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New stick (diagram in this case)

Stick #2 is linked in the righthand margin...

I don't want to give the impression that the iMonk and centuriOn are where they're at permanently, necessarily; I just want them to see where they're at. And see the way back to the straight and narrow. And to see that the Way, once entered, involves effort and movement...


Blogger Jeff said...

This is a great diagram not only because it's funny as hell (oops! oh, yeah this is NOT a family blog), but because it clarifies one thing about your dispute with those guys. They think they're already *IN* the Celestial City, not on any kind of Road at all!


I'm sorry if you REALLY think that I read you because you're arguing with other Protestants. Actually, when I go to Centui0n blog and read his little quarrels, I am so bored I can hardly finish a post.

I don't assert Catholic doctrine to you because I figure you know perfectly well what it is. If you want to go at it hammer and tongs, I'll oblige. Myself, I don't see the point, but I have no particular objection.

I read you because you are COMPELLING and INTERESTING. And because you AREN'T petty, hardly at all. And because MUCH of what you believe, I believe too, and I love to see it so uncompromisingly defended. And because I like you and am interested in you. And because I learn things from you.

Are those reasons good enough? They are for me. Unless...I start driving you nuts.

November 26, 2005 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

But see I wasn't trying to be funny. The diagram describes John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Bunyan knew 'the Way' and he knew all the obstacles and detours and he knew human nature. He knew about the Slough of Despond and the Village of Morality. He knew it in himself and he knew it from observing them in Christians in his time (but human nature and the Way are universal and transcend history and culture).

Being on the Way is rare. It's a rare thing for a person to actually pass through that Wicket Gate. To get to it to begin with you encounter the Slough of Despond (an obstacle that defeats many) and you have to bypass the very oft-taken detour to the Village of Morality (where mainstream churchianity resides).

When you enter the Way you provoke real battle with your carnal nature, the world, and the devil. The people in the village of morality have drawn up treaties of compromise and peace with their carnal natures; have conformed to the world (and brought it into their theology and churches in such ways as replacing the fear of God with the fear of man; and aren't even bothered by the devil in any personal way because they are tame slaves of the devil already.

Entering the Way marks you. It is vertical movement and it causes the world to now 'notice' you; it makes the devil now 'interested' in you; and it cause your own carnal nature to fight back against you because you are now a real threat to its dominion inside you...

November 26, 2005 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

How do you make a 'vertical' movement and thus provoke this three-front battle?

By seeking and engaging influences that are above you (and that are real). That are above the common level of the world.

By developing yourself in areas and ways that don't correspond to your 'type'.

By the violence of being more awake in the moment and holding that state. This accumulates higher impressions and the Holy Spirit Himself into you.

By acting from God's will in real time rather than from self-will.

By truly fearing only God and not fearing man.

I've written about all the above and more on this blog, but they are subjects you have to be inwardly motivated to learn about and to do. Just reading about them when you havn't developed a real valuation for them they just go in one ear and out the other.

The most central thing that will provoke the three-front battle is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Your carnal nature will war with the Spirit in you, and the world will see the Spirit in you and confront you a thousand different ways to get you to expend that Spirit in negative (violent) or 'depression' sort of ways; and the devil will take a personal interest in you to tempt you and try to put fear into you, to accuse you and shame you and attempt to get you to destroy yourself.

Other things are required but the 'engine', so to speak, of real veritcal movement is being filled with the Holy Spirit and thus provoking the real three-front battle. In those battles you strive to basically glorify God more and more (all that means in terms of actions, thoughts, words, feelings, deeds). At first you'll fail and fall. Sometimes miserably. But you have to keep provoking the battle and pushing on towards the goal. You will develop in your ability to glorify God in the midst of the battles and to thus extend your limits and develop along the lines of sanctification, passive and active sanctification...

November 26, 2005 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

" But see I wasn't trying to be funny."

Not funny in its essence. But having seen those thumbnails on their blogs and then suddenly to encounter those same photos in the Slough of Despond, etc., came off as very funny indeed, in an incidental way.

And I do think the graphic makes clear that their idea is essentially what you say--that regeneration and sanctification are identical. If you were to do a graphic of that, there wouldn't BE a Way, regeneration would just put you in the City already. Or am I missing something?

November 27, 2005 at 3:58 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Yeah it is funny how each of their faces in those pics corresponded to where they resided in that diagram.

The self-satisfied Village of Morality guy and the "I suffer" Slough of Despond guy.

They don't exactly say regeneration and sanctification are identical, but practically this is how they live it. Reformed Theology - and hence the Bible - is very clear that sanctification involves both a passive and an active (i.e. effort) role, but the self-satisfied shallow types can see it.

(This is, of course, a different subject than off-the-mark Roman Catholic doctrine that deems sanctification to be the same as justification and that one can make efforts to save oneself...)

Maybe they do actually think regeneration and sanctification are the same thing, though if they do they need to look again at their Reformed systematic theologies and ponder whether they want to call themselves Reformed.

It's interesting that after the recent renaissance of Puritan writings there seems to be a backlash now against the Puritans due to the fact that the Puritans convict mainstream churchianity Christians on the subject of practical doing of the Faith...

November 27, 2005 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I sometimes think that many Christians become Christian because their imaginations are excited by the Story. Christianity is OBJECTIVE, but one can MAKE OF IT a subjective story which becomes one's own. It becomes a sort of fantasy playland overlay on top of the real thing and people become attached to the features that please them, mistaking them for the real thing. The tangible elements of the real thing are there all the time, but they're easy to ignore because God let's us listen or not listen to him as we choose.

When you REMEMBER that there's something hard and real out there, like an explosion or a wall, then you recapture the sense of awe and submission that you should always carry with you. We are so comfortable that we are insulated against it. This is where the fasting and work you recommend is invaluable; it puts one in touch with the reality of one's own being and therefore of God's Being.

November 27, 2005 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I see what you're saying.

I use the biblical categories of fearing God or fearing man. This gets to the heart of it all. Once you truly fear only God you are separated from the world (and you know it because the world lets you know it, for one thing; i.e. you can't fear only God and still be in back-slapping league with the world. The world knows when you switch camps. When you switch from the camp of darkness to the camp of light. It not only happens in this physical world, but it happens in the spiritual world as well, and this can be 'seen' by people and the world in general. "You're not one of us." From your point-of-view you'll go through different phases where you'll try to pretend nothing's different, but the world will sneer at you. Then you go through the real baptism of fire separation. Then you get tough or you fall into a lame depression (Slough of Despond) or a lame community (Village of Morality). Or you go back to the City of Destruction pretending you're on the Way, but you never walk through the Wicket Gate.

November 27, 2005 at 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think ct now believes that Jeff really exists. Which is odd since she is the one who posts as Jeff.

November 28, 2005 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Look at the deliciousness these devils experience when they lie. A pure devil trait.

(And...you ARE lying, anonymous. Think about that. You can get away with it because nobody can see your I.P. address, but God sees you lying. Any lie is a lie, and God hates liars. Do you care? This is not a moralising accusation, anonymous. This isn't a matter of judgment call. You are purely, blatanly lying. Repeatedly and with obvious satanic pleasure. Is this good for your soul? for your future?

Continue to lie because devils are petulant and hardened to do what God hates. But at least start to think about what you're doing...)

November 28, 2005 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

God can't trust you when you lie. It's not good when God can't trust you.

November 28, 2005 at 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your not God & you are Jeff ct.

November 29, 2005 at 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're sad.

November 29, 2005 at 4:56 PM  

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