Thursday 19 March 2020

Romantic Christianity in practice

The idea of Romantic Christianity includes that each individual is the true and proper unit of Christian faith (all else - churches, scripture, traditions, theology - is secondary, ancillary) and our faith should derive from individual and direct knowledge.

Knowledge of what? Of Jesus Christ, for a start - whom we used to know personally in our pre-mortal lives, and whom we can know at any moment as the Holy Ghost. For another, we can know the reality of God - can know God is the creator - and that God is a person who loves us as children.

Direct knowing means that we simply-know such things, without mediation, for our-selves - by 'intuition' if you like. 'Without mediation' means without being told, or reading; without seeing visions or hearing voices - since all such perceptions require to be interpreted and may be misunderstood, and all perception is inevitablyambiguous, incomplete and biased.

But direct knowing is simply there in our minds, in our thinking - limited by our capacity, but nothing else. We are then free to decide what to do about it.

What is required for this to happen? Well, knowledge that this is so.

Then the insight that for what is so to become real to and for each of us requires conscious motivation - necessary because only conscious intent is free.

By contrast, if we were made to know against our will, and/or unconsciously; if we were acted-upon by influences - then we would be mere automata.

God wants his children to love, and love is ultimately chosen. If we want love, we must be prepared consciously to choose love. We must participate in love. 


Epimetheus said...

So divine assistance may simply be experienced as "new thoughts." These thoughts won't always have the shock-and-awe of an epiphany. These new thoughts will seem as if they came about by normal cognitive means, exactly as divine assistance in the physical world doesn't often visibly trespass the laws of nature. Perhaps this is done out of respect for our convenience, so as not to rudely interrupt our lives?

In which case, attending to unprecedented, fresh, new thoughts in our consciousness is an excellent way to make rapid progress - they might be like a trail of breadcrumbs.

Stephen Macdonald said...

I'm quite torn as I believe most of us are. I'm firmly in Bruce's camp with respect to the attempted global "spiritual coup" now underway. However, I also detect green shoots of the Holy Spirit at work around the edges. Just this morning our church's youth pastor declared:

"The church building, or worship services as we know them, are not our Christianity. They are not the Church. God's presence is not contained to a few songs and a sermon."

The space between us -- although electronic -- grew expansive yet intimate simultaneously.

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10

David Earle said...

Have you been following the "Q phenomenon", Bruce?

He made this post on Feb 25:

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

I think your analysis would be useful.