grad school student desperately needing to make a mark
  • I am that ageless child of the interior who longs for affirmation
  • I am trapped in a world built on a merit system in which no one can win
  • I am trapped in the iron jaws of the law

If I am not living the life of Jesus, if the Holy Spirit is not residing within then I am an unwitting dupe, trapped in a living hell, removed from the Father’s presence, forced to forge my worth in the furnaces of fruitless self-effort.

What if it weren’t true that I have died with Christ and the life I now live is the life of Christ?

It that is not true I am trapped in the antechamber to hell, waiting for the next flight out.

Check out the other great entries in this “What if” meme!