Saturday, 2 January 2016

A recipe for Christian revival - God the Father and Extra-Sensory Communication

Christian revival has proved impossible for many decades. This is understandable since Christianity alone is not enough to answer the most urgent spiritual needs of modern man.

Christianity is true, purposive, meaningful - but it is, in general, alienated.

The Christian typically lives in a world not much different from his atheist neighbours, in the sense that he communicates by the same channels - the difference is that in God he has someone significant to communcate with (creator of the universe, and also specifically concerned with him as an individual, and loving of him as a child).

The modern Christian metaphysics has become located within the Positivist, materialist, scientistic framework that assumes the only valid sources of information are those known to physics and apprehended through the senses. Physical communications.

(All other claimed communications are framed, a priori, as psychopathic, psychotic or due to feeble mindedness.)

In modernity, physical communications boil down to The Mass Media (mostly) - and this is intrinsically anti-Christian as a medium, as well as anti-Christian in nearly all of its specific content.

Living almost exclusively in this secular world of communications, regarding all other communications as either unreal or spiritually-hazardous - modern Christians usually feels just as alienated as everybody else.

(Even their view of Heaven seems alienated - hence unconvincing as a heaven.)

Modern Christians are typically trapped by the same subjective versus objective dichotomy as everybody else. Their world lacks magic, enchantment, awe and wonder - their surroundings are as cut-off, remote, impersonal, dull, mundane, dead, purposeless and insentient as the world is perceived by everyone else.

And indeed the surrounding world may be experienced as deader for Christians than it is for New Agers, Neopagans, and those 'seekers' explicitly involved in spiritual and occult movements.

Therefore Christianity on its own does not seem like an answer to the despair of modern man.

Conversion is blocked.

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What Christianity requires is first acknowledgement, then emphasis, then training in habitual attention to the reality of extra-sensory communcations.  

There needs to be a Christian discourse which focuses on, then eventually regards as common sensical, a life of frequent and significant communications with the invisible spiritual world (that world imperceptible to the usual senses, undetectable by physical instruments); there needs to be an expectation and reality of daily miracles, prophecies, synchronicities, messages and revelations from the divine.

Christians need to acknowledge the significance - and become more aware of the high frequency - of non-physical, extra-sensory channels of communication in the likes of personal revelations from the divine, healing, visions, dreams, spiritual impressions, telepathy, ghosts, dowsing, divination, 'speaking in tongues', near death phenomena, and many kinds of 'paranormal' and magical experiences.

Such communications, which affect primarily 'the imagination', with or without detectable external sensory input, ought to become the daily discourse, the way of thinking, of Christians (as they used to be in ancient times) - in contrast with and detachment from the dead, detached, despairing discourse adopted from secularism.

Thus Christianity will be not only true as an objective, but alive as an experience. Conversion will solve not just the lack of purpose and meaning of modern life - but also the alienation and spiritual deadness which is even more powerfully and urgently experienced.

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Such Christianity will not merely be true as secularism defines truth, but also true in a direct, personal and experiential way. the Christian will not just be aiming in a new direction, but also immersed in a new discourse.  

This is not easy, because it goes against the ingrained habits of thought, inculcated and sustained by mainstream culture.

A bad ingrained habit can only be defeated by replacement with a good habit. And such habits can be attained by individual agency - indeed all such social changes must begin with the summation of individual changes.

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What is stopping this? Christian suspicion (or hatred) of magical, occult, paranormal things (sometimes, a belief in the end of revelations) - which have (chicken or egg?) also long been anti-Christian.

So we (mostly) have on the one side Christians offering the true goal of religion but no new communications (religion but not subjective transformation), and on the other side spiritually-seeking New Agers offering the appropriate communications but no transcendent goal (the goal of personal transformation gets reduced to merely 'therapy') - each is ineffectual against the tsunami of secularism; and each at war with the other. 

But insofar as Christianity has Incorporated extra-sensory communications - such types of Christianity tend to have been the growth areas during the modern era  - Charismatic denominations, Pentecostal Churches, Mormonism - it is clear that the combination of Christianity and non-physical communications retains the power to convert and inspire even in the most modern and alienated societies.


On the other hand, Christians are also among the most zealous and vigorous of the anti-extra-sensory communications groups - as the campaign against the Harry Potter novels demonstrated to the world. This will not change unless Christians understand that their effectiveness in gaining conversions is being blocked by what is, in fact, residual secularism.

A Christianity which does not address the necessity for re-connecting modern Man with the invisible spiritual world via direct non-physical communications is going to be a merely a distorted and incomplete semi-religion: true, but only minimally so.

Therefore I recoemmend a two-pronged evangelical strategy - neithere minimal Christianity, nor godless New Ageism - but both, presented together, mutally reinforcing, mutually interdependent, synergistic.

Both true and enchanting.