Avoiding the Life of Perfidy
1 Kings 5:1 to 9:9; 2 Chronicles 3:3 to 5:1; 6:1-7:22; Psalm 118:18-27; 127:1; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-10
I love words, and "perfidy" is a neat word for a writer; it is fun to say and fun to incorporate into a sentence. However, in its tangible function, it is heinous, especially in a Christian's life or in a church. Perfidy comes from the Latin word perfidia, that means faithless, treacherous, and false conduct that denotes betrayal! It can mean a simple infringement of a precept we said we would follow, to all-out betrayal and apostasy. And, to be honest with you, perfidy is a big problem that many Christians struggle with today. What we say we will do, regarding following Christ, in our Bible reading, confessions or prayers is not always the direction we tend to go. And, when we are not following Christ faithfully, we are going off God's plan and path, and in turn, leading others astray by our bad examples. To put this in a physical body context, it would be as if we took a crucial piece of our once good body such as an arm and removed or disabled it. Even moving one of our limbs could cause us to not walk or do as we could at our best. This is perfidy to a perfectly good body. Or to a car, it is like removing the engine and expecting it to take you where you need to go. But, what about perfidy to what is in our spiritual formation? This is determined by how we are trusting in Him, being obedient, faithful and reverent to His Word and call. So are you lined up to His Way?
What Type of Base Do You Have?
The foundation of your Christian faith formation will set up the attitude and theme of your life and church. Thus we need to ask, is our life lined up properly to God's Word? Is our faith real and impacting? Do you realize that if it is not, you will fall off God's best plan and wonders for you? If you home is not on its foundation properly, erected on good foundation "footers," it will fail and perhaps collapse upon you and your family? In constituting a building whether it be a church, an office, or a home-it is absolutely essential that the footers of the foundation are perfectly level and plumb. Footer is a very large block of concrete or slab that is placed in the soil below a building that is being erected. This footer is part of the building's foundation, which supports the load-bearing portion of the building. Its prime purpose is to prevent the structure from moving or sinking. Footers also provide a stable base upon which the rest of the building is built. If these footers are not lined up correctly, off even as much as a fraction of an inch, then each piece of the building to come afterward will not fit or line up with the other. If we are not personally lined up to Christ, then everything we do will be skewed and will not fit, including relationships, activities, outreach, and the day-to-day activities of a church. All will be off-center and flawed because our alignment is off from Christ who is our Foundation.
How are you Supported?
As a Christian you are being supported on the footer of our Lord and Savior. If we are off in our alignment with Christ, then we are off in all other things, too. Thus, we have a life of perfidy. This puts our spiritual formation in a really perilous position in Him, with one another as a church, and in the community too. The perfidy of a Christian life means a betrayal of a trust of who Christ is and what He calls us to do. If our life or our church is not lined up to Him and in His Word, and is not practicing His call and precepts, we will start to fall off the "plumb line" of His foundation and cornerstone. Remember, even a small fraction of an inch off center or off level will cause a building to be ruined. So it is with how we run our spiritual lives and daily living as well. When we stray from Him, everything that comes from Him will be missed or left unheard, thus we will stray. We are called to be "plumb" in Christ. A plumb line is a length of rope from which a metal weight is suspended on the bottom end. This allows the earth's center of gravity to hold the rope in a perpendicular, vertical line to make sure the building that is being erected is "straight" and "plumb." This simple device has been used for thousands of years and is still a valuable tool today. If you place studs or stones upon a foundation that is not perfectly level or if you do not use a plumb line, then the walls will not be straight and will not join up with the other walls and be a safe haven. Can you see the parallels here from construction to the practice of our faith and how we build a life of faith or a church?
Being off a small fraction will cause a much greater loss down the road. If we start to seek our pride or follow misguided ideas, bad teachings or anything that is not from God's Word or are not clearly distilled from His precepts, then the running of our life will be skewed because our "direction-finding" is skewed. In navigation, if you are off a fraction of a degree from your course heading at your start, then a few hundred miles away you will be many miles off your mark. This type of error brought down the passenger jet, Korean Air 007 in 1983, when the then Soviets shot the 747 airliner down as it mistakenly veered over their airspace. Conspiracy theories aside, it was concluded that the 747 pilots put the wrong heading in the autopilot. They were off a very small degree that slowly ventured the airliner off its course and the instrument guiding system, ending the lives of the 240 passengers and 29 crewmen and crewwomen aboard. When our churches start to veer off His path even a fraction, down the road it can escalate to heresies or complacency that will lead the people with whom God entrusted us astray. This 747, after flying over sensitive areas, was shot out of the sky by MIG fighters. Take heed. When we veer off God's path, we too will be held accountable (Matt. 16:27; Acts 2:22-24, 36; 3:13-15; 5:30-32; 7:51-53; Rom. 2:6; 14:12-13; Gal. 6:1-5; Eph. 6:21; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Rev 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12).
- Can you see the parallels from good or bad construction to the practice of your Christian life and how we build a life of faith or a church? What other metaphors can you find?
- Is your life lined up properly to God's Word? Is your faith real and impacting? How can you know for sure?
- Do you realize that if it is not, your life will fall off of God's path? How does this make you feel?
- What footers does your life of faith need to be more stable upon which the rest of your Christian life and the opportunities God has for you can be formed?
- If you are not personally lined up to Christ, then what would you life look like?
- How have you seen things in your life become confusing or skewed and will not fit, such as relationships, activities, outreach, and the day-to-day activities of a life?
- How does your church support you on the footer of our Lord and Savior? How can it do so better?
- How is living a life as we see fit a betrayal of a trust of who Christ is and what He calls us to do?
- If our life or our church is not lined up to Him and in His Word, and is not practicing His call and precepts, you will start to_____? What can you do to have an early warning system?
- Have you seen once faithful Christians fall off the "plumb line" of His foundation and cornerstone? How so? What could have been done to warn them?
- How does not being lined up to Christ and in His Word cause a much greater loss or problems down the road?
- What do you need to do to become better centered on Christ in your faith formation? How will your alignment become more right on Christ who is our Foundation?
© 2006, Rev. Richard J. Krejcir, Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org