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Summit vs. Foundation

The problem is the moment a seminary level Christian thinks of the possibility of jumping out of the surface level intellectual doctrinal nursery (and I am posing a seminary level Christian that is on-the-mark with biblical doctrine) they think - and their peers think - that they, by default, have to jump into a downgrade on doctrine or new age this or that. They're thinking in the wrong direction.

They are thinking like they are on a summit and any other direction is down. No, they're on a foundation, and the direction to go is up, as in building on the foundation.

One of the fathers of the Dutch Second Reformation, Willem Teellinck, is said to have become a mystic in later life. Something tells me, his having attained the level of being able to be on-the-mark with pure biblical doctrine, that he didn't abandon that foundation but built upon it. Yes, I'm sure he freaked out his contemporaries, to use a modern term, but it's not difficult to freak out Christians with a shallow level of understanding of what is to be built upon the foundation of pure biblical doctrine (pure biblical doctrine being five solas, doctrines of grace, classical Covenant - Federal - Theology).

Of course 'mystic' is a word with as many meanings as the tangled foliage of an Amazonian forest; though, as Reformed Christians, we can keep it simple and cite the unio mystica, i.e. the mystical union with Christ.

The shallow, who think they are standing on that summit, rather than on a foundation, will cite the 'means of grace'. What is the means of grace? The word of God. OK, so far. What else? The two sacraments. Oh, so, the faith is about ritual. That would follow, if you are a shallow Christian who thinks you are standing upon a summit of understanding of the faith with no where to go but in a downgrade fashion downward, then empty ritual until the return of the King would be the order of the day. Empty ritual justified as being not-empty, usually appealing to the presence, somehow, someway, of the word of God as being part of the ritual.

No, the faith isn't about ritual. For instance, Jesus said watch and be awake. This is infinitely more meaningful in regards to building on the foundation of regeneration and justification and faith and knowing the Truth than ritual.

Jesus said love your enemies. The shallow on the summit can only see this in moralizing terms, if they choose to recognize the command at all.

Yet to a mystic, a true mystic who has understanding of the word of God and is standing upon that aforementioned foundation, can see everything in just these two commands: be awake, and love your enemies.

In esoteric Christian teaching these two commands are called 'conscious shocks' (because they aren't mechanical shocks), because they are things you have to *do.* And with regeneration comes ability to do.

The shallow on their perceived summit, performing their ritual, are already mocking such a notion. Their shallow minds have a vast store of downgrade phenomena to free associate with such notions. (The mocking is a sign of the spirit of disobedience, by the way. It's not good.) Teellinck no doubt was mocked. I have no idea what Teellinck got into, but let's assume, again, that he didn't start worshiping crystals, and let's assume he began to focus on the teachings of Jesus that the seminarians are blind to (and let's assume he did it while standing on the foundation of regeneration and justification and faith and an understanding of pure biblical doctrine).

But who really cares about shallow, mocking Christians.

A mystic, pursuing union with Christ to ever greater degree, fears God alone; and when you fear God alone you don't fear man. Man the mocker. Mockers of the end times.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"be awake, and love your enemies"

To be able to do the 'love your enemies' part of this is not something you necessarily do at an external level is it? you are speaking about the internal struggle we have with ourselves when someone slights us for example. If we were truly with Christ we would be above this type of ridicule but because we are at the level of man we are racked with division and inner turmoil during an event like that.
In that sense 'to love your enemies' is a gauge as well as a plan from which we move up from this foundational level to bring the teaching of Christ to life within.

August 16, 2011 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Yes, my main point was that there is a world of meaning in those two commandments. As stated the average Christian, leader or not, takes 'love they enemy' in a shallow moralizing way when it is a much deeper thing to be able to not be in bondage to offense, to not be in bondage to our vanity and worldly pride, but this is all imprecise language I am using. The teaching can be found where the language is precise and available to anyone with a will to find it and value it.

One quibble: my use of the word 'foundation' is in regards to regeneration and justification and faith and pure biblical doctrine seen and accepted, and not a reference to the level of our fallen nature. We of course (and you aren't saying different) carry our fallen nature with us even after regeneration and the struggle continues until physical death.

August 16, 2011 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

You have to be awake in the moment to be able to love your enemy. When we are asleep, waking sleep, we go with the flow of our fallen nature and react just like the world reacts when we meet with some real or perceived outrage.

You can act from life (like everyone else acts); or you can act from the word of God, which requires a degree of command of the moment, an awakeness in the moment, and a waiting on the Lord even.

When you tell people they are dead asleep in the moment they don't believe you. First of all since you're introducing the very idea to them as you are telling them this they mistake their mechanical reaction to your words as a conscious ability to be awake in the moment. They don't know that the moment you walk away they will fall into a deep sleep, waking sleep, which is where they live and operate most every minute of their life.

Watchfulness, being awake, is a difficult conscious shock to our system. It's hard to get into it, and it's hard to stay in it. It provokes our inner limits in really explosive ways. But you have to provoke your limits to be able to extend your limits.

But, again, this is all worldly language. It can and will be taken wrong. You have to speak a new 'tongue' to understand such things at the practical level. People who need it find it.

I'm really introducing the thought that there is more going on than the average churchian type knows about, and it's not downgraded doctrine or new age whatever. It's the teachings of Jesus practiced at the practical level. You need the Spirit to see it and value it, but it also requires a self-motivation that is foreign to the human constitution in its fallen state.

August 16, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When you tell people they are dead asleep in the moment they don't believe you."

Ephesians Ch.6 Vs.14

Wherefore he saith, A-
wake thou that sleepest, and
arise from the dead, and Christ
shall give thee light.

Faith is required to go there, away from the literal meaning into the spiritual meaning that Christ was teaching. I can certainly accept the idea that I'm asleep most of my waking life. When I think it through its clear most of my days are spent in some dream world or in some other uncontrolled manner that can't really be considered conscious, I can accept that for sure.

Its odd that I haven't really placed much emphasis on it until I read your website, the ideas were kind of sitting there dormant and when I read your website something did actually awake inside.

August 16, 2011 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

We have to learn basic things. Like, for instance, people live their entire lives without realizing that not all emotions are good or noble. The world makes resentment, for instance, into a noble emotion. Or basic anger. You see it in entertainment media everywhere (if they're yelling and resentful and angry it means they're acting!).

So when you realize that not all emotions are noble it is a big turning point. Such a basic thing, yet we are blind to it. Until we see it.

The fact is ignoble emotions like resentment are very enjoyable to our fallen nature. We indulge them because we enjoy them. Any emotions of violence or depression, we indulge them, we 'suffer' (fake suffering). Drama queens.

When you meet a practical language of these things you can make concrete lists of such things. Features of our fallen nature. Once you learn of a feature, see it explained to you, that is light that is shined on it inside you for the first time. It's the first step of getting out from under its control of you. Features of our fallen nature control us first because we don't even know what they are.

Once you begin to see them, though, they actually fight you because they are fighting for their survival. The flesh (our inner fallen nature) is part of the three-front war that is spiritual warfare: the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

August 16, 2011 at 9:55 PM  

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