Fractured Faith
John Telgren

Do you remember Batman's enemy who was of two minds about everything? He was nick-named "Two-Face," and couldn't make a decision without flipping a coin. He is not the only double-minded villain. There are also characters such as Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or Bruce Banner and the Hulk. At first blush, there are just good stories with entertainment value. But under the surface, this is a commentary on the web of contradictions in human nature. Oh, how often are we of two minds, or three, or four! How often we are inconsistent in our belief and actions!

Perhaps this is just another indication of the brokenness in our world caused by sin. God, who is a God of order, wholeness and peace, created a harmonious world full of goodness and beauty. However, sin entered into the world and not only fractured the created order, but also corrupted the very core of human nature. The world became so corrupt that God was grieved that he had created mankind. The worldwide flood did not cleanse the earth, but was only a prelude to the try cleansing which could only come through an inner transformation.

Jesus came to renew our inner nature through the power of the Spirit. He has come to make us whole again and put right what was corrupted in the beginning. Through the Spirit, we are being conformed into the image of Christ. Through the power of the Spirit, we can put to death the deeds of the flesh.

The result is that we begin a life-long process of transformation. We are no longer of this world. We are strangers and aliens. Our citizenship is in Heaven. Jesus is our one and only King. This is why James says that friendship with this world is adulterous and hostile towards God (James 4:4). His exhortation is this:

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8).

Perhaps this is some of what Jesus means when he says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Purity of heart is not about keeping a set of arbitrary rules. It is not about regular church attendance, nor is it about knowing the Bible from cover to cover or being able to expound on biblical doctrine and theology. Don't get the wrong idea, however, because these things are indeed important. Some people get the wrong idea when they here things like this and think that it means that church attendance, following rules, knowing scripture, and other outward expressions of faith are unimportant. Each of those things are an important piece of a larger picture. To be pure in heart is to have pure, genuine devotion to God and only God. Of course, the natural result will be faithfulness in attendance to worship, reading the Bible, serving other people, etc.

Jesus came to make us whole, not for us to add a "compartment" to our already fractured inner self. He gave us the means to have a pure heart, for only the pure in heart will see God. This means we need to, as James says, "Draw near to God," and "Purify our hearts." This can only happen through regular time with God in his word, in prayer, and in daily devotion. This is how we are shaped into his image and how he transforms us.