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THE BRONZE AGE OF CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY

THE BRONZE AGE OF CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY

In 1 Corinthians, chapters 12 and 13, Paul says that no matter how orderly the disciples’ community is; no matter how well, properly and sensibly it exercises the Spirit’s gifts; no matter if it acknowledges the “gift people” God gives to His Body—the faith community—, people with apostolic or prophetic gifts, people filled with wisdom, people filled with faith and power to work miracles, etc… even so, if there is not love, none of these things will be any good for the ones who perform them.
 
In fact, they are good for them, but in men’s sight only. Before men, each “gift and service” of this nature can be shown with all its astonishing performances, etc.
 
However, if the person is caught in the Pharisees’ trap—which is the performance on the outside, for the others, for the “audience”—, no matter how beautifully performed his/her accomplishments are, he/she will have no spiritual profit even if things do happen, as Jesus said in Matthew 7, speaking of the works of the wolves who come to us in sheep's clothing. Nevertheless, they gain nothing, because the visible “outcome” that amazes the impressionable naïve people is not accompanied by love in God’s sight.
 
Yes, there may be power without love, but no power without love is powerful enough to go beyond what is visible, as it accomplishes nothing enduring and eternal.
 
You can work great miracles and healings, fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, give all you possess to the poor in a beautiful gesture to see and celebrate, or even surrender your body to the flames for others or for your own conscience; however, if you do not have love, you will gain nothing for your own being.
 
Yes, charismatic performances that lack love in daily life and lack a truly altruistic attitude, filled with grace and mercy, create nothing but a stage for public applause. The soul, though, derives no spiritual profit from such accomplishments.
 
Paul says that “even though” I carry out all these things but have not love, I will “be as bronze”! 1
 
Spiritual Bronze Age people!
 
Yes, they are the ones who live from the coppersmith performances, the making of “gifts and service”, but they are not children of love!
 
Without love, the charismatic exercise only fashions bronze people.

The church got out (did it? Well, at least in “doctrinal thesis” it did) of the Stone Tablets Age (Law of Moses) and into the Bronze Age of Spirituality (as we can note).
 
Yes, because even those who say they live according to the faith in “a living God who works wonders” do not care a bit about love. In practice, love, to them, is something for naïve Christians, and, at most, an “argument word” to be used in order to keep up spiritual appearances in public, among the fools they deceive.

This is the Spiritual Bronze Age for believers. They are filled with miracle professions but emptied of life, and through this loveless charismatic process they are becoming bronze people in their soul.
 
That’s it: They end up turning into brass!
 
“If I have not love, I am become as sounding bronze or a tinkling [brass] cymbal”, Paul said about himself.
 
What have you been doing, Bronze Age man?
 
Do you think that your hands lifted in detached “worship” are worshiping? Do you think you can be full of hatred and still get on a worship stage shouting “alleluia”? What do you think — that God is like your audience?
 
Man of the Bronze Age of Faith, wake up! Without love, you are by yourself. The world knows you, but Jesus has never seen you. How dreadful: Known by men and unknown by God!
 
Bronze Age man, let the power of Love resurrect you. Then put into practice every gift God gives you, because when they are exercised in love, you will be fully profited by all of them. Then you will no longer be the brass person but the Melody and the Living Song of the Good News among all humans and even for angels, amazed at the grace lived out by people like us.
 
Think about it!
 
 
In Him, in whom the sound is only a melody if made and blown by the winds of love that are born in our hearts,
 
 
Caio
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Translation: F. R. Castelo Branco | October 2007
From the original “A ERA DO BRONZE DA ESPIRITUALIDADE CRISTÔ
 
1 Bronze: According to the Authorized KJV and some other earlier English versions. Bronze is also a commonly used word in the most well known Portuguese versions. (Translator’s note)