The Spiritualist

 

Groups of People: followers of Jesus

·         A follower is by definition someone who has given hist/her life to follow Jesus and has put Him first. This assumes a measure of passion for Christ.

Group 1: The Experientialist: Lives looking for goose-bumps in every moment – in song, in prayer, in camps, and in relationships.

Group 2: The Spiritualist: Lives trying to conjure up a supernatural experience in the name of a supernatural God on terms that make them feel special.

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I Can Be a Failure: Thoughts on Christian Identity

I struggle with what I call the shadow: my name for that sudden darkening of my inner vision, the acedia or spiritual apathy, the gray and muffling pall of depression. Sometimes it is mercifully absent from my inner horizon for days or weeks; other times it is hovers, vaguely threatening, in my peripheral vision.

I’ve tried fighting back: asserting, in the face of crippling self-doubt, that I have so much evidence of my own accomplishments that the shadow is absurd. Unfortunately, the positive-thinking route does not work. It has been more effective to accept the reality of the feeling while intellectually recognizing that it is based on a lie, a distortion of reality. Better yet has been to also offer up my sadness to the Lord in prayer, and turn my thoughts deliberately toward gratitude for all the good things in my life, which are many – to be grateful, even if I don’t feel happy.

Lover or Fighter or Both?

A recent post of mine on whether we should love God or fight for him, got some push back from a friend on my facebook page.

His primary arguments are that:

1) the biblical warfare worldview is basic to all biblical revelation and prescription.

2) I created a false dichotomy between loving God and fighting for Him i.e. surely we can do both.

3) I was "fighting" against the "fighters" as I tried to promote love

Here are a few quick thoughts:

First, the Bible makes quite clear that we battle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6), therefore any biblical battle motif cannot be construed to apply to human interactions.

This is further seen in Christ's refusal to fight, his rebuking of Peter when he cut the ear off the Roman soldier and embodied by the early church who did not fight eye for eye or tooth for tooth and instead followed Christ's example and command and turned the other cheek.

Second, agreed that two apparently contradictory things may not be in contradiction i.e. fighting and loving. For example, I love my children but I discipline them. However, that is a "paternalisitc" relationship and it not necessarily appropriate to extend that to all relationships. However, as a society we still need judges, courts, etc.. and in church we need boundary enforcers to root out evil doers (abusers of children, powermongers, gossips, etc..) and protect innocents even though our call to love the evil doers is not lessened.

Nevertheless, saying that disciplining, boundary enforcement or even fighting is consistent with love takes a lot of nuancing as they are not clearly always consistent with love. In fact, I do not think it is too audacion to say that they are rarely consistent with love and are generally consistent with humanity's desire to control one another.

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Spiritual Warfare: Learning from a Christian Hero

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” – C.S. Lewis, Preface to The Screwtape Letters.

Let me be clear: the Enemy is real. Not a metaphor for “negativity” or some other waffle-word, but a real, conscious spiritual being who is in opposition to God and who is actively seeking to draw us away from God. In a culture that has ceased to believe this, we are even more vulnerable to assault – so it is crucial that we remember Peter’s admonition: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pt. 5:8).

In times like this, we can benefit by spending time with one of the great heroes of the Christian faith, St.

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