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2.13.2010

What is the center-of-gravity of the Christian experience?


What is the center-of-gravity of the Christian experience?

This is a great unasked, un-thought-about question.

For most it is unconsciously taken for granted that 'church' is the center-of-gravity of the Christian experience.

For the unregenerate this is probably true.

But for the regenerate?

For the regenerate spiritual warfare is the center-of-gravity of the Christian experience.

With regeneration comes battle (and you don't even have to seek it). The three-front war with our 1) inner 'Old Man' (i.e. the flesh), 2) the world, and 3) the devil.

The world and the devil notice you and confront you once you are regenerated by the Word and the Spirit.

And your inner Old Man (all the features of your fallen nature) fights you for its very survival.

Before regeneration you are a tame slave in the devil's kingdom. You are going with the flow. Swimming with the currents of the world. And if you are an unregenerate self-identified Christian you are justifying your going with the flow in a thousand different ways. You stay snug and smug - and dead asleep - in Bunyan's Village of Morality. And the devil grins and leaves you alone because you are not a threat to him or his kingdom. The world as well has no problem with you because you are staying in your place. And the features of your Old Man (fallen nature) are being given free reign to rule you internally, as you sleep and imagine you are a follower of Christ.

This is not the experience of Christians who have been, despite themselves, regenerated by the Word and the Spirit.

Regenerated Christians find themselves on the spiritual battlefield. They find themselves in the midst of spiritual warfare. Internal and external.

This - spiritual warfare - is the true center-of-gravity of the Christian experience.

Spiritual warfare is what unites Christians who have been regenerated by the Word and the Spirit.

Notice spiritual warfare is not a subject talked about by the 'church' Christians. Seminaries don't teach it. Books are not written by their professors and teachers on it. Only the Puritans and the mystics knew the subject and valued it enough to write on it.

There is no mention of church and 'sacraments' in Ephesian 6:10-18. The armor of God is not a wafer and some grape juice (or whatever). The armor of God does not include a cleric sprinkling 'special water' on you. The armor of God does not include listening to a 'sermon.'

Real Christians are on the battlefield.

And like soldiers in flesh and blood wars they are of varying degrees adept in the battle. They are of varying degrees equipped in the battle. They are of varying degrees disciplined in the battle. They are of varying degrees awake in the battle.

Spiritual warfare is the center-of-gravity of the Christian experience.


* * *

"What? You're saying there are Christians in churches who aren't regenerate?"

Yes. It's, well, rather obvious. When you don't value the Word of God; when you are continually learning, arguing (babbling) and never able to (never want to) come to understanding of the truth; when you mock true believers, when you mock spiritual warfare, when you mock the very fact of regeneration by the Word and the Spirit; when you exalt inane 'sacraments' (clerical ritual) over the Word and the Spirit; you are not regenerate.

Of course they take great offense at being told this (who cares?). Of course it's considered some kind of big crime to even bring the subject up (God doesn't consider it so). To [heck] with them. They're dead people walking, and they want you *right there with them*, dead asleep, tame, and obedient in the devil's kingdom.

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