Key Word:- CLEAN
Title:- Of Dogma and Dynamite
Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there?
It has been my observation that with the fall of the established churches, ‘spirituality’ has increased and with the fall of the Curate, there has come the rise of the meta physician. When I talk of ‘spirituality’ I am not assigning good or bad to the definition, but simply recognizing that people at the beginning of the 21st century are very aware of both the spiritual side of their nature and the spiritual world and are comfortable to explore both of these arenas. In addition to this, when I talk of the ‘Curate’ I am of course referring to a very old but wonderful name for any Pastor or Clergyman. It now seems too long ago that Pastors were known as ‘curers of souls’. Their work then was essentially metaphysical, dealing with the unseen spirit of a man as it inhabited the unseen spiritual world. Pastors today, especially in our larger churches are more likely to be corporate managers, business executives, purveyors of purposes, principles, and mission statements, being more au fait with bank statements and collection campaigns than the Word of God and the blessed Holy Spirit. So the ancient curate of old, the metaphysician of times past in the Christian church and the true Pastors of ages gone by are all in this respect, mostly extinct. So as spirituality rises, a vacuum has been left by the church and it is being filled!
Most general car mechanics are ‘pan manufacturer’. In other words they recognise a combustion engine, whether it sits in a Ford or a Chevy, a Honda or a Toyota, it doesn’t matter, it’s a combustion engine! In the same way, most metaphysicians today are ‘pan spiritual.’ Spirituality is spirituality; truth is truth, whether it resides with Buddhism or Baptists. However 'spirituality' is deemed by today’s metaphysicians to be mostly likely found in Buddhism! These metaphysicians have vast followings. The reason is simple, and let’s not use 'the blindness of demonization' card just yet. The reason they are on the rise is because they have such a good measure of success! They are able to come up with the goods they have promised. Their methods seemingly work, for to some extent they can cure souls and relieve spirits of many hindrances, which in turn has led to peace, sometimes physical healing and definitely a greater awareness of self, personal gifting and the 'divine'. These are the facts presented to us by multitudes of personal testimony. They are not all lying and they are not all deceived. So, just what is happening here? Why such success?
Three things and I believe three answers:
First there has been a misuse of language and subsequent loss of linguistics. Theological terms have been replaced with more acceptable ones. To the ‘Pan-whateverists’ it doesn’t matter what we call 'it' after all? So:
‘sin’ has become, ‘baggage’ or ‘hindrance’;
it’s ‘deathly killing power’ has been called ‘toxicity’;
‘repentance’ is simply ‘letting go’;
‘walking in the Spirit’ is called ‘positive living;’
‘peace’ is just ‘being centered’; ‘
God’ is ‘the greater good’ the ‘ultimate intention,’ the source of all ‘positive power’.
Language then has become pan dimensional, pan denominational, pantheistic. This is much more acceptable to pan spiritual post modern man, for the edges of the absolutes have been truly blurred indeed. The warping and blurring of Christian theological terms has made Hollywood Buddhism very attractive.
Secondly, ‘self realization’ has become the forefront of all metaphysical endeavor. “For”, as they will tell you, “how can we know God if we do not know ourselves?” After all, the divine will only speak to our true selves. So it is imperative to walk in the newness and trueness of who we really are. We need to focus on our selves for people are lost not only in theological terms but also lost in cyberspace, lost in an overwhelming technological tsunami, lost in financial slavery, lost in family fragmentation. In many, many ways, people have lost themselves! The quest to reclaim who they are and the dignity that goes with that, is in and of itself, very attractive. Who wouldn’t want to truly find themselves? The searching for and the embracing of one's true self, is seen is now a great journey which is most worthy of pursuance.
Thirdly, true wholeness, that is, the defragmentation of the individual, can only be achieved by going on this journey of self realization. It is only then that we can know the divine, that is, when we are authentic, that is, when we are whole! After all, people still have eternity in their hearts, still have a God shaped hole within them that needs filling. This journey then of a self realization that in the end may find God, is also remarkably attractive. However, the message that we will find Christ when we find our true selves is one that needs much further examination. Still, the defragmentation of the personal self which pushes us towards personal wholeness is an attractive prospect for many.
What should the response of the church be to these three reasons for the 'success' of post modern pan spirituality? What should be your response dear friend?
Well first of all, we need to corporately repent. We have failed to come up with ‘the goods’ for both ourselves and other people. We have failed in our pastoral training by churning out politicians, managers and corporate executives from our seminaries, rather than Doctors of the spirit! There has been for many years, no balm in Gilead. The church has shamed itself and failed humanity in not coming up with good doctors.
Second, we need to reclaim our linguistic ability, for when we find our voice, our words will have power. Remember, truth is only truth, when it is found in context. That context is the meta-narrative of the revelation of God’s Holy Word, the Bible. We must know and use The Word, like we have never known it or used it before. Dogma alone though will not do, no, our doctrine must be linked again to the dynamite of the Holy Spirit.
Lastly and individually, we need to repent of our own lack of power; our own petty walk of religion that is often times seen in our seemingly magnificent outwardness,♠ but most truly manifest in our secret our most pathetic inwardness.
Today then, let us covenant to begin our real journey, our deep sanctification with Jesus. Let such repentance and heavenly resolve, so renew our inheritance and so reclaim our power, that our position, presence and prominence in the spiritual world, would be as it should be! May God so help us in this. Amen.
Listen:- ….if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
Pray: - Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14