I often wonder about the vast differences in viewpoints and what is socially as well as morally acceptable between individuals and societies. Why do some people abhor abortion and yet others find it acceptable? Why do some people embrace communal type dependency and other people embrace strict individuality? Why do those who go by the name of “Christian” possess political views that are far left and also far right? I believe that the church has fallen out of being in “one accord” for a very obvious and specific reason that I will get to after I briefly summarize a little story titled “Flatland.”
Flatland is a two dimensional world whose inhabitants are geometric figures. The protagonist is a square and one day the square is visited by a sphere from a three dimensional world called Spaceland. However, when the sphere visits Flatland, all that is visible to the Flatlanders is the part of the sphere that lies in their two dimensional plane. In other words, they see a circle. The square suddenly becomes astonished that the circle is able to grow and shrink at will by rising or sinking into the plane of two dimensional Flatland. Even more astonishing is the ability to appear and disappear in a different place by leaving the plane and then reentering it.
The sphere tries to explain the concept of the third dimension to the two dimensional square. Although the square is skilled in two dimensional geometry, he doesn’t really get it. He cannot understand what it means to have thickness in addition to height and breadth. Nor can he understand that the circle came from up above him where “up” does not mean from the north. The sphere presents analogies and geometrical demonstrations of how to move from one dimension to two and then from two to three, but the square still finds the idea of moving “up” out of the plane of Flatland ridiculous.
In desperation, the sphere yanks the square up out of Flatland and into the third dimension so that the square can look down on his world and see it all at once. He can see inside of all the houses and the guts (or insides) of all the inhabitants. The square recalls the experience:
“An unspeakable horror seized me and there was darkness and then a dizzy sickening sensation of sight that was not like seeing. I saw space that was not space. I was myself and not myself. When I could find voice, I shrieked aloud in agony. Either this is madness or this is hell!”
The sphere calmly replied, “It is knowledge – it is three dimensions. Open your eye once again and try to look steadily.” I looked and behold – a new world! The square was awestruck and he prostrates himself before the sphere and now becomes the sphere’s disciple. Upon the squares return to Flatland, he struggles to preach the gospel and truth of three dimensions to his fellow two dimensional creatures and it all seemed in vain. But was it really?
All of humanity is much like the square before enlightenment. We have all encountered something that we fail to understand, yet smugly believe that we understood because we couldn’t conceive of the dimension to which we were blind. Then one day, something happens that makes no sense in our two dimensional world and we catch our first glimpse of another dimension or reality. The socio-moral, economic, environmental, and political issues today are continuing to degrade due to two dynamics which are only prophetically discerned. The first is that we cannot extend wisdom and supernatural (third dimensional) solutions if humanity and the church is content to live outside of God’s government and pattern for life. We are growing more impoverished as we continue to lose sight of this dimension (the Kingdom of God) and are collapsing deeper into two dimension lifestyles which is expressed in humanistic thought and humanistic government. On the other hand and at the other extreme is humanity’s “religious” efforts to create a three dimensional society which has imposed its doctrines and dogmas upon mankind without love and personal example which is the hallmark of religious fundamentalism. Secondly, humanity is methodically loosing the gift and value of “Disgust.”
I believe that many within the church have and are receiving the revelation of the church’s current immature posture as we have failed to earnestly pray for the very things which it abhors. What the church refuses to pray for in regard socio-political environments, will ultimately manifest as its greatest frustrations. The modern and especially western church would prefer to criticize rather than intercede. The two dimensions in the Flatland story can be prophetically discerned as a representation or symbolic of the flesh and soul without the Holy Spirit. The prophetic and symbolic third dimension is representative of living by the Spirit in the Feasts of Passover (Salvation), Pentecost (Empowerment of the Spirit), and Tabernacles (Intimacy with God through Christ) which defines life, empowered morality and relationship. With that said, I will not address the first dynamic or issue as others within the prophetic community are covering this rather well…I will focus on the eroding power of “Disgust”.
The truth is that we can find divine and just morality within the embedded nature and expression of disgust within all geographies and people groups. Only when our triune being is established in Christ through the Holy Spirit can right from wrong and what is moral and immoral be clearly defined. Attempting to process life without moral absolutes is the embracing of chaos which always leads to destruction and a life of instability for ourselves and especially our children. If we study cultures and religions from around the world, we will find that food, sex, menstruation, and the handling of corpses is common within the nature of disgust or what is typically disgusting. I always thought that morality was how people treat each other. However, it runs much deeper and much more supernatural than I previously realized. Nor did I realize how much the eroding sense of disgust has set the course in motion for societal decay on multiple social and governmental levels (from the nuclear family to national political bodies). For instance, why are women in many cultures forbidden to enter religious temples or touch artifacts while they are menstruating or for a few weeks after giving birth? Is it a sexist effort to control women? Why is eating pork an abomination for Jews, Hindus, and Muslims? Is it a cultural and health related effort to avoid trichinosis? Of course not! If we discern with prophetic maturity, we will clearly see a pattern and logic. The logic clearly points to the powerful feelings and expressions of disgust and how it defines godliness from what is ungodly. God has placed this recognition within all mankind. However, it’s the systematic desensitizing of cultures through external sources such as the flesh laden media that has accelerated humanity’s ignorance and blindness of evil and its reality.
To many, disgust is mainly about animals and the products of animal bodies. Very few plants and inorganic products are what we would call “disgusting.” Disgusting things are interesting in that they are contagious by touch. Therefore, disgust seems to be somehow related to the concerns of organic (human and animal) body products, blood, excrement, washing, and touch. This is clear in the Old Testament, along with many other religious books, cultural writings, and traditions within most global societies. The goal of this message is to define how “disgust” impacts everyday life, as well as defining the days ahead from a prophetic vantage. Will “disgust” play a role in the church”s and humanity’s growth? Or, will the lack thereof lead to its regression and downfall?
I am convinced that disgust had a primary part to play for people to decide what to eat or nourish the body after the fall of man in Genesis. As man’s production of tools and weapons increased, so did their consumption of meat. However, when early humans decided upon eating meat, including experimenting with the carcasses left behind by other predators, they exposed themselves to a myriad or microbes and harmful parasites. (Please attempt to recognize spiritual or prophetic parallels) Most of these are contagious in a way that plant toxins are not. For instance, if a poisonous berry were to brush up against your baked potato, it wouldn’t make the potato harmful or disgusting. But what if just the antenna of cockroach brushed up against your baked potato?
The first attribute of disgust is that it is designed by the Lord as a guardian of the mouth. It gives an advantage to those who choose to go beyond the sensory (or even spiritual) limitations of a potential edible object such as, “Does it smell good?” Likewise, it triggers thought patterns such as, “Where did that come from and what did it touch?” Species that routinely feed or touch corpses, excrement, or refuse piles such as rats, vultures, buzzards, flies, maggots, and cockroaches trigger disgust in us. Simply put, we won’t eat these species although they are edible and anything that they have touched becomes contaminated. Humans are also disgusted by most of the body products of other humans — particularly excrement, blood, and respiratory mucus which may transmit diseases to other humans. Disgust distinguishes desire and physical hunger; it also motivates purifying behaviors such as washing, bathing, and vomiting if tempted or indulged. Is there a spiritual parallel?
Disgust doesn’t guard just the mouth. It also guards the body when it is recognized and revealed by the Spirit as the temple or habitation of its Creator. Disgust also plays a role in sexuality, similar to food selection, by guiding people to their socially acceptable or healthy partners as well as healthy sexual acts. Again, disgust turns off fleshly based desire and motivates fleshly separation through the means of natural cleansing through spiritual revelation which bares witness to our spirit-man.
Disgust is also stimulated or gives us a unnerving feeling when we see people with skin lesions, deformities, amputations, extreme obesity or anorexic bodies, and other violations of the culturally ideal outer envelope of the human body. Obviously, it is the exterior expression that matters if we’re to be honest with ourselves. Cancer of a lung inside the body or a missing kidney is not disgusting. But a tumor on the face or even a missing finger is. This expansion from guardian of the mouth to guardian of the body (temple) makes sense from a purely natural point of view. However, the spiritual understanding and implications going forward for the church are paramount. The recognition of disgust and what is truly disgusting must be clear and concise if the Body of Christ is to impart health to a world racked with illness and pain.
It’s imperative to understand that humans which lived and moved on the ground, rather than trees as most evolutionary text books erroneously point out, were more susceptible to the ravages of microbes or viruses and parasites which spread by physical contact. Disgust instills a sense to be careful about who or what we come in “contact with” or choose to “touch.“ This is clearly laid out in scripture as we are not to become unequally yoked. But the most fascinating aspect about disgust is that it is recruited to support so many of the norms, rituals and beliefs that cultures use to define themselves. For example, many cultures draw a sharp line between humans and animals. This inner sense or awareness of humanity’s eternal nature or longing points to God’s specific creation of man in His image and our unique place in the universe and creative order.
The human body and the Body of Christ in scripture is referred to as a “Temple” which houses or contains what is divine – the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you which you have from God and that you are not your own. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20). The Spirit of God within us has provided us a guardian in regard to what we ingest by mouth which points to what is both naturally and spiritually ingested. The Spirit of God is also guardian over the body in general and is representative as the church founded in Christ. Morality is defined and set in stone within the nature and power of disgust which our spirit-man bares witness with the Spirit of God in defining the government and conduct of kingdom life.
Imagine visiting a town where people wear no clothes, never bathe, have sex doggy style in public in front of others humans, defecate openly, and eat raw meat directly off the carcass. The truth is that all people, whether they were Christians, heretics, agnostics, atheists, or everything in between, would naturally feel degraded or brought low (earthly) in a very real and substantial measure. We cannot ignore this feeling and it’s there for a reason! Most sane people would feel disgust at this behavior stemming from other human beings which verifies our uniqueness in God’s image. We would instantly and intimately know that there was something very wrong about these people and their behaviors.
The body or temple can get dirty by what is received internally, accepted externally, and what we have been desensitized or numbed to embrace as socially unacceptable. The point of this message is that the internal and external lines (spiritually and naturally) are no longer defined, but have become obscure and even unrecognizable within much of mankind as media and social desensitizing has eroded the instant recognition of disgust. As stated earlier, disgust is the guardian of the temple, which is our natural body and soul; it is confirmed within our spirit by the Spirit of God when we are in communion and one accord in Christ. In this soulish and imaginary town that I painted which humans more resembles animals, the guardians have been killed and the temples are overgrown with the tares of compromise. Communion in Christ is nonexistent in a godless society and man has become a god unto himself continually seeking soulish and selfish pleasures with no regard what another may think. These cultural evolutions toward evil represent Sodom and Magog and the great falling away in Scripture and is happening before our eyes. Although we should pray for and expect a great revival of souls…The Bible does not confirm this. However, a great falling away is confirmed and our posture should be of drawing souls unto eternal life by the expression of morals and the defining of disgust in our lives. Our garment was never meant to be a shade of grey.
The Lord is not concerned with the old adage, “cleanliness is next to godliness” in regard to our physical bodies. He is concerned about the internal cleanliness of our hearts and the outward expression of that cleanliness. However, if we do not perceive the “third dimension” as the square did upon visiting Spaceland (or should we say, the spiritual or kingdom reality), then disgust fails to reflect the true revelation of Jacob’s Ladder as it is rooted in the Earth by our biological constraints, but leads people toward heaven to a place that is “up!”
I wholeheartedly believe that much of the decay that we see in cultures, societies, and governmental institutions today around the world is advanced and spread by the decline or erosion in what we recognize as disgusting. Without a prophetic understanding in regard to the power of disgust, it will be difficult to proclaim and intercede with accuracy the events and political/societal decisions which are set to unfold. Nothing will truly bring lasting change or repentance on both a corporate and personal level unless the full degree of disgust has taken root in the consciousness of mankind and the church.
We are abhorred at the expressions of abortion, prostitution, slavery, child pornography, human abuse, women’s rights, socialist agendas, extractive political and economic institutions, persecution of Israel, and the list goes on and on. However, until nuclear families, local societies, states, and national governments become disgusted with the paths we have chosen, we are dancing with the evil and the spirit which is the antithesis of Christ.