Sunday 12 August 2018

In these End Times, there has been a convergence of salvation with theosis

It strikes me that something which distinguishes these End Times is that there is a convergence between salvation and theosis. Salvation is having chosen to align with God's creation - rejecting Hell and embracing Christ's gift of Heaven. And theosis is the process of becoming more divine in our nature, more god-like, Christ-like (or saint-like, when sainthood is understood in this way).

In principle, in theory, and as a first step it is certainly possible to be saved (to attain salvation) just 'as we are' and without any change in our-selves, our behaviour, our thinking. This is - indeed - the great insight of the Reformation, and the core truth of the Evangelical movement.

But in practice, in the modern world, in these End Times; this is insufficient - or, let's say, it is only momentarily sufficient. At the moment it happens, at the born-again moment, it is true. But in the modern West almost-always, soon-or-later, salvation will be repudiated, will be rejected - unless there is theosis.

My point here is that it seems to be a feature of our time and place that salvation must (almost always; almost immediately) be followed by theosis - and theosis is a process. When these have converged, it means that in practice salvation is the process of theosis.

To put it differently, there used to be a possibility of being saved despite zero spiritual progression; but that possibility has been (all-but) closed-off by the pervasiveness of evil.

In these End Times, that which used to unconscious, passive, automatic; must become conscious and actively, explicitly chosen or else it will be lost.

It is not enough to know: we must know that we know. It is not enough to have-chosen Jesus: we must be-choosing Jesus. It is not enough to have-repented: our daily living must be-repenting.

The forces of unconscious manipulation into evil habits of thinking are so pervasive and powerful; that consciousness is the only strong defence.

So, we must do what we (anyway) ought-to do - this is yet another instance of 'things coming to a point'. Even among self-identified, born-again, sincere Christians there is a sorting and separation. The middle ground disappears and the extremes are easily distinguished.

Choices are stark, black and white - and to deny the reality of starkness is to be corrupted: moderate, grey Christians are possible in theory and have existed in some times and places; but in practice now, grey Christians are not Christians, because there are no grey areas or persons: the 'grey' are simply not-white; hence they just-are aligned with the dark powers against Christianity.

Theosis is now necessary. Yet many traditional methods of theosis are collapsing or already corrupted. This is the most urgent question for Western Christians - how can I personally, here and now, without relying on social institutions (because I must act now, yet the actual institutions are corrupt), make overall progresion in my awareness of being Christian; so that life becomes a moment-by-moment process of conscious knowing, choosing, being.

We are promised a wondrous eternal life of love and participation in God's work of creation. Our life therefore should not be mainly 'negative' - not just a defensive war focused on rejection of evil; but needs to be positive, hope-full, faith-full - based on confidence in Good.

Because how can we recognise evil to reject it, unless we already know Good? And when we do know Good, and our knowledge is explicit; then it is easy to recognise evil.

God is the creator of this world, is our father, and loves us - therefore, our trust in God to do what is ultimately right for us, each personally; is always justified. 


Tobias said...

"To put it differently, there used to be a possibility of being saved despite zero spiritual progression; but that possibility has been (all-but) closed-off by the pervasiveness of evil."

I thought that was the point of Christ's self-sacrifice on the cross. It was God coming to earth to die once for all for every sin of every person who had lived, was alive, or who would ever live, so long as they accepted his sacrifice was for them. Doesn't scripture say this?

Are you saying that the person who comes to Christ, and throws himself on Christ's mercy, yet keeps sinning, and keeps repenting, is not saved? Must a sinner do more than repent? Is theosis a requirement? If it is, then very few people will be saved, and the afterlife will be an exclusive club.

I would say that repentant sinners who have trouble staying sin free, and who needs must repeat their repentance regularly, and who have faith in Christ's mercy are surely doing what scripture requires to be saved. To say that being saved is closed off to those who believe Christ died for them, but who don’t progress spiritually is to put a demand on people that I don’t think God intended. The presence of great evil, and living in evil societies is not new. Falling at the feet of Christ, truly repentant, and begging to be saved despite the sinful ways they have behaved in those evil societies, was the guarantee that all would be well. It surely still is.

To require theosis on top of faith and repentance is to say that God needs our help to make us saved. Your contention, if true, would diminish Christ’s sacrifice, and undermine Christianity, so I say that your contention cannot be true. What is true, is that theosis is a good thing for those who can 'do it', and a more highly developed person spiritually may be able to do a great deal for the spiritual uplift and progress of others, but lesser, feebler folk need to be able to seek salvation from the very depths of their repeated sinful state, and our Lord promised that they could.

Chiu ChunLing said...

"To put it differently, there used to be a possibility of being saved despite zero spiritual progression; but that possibility has been (all-but) closed-off by the pervasiveness of evil."


I think what you might mean is that theosis used to be compatible with an 'ordinary life', that simply growing from a child to an adult to a parent to an elder in the devout community was itself a spiritual journey towards understanding the divine nature and intention.

But to say that this would be "zero spiritual progression" is a gross misapprehension of at least one of those terms (most likely "spiritual").

However, if that is what you mean, I can at least understand it, because the modern world has rendered the essential meaning of becoming an adult, then a parent, then an elder devoted to the community a journey towards damnation, a constant yielding to evil in hope of being 'left alone' a little longer. A false peace which consists of unilateral surrender to ever-expanding tyranny.

Bruce Charlton said...

@T - No, that's not what I mean.

Another way of expressing it is that in these times people are prone to 'the sin against the Holy Ghost' - that is, they are born-again and become Christians and *know*... then they repudiate their salvation, they deny what (in their hearts) they know - usually in the realm of sexuality and sex, or in politics, or they become habitual and unrepentant liars.

This is frequently seen among the church leaders of the mainstream Western denominations. There seems to be evidence that many were real Christians at an early point in their lives; but - having known the truth - they now deny it in their hearts.

I think this is a particular problem here-and-now because of the stark moral inversions of our society, that are officially implemented and enforced top-down. The falsity is very obvious to the discerning heart - yet these lies are publicly and repeated affirmed.

I realise that I do not objectively know what is in the hearts of Men (such as the church leaders I mention above) but we must all discern, judge and act upon our best judgments. And this is especially urgent in such times.

Indeed it is unavoidable - when we are being asked to believe and affirn value-inversions we *cannot* remain 'neutral' - because to refuse to discern is to yield to evil. (ie. 'neutrality' is itself evil, because a lie.)

William Wildblood said...

Without putting words in his mouth, I think that what Bruce is saying is that it is very easy to become a Christian in name only these days, partly because this world has co-opted the idea of what is good and a Christian has to reject worldly ideas of goodness to find real spiritual truth and goodness. There are many material Christians now but we need to become spiritual Christians.

In a quote I repeated in an earlier comment on this blog Christ himself plainly said that"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"

Chiu ChunLing said...

Indeed, the world has altered the meaning of "Christian" all out of correspondence to the teachings of Christ. On the one hand they use it as an epithet to denote deeply unchristian ideas about the impossibility or futility of repentance, on the other they use it as a way to laud submission to their own satanic agenda.

So it is true that, without making an active and essentially independent effort to come to understand Christ and His doctrine, we have little hope of being tutored by the society around us. Even if a strong Christian culture exists local to us, it will be drowned out by the cacophony of worldly influences from the globally dominant mass media and marketing.

In certain past times, while it was still necessary to make an active choice to be a Christian, at least there was a chance of living in a community where it could be said to be the 'obvious' choice. The one that everyone around you who was successful in life (in basic human terms) had clearly (or at least professedly) made. We are now returning to the days of Christianity being a persecuted and despised minority, not just in distant lands but in even the nations which rose to historically unprecedented levels of civilization by application of fundamentally Christian ideas.

While hungry lions are now too expensive a commodity to be wasted on disposing of Christians, make no mistake, to be genuinely Christian in our time means risking very real martyrdom, and that's only getting more common. It means virtually assuring loss of career opportunities and danger of legal actions, which the global antichristians have realized are just as effective as martyrdom without the same rebound effect of outright killing of Christians.

The Crow said...

It's always a mistake to try to fit God into a human-designed religious framework.
Humans have three choices, spiritually:
They can go with Reality, go against Reality, or tread water, neither going towards, nor away from Reality.

God is Reality. Creation is the ongoing operation of Reality. It does what It does, and can do nothing else.

Jesus died on the cross because He couldn't do anything else, either. He was completely Real.

The best thing Christians could do, at this point, is to use their religion as a springboard, to attain escape velocity, and fly free of human-designed religion.

God is out there, in here, all around, all the time. Always was, always will be.
Salvation involves nothing more than accepting this, knowing this, and adjusting one's business accordingly.