Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
June 1, 2020
Isms of Man
The people of the world often divide themselves along many different lines, whether certain emphases,
issues, movements, theories, politics, ideologies, doctrines, religions, or world-views, to name a few, and
each line is labeled with a name that often ends with the three letters ism . The English dictionary defines
ism as "a system or theory." In relation to an ism , a system is "a group of interacting, interrelated, or
interdependent elements forming a complex whole." Theory can be defined in several ways, but the one
that seems most appropriate through the word ism is this: "a statement of an opinion or an explanation
of an idea (including ideology) that is believed to be true (and used to convince others it is fact, as if it
works), but it might be wrong and doesn't work as it is sold to do." Thus, we discover communism,
socialism, capitalism, corporatism, liberalism, conservatism, environmentalism, humanism, feminism, and
the list goes on and on, almost without end. We could say that the world is divided along the line of isms .
Of equal importance is the fact that Christianity is never described as an ism . There is no such thing as
Christianism . Why? Because Christianity is not like the systems or theories of man; it is not a movement,
an ideology, an emphasis, a doctrine, or even a religion. Christianity is about a person—the person of the
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Creator, and the Savior of the world—and a living relationship with
Him and His Father. As believers in the Lord Jesus and His finished work, we should never lose sight of this
fact. Yes; Jesus is a fact! He is not fashioned around an ism . And by the way, neither is the ecclesia (church),
which is His body that is based on and built up in organic life . In a sense, it meets one of the other
definitions of a system: "an organism as a whole, especially with regard to its vital processes or functions."
However, we must add something to the definition that is not found in the world—the body is organized
based on divine life, the very life of the Son of God .
The divine body (that which Christ is building in love) cannot be divided, and yet Christians unwittingly do
so, not on a divine level (for this is not possible) but on a worldly one, especially when the public church
joins forces with the isms of the world that are destined to pass away. John saw a similar danger in his day
and warned his "children" about it.
Be not loving the world , neither that which is in the world. If ever anyone is loving the world, the
love of the Father is not in him, for everything that is in the world, the desire of the flesh, and the
desire of the eyes, and the ostentation of living, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the
world is passing by , and its desire, yet he who is doing the will of God is remaining for the eon. (1
John 2:15-17 CLV)
In John's day, the world order that he grew up in was passing away; it was the order or age of Moses. In
70 AD, it came to an end with the total destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple. A new world (new
heaven and earth) came into view as the Christian order was firmly established and set free from Moses
and the law (no longer viewed as a sect of Judaism). The Christ-order was inaugurated through the cross
and announced in John's day: The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His
Christ; and He will reign for the eons of the eons (Revelation 11:15).
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Isms of Man
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Our generation is now on the cusp of something very similar, for the world order of isms that we have
grown up in is passing away. The time has come for the new order of King Jesus to openly manifest for all
to see and to live by. It is time for God's way to rule (no longer man's way that has dominated).
Be not loving the world! The word world in the Greek is kosmos , which refers to an orderly arrangement,
or, we could say, a system. To paraphrase John: Be not loving the systems, the isms !
Regarding this end, which is truly a new beginning for this earth, we must guard ourselves, especially from
joining forces with the political isms of our day, whether conservatism or liberalism . From a Christian
perspective, we might see some good in one or the other (or both), but they are still ideologies that will
pass away. Why? Because their source or origin is of the world and not of the kingdom of God. A word of
caution: Ideologies can act like viruses that infect the mind with dangerous ideas . They don't have to
take on the label of an ism ; they can go by a variety of names that, on the surface, project as something
good, but they are not. We need to test the spirit behind what the world attempts to feed our minds in
this day .
We need to be reminded of Jesus' words as He faced the cross. The Jews were looking for a political leader
to lead them out of the rule of Rome; however, what they needed was a king who would serve them and
die for their sin. Consider what Jesus said to Pilate in answer to his inquiry of Jesus' kingly stature.
" My kingdom isn't the sort that grows in this world ," replied Jesus. … So, then, my kingdom is not
the sort that comes from here ." (John 18:36 Kingdom-NT [bold added])
Those of us who believe in Jesus need to be ever mindful that God has rescued us from the domain of
darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We have been
begotten of God the Father into His spiritual kingdom, and He seats us together among the celestials
(heavenlies), in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). He blesses us with every spiritual blessing among the celestials,
in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). If this is not enough to make the point, then consider another word from Paul.
Therefore, since you were raised together with Christ, be seeking the [things] above, where Christ
is, sitting at [the] right hand of God. Be setting your minds on the [things] above, not [on] the [things]
on the earth. For you died, and your life has been hid with Christ in God. Whenever Christ, [who is]
our life, is revealed, then also we will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 ALT)
If you know that your life is hid with Christ in God, where are you today? Christ is seated at the right hand
of His Father. Consequently, you are seated among the celestials in Christ. Naturally, we do not see this
with our physical eye; we are to discern it in spirit and hold to it in faith until the day dawns and the
morning star arises in your hearts (2 Peter 1:19).
Dear beloved in Christ, let us not get caught up in the isms of the world that are passing away and will be
no more when our beloved king presences Himself in a glorious way, manifesting His kingdom of
righteousness and justice and peace and, most of all, love. Today, the realm of the king dwells in us in
spirit. Soon, the realm of the king will openly manifest upon this earth for all to see and to experience.
Then, all the nations will be ruled by the ways of God.
Let us not embrace the causes of the world! Let us not be loving the world of isms! Let us live according
to the kingdom that does not come from the systems and isms of man. It is of divine origin. Let us embrace
King Jesus our Lord and not be moved from proclaiming Him and Him alone!