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3.26.2013

Something I still don't 'get', or understand in Christianity

I didn't respond directly to your observation. I can, and also can't see what you're saying. I mean, the dousing of flames, and the changing of desires and all that I can see. Personally for the rest of it I tread lightly around statements that sex has become something different, because it's so powerful. It's like food. Check to see if the person talking has a full stomach or not. And I'm not saying you're being naive, I'm not even directly responding to what you did say, but you know what I mean.

Here's something I still don't 'get', or understand in Christianity (or at least Christian writers, good ones, ones with great understanding like the Puritans)... They write that they can't wait to get to Heaven so they can gaze on Jesus. Not God the Father who no one has seen and is a Spirit, but Jesus Christ the God-man. Now, I know we are talking about ***God Himself*** and the beatific vision is most likely *more* than we can grasp now, but it actually seems *carnal* to me (and dare I say boring). And to gaze on humans has an idolatrous feeling to it, even though it's not because it is Jesus Himself. God.

But you know what I'm saying... Get to Heaven and just stand there gazing at Jesus. I'VE SEEN PICTURES OF JESUS! But even granting that that would be *more* than it sounds, it is still suspect to read over and over from theologians of the past that they are all emotional and longing to do just that.

C. S. Lewis and Meredith Kline in different ways talk about how we become the actual materiel of Heaven. Instead of just looking at a beautiful landscape we become the landscape. That type of thing. If that is what they are talking about (and I don't think it is) then I can see the wonder of that. And why we would desire it. We become like God, not God, but like God. We are part of that cosmos. All that. That would rate the language of longing and emotion and all that that the Puritans expressed.

I feel I'm treading dangerous ground here. I'm not saying, "Jesus, ho hum..." I'm focusing on Puritan type (and moderns as well) writers who seem to desire something that to me seems wholly sexless. I guess there is the crux of the matter. Sexless. We don't have sex with God. But we do want to be mirrored, we want to look at another being and see something delightful. That's the kind of joy I'd have to imagine, but maybe I'm being too this-worldly. But we can't deny beauty and charm and everything like that that gives delight. Men writing about seeing a man clanks to my ears. Wisdom, in all her beauty, yes.

But I know it's all *more*. As above, so below, yet very different in terms of degree and so on. Even the Olympian gods and goddesses had an appearance that was *more*. Zeus couldn't show his true appearance without the vision of it killing a human. So, I know there's more going on.

Maybe they are saying that seeing King Jesus will represent total salvation and arrival and success and end of suffering and stress and the joy of being *home.* I can see that. But I had to think it through. - C.


[I was replying to this email:]

From: S---- ----
To: c. t. <----------@yahoo.com>

Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:09 PM
Subject: RE: This R. C. Sproul book is free for now on Amazon
I can't remember the context now as I got sidetracked before I could email my thoughts, but something you said the other day had me thinking about the Bibles effect on our sinful nature.
My personal experience seems to be that sin loses its glamour. This is something that I don't think I could have got from the Work alone... For some time, you can have the feeling of "here am I trying to be conscious and clean, and look at everyone else having a great time, being famous, rich, and screwing their brains out! Am I c-r-a-z-y??!!!"
Continual intake of the language of the Bible however douses those flames, and replaces it with a new vision. A vision where all that is death.
It's quite a strange experience to be living through, quite mysterious I have to say.
Do you know what i mean?
s

[My first response to S. started this way:]

It's a parallel thing that I remember you observed a long while back, how resentment and anger is glorified in media, movies, television. How it's portrayed as cool and normal. Then when you learn that not all emotions are noble (something we have to actually learn), that some are negative, and we are total weak slaves to them, all that portrayed behavior starts to look uncool if not inane.

1 Comments:

Blogger c.t. said...

I think the beatific vision, which I've never made any particular effort to learn specifically about, for whatever reason, if there is something to learn about it, may involve a mutual, or a lifting up on the part of the viewer, as in the full image of God manifesting in the viewer which may play a part in the wonderfulness of looking upon God.

March 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM  

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