Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Should Christians have spiritual experiences? What if they don't?

Over the years I have been asked - sometimes in comments, sometimes in personal e-mails - whether Christians should be having spiritual experiences; these forming the most solid basis of their faith?

I have been asked this question especially by those who do not have such experiences - on the lines of: 'Is there something defective about my Christian faith that I personally don't ever get spiritual experiences?'

The answer I would now give (as a generalisation) is that yes, modern, adult, Western Christians should be having spiritual experiences, and should base their Christian faith upon them. And that yes; anyone who does not have such experiences should indeed regard their faith as (to that extent) defective.

The reason is that the ability to have spiritual experiences in a Christian context has become necessary here-and-now; and it is the lack of such experiences - or the denial or explaining-away of such experiences as false or trivial - that is the root of Christian weakness and the problem of materialism/ positivism/ scientism/ reductionism - the Ahrimanic totalitarian bureaucracy and Leftism.

It is that important.

Spiritual experience has become vital for Christians in this modern context and era - which is why I believe that Romantic Christianity is now (it was not always) our destined way forward (via Final Participation)  to Life Eternal; and that all other paths will lead elsewhere.

So I would argue that a Christian who has not had any spiritual experience, is not having spiritual experiences, should not rest content in that situation; but should examine his metaphysical assumptions, attitudes, behaviours etc - to try and discover what is blocking the spiritual experiences that would otherwise be happening. And then try to remove those blockages.

Or else, it may be he is indeed having spiritual experiences, but is failing to recognise or denying them. That too should be remedied. In this modern era our task (as adults) is to become conscious of the spiritual realm - and the spiritual realm must be freely chosen.

Thus we should neither want nor expect to be overwhelmed by irresistible spiritual experiences, since that would be bad for us - we should want and expect to know them, and choose them. 

This will be (as usual) a very personal and distinctive matter - each must discover for himself - and only you can discover for yourself (nobody else can do it for you). Furthermore, because we live in a pervasively materialist world, there is a tendency passively to lose the ability to connect with the  spiritual realm: for spiritual experiences to become less frequent, less intense, to cease... This should be regarded as a sign of spiritual malaise.

In sum, it is no longer sufficient for a Christian to be passive and unconscious; no longer sufficient to follow external guidance, no longer sufficient to suppose that following rituals and adhering to morality is sufficient.

These are insufficient because a person who tries to be that kind of Christian will not remain any kind of Christian at all (except verbally), but will join the mass materialist apostasy - even when they self-identify as Christians. They will not choose Heaven.

Here-and-now the only secure Christians are those with direct personal conscious experience and knowledge of Jesus Christ and his offer of Life Everlasting. And if Jesus is then chosen and Heaven made our first priority, then that is indeed sufficient.