Metaphysics refers to a person's ultimate beliefs - or more accurately his assumptions - about how reality is structured and works.
These primary assumptions are usually implicit rather explicit; and that they are assumptions is usually denied (claiming instead that they are logically-entailed or based on overwhelming evidence).
What I am seeing in these End Times, is that every person's superficial 'beliefs' and self-identifications are being stripped-away and his metaphysical assumptions are being revealed.
This seems to be striking among self-identified Christians. A large number are being revealed as simply Not Christian - in the sense that they are merely using Christian language to live by mainstream atheistic, materialist, Leftist and anti-Christian assumptions.
But among serious Christians of all denominations there is a gap opening between those whose primary loyalty is to their church - and whose core ethic is obedience to that church; and those who have taken ultimate responsibility for their own Christian faith.
This is interesting because there are very large differences among and between the belief systems of Eastern and Western Catholics; and Protestants such as Anglicans, Methodists or Calvinists; and churches such as Mormons.
Yet brought to a point by the events of 2020-21, in and among all of these there is this division that has opened-up between those serious Christians who are primarily obedient to the church authorities, and those who evaluate and judge their own church according to personal discernment.
At a metaphysical level; this relates to a primary assumption concerning the nature of Man. Among those who put obedience to their church as primary; there is the assumption that the relation between each Man and God must be mediated by a church if it is to lead to salvation and theosis.
That 'I' needs 'the' church, but the church does not need me. The church has a mystical reality and primacy that does not depend upon its 'members'. This precisely because God has made the church essential to each Man - so therefore God will sustain the integrity of the church, no matter what.
Among those whose faith is based on personal discernment is the assumption that salvation and discernment are a matter that is primarily based on a direct and unmediated relationship between each Christian on the one hand - and God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost on the other hand.
That 'I' do not need the church. The church may be helpful - even very helpful - but may be harmful. The church has no mystical reality distinct from its members; so that any church has the potential to become as corrupt as any other human institution.
By this account, God's promise of the availability of salvation and the possibility of theosis is made to each individual, and not to the mystical-church. So that although churches might all fail and fall; God will ensure that every Man capable of love will always have a path open to salvation, and the potential to grow in divinity.
What I find striking, as one of the second category who regards churches as optional extras at best and potential enemies in the spiritual war; is that those who have taken the path of the primacy of the churches are spread across all types of Christian churches of which I am aware.
It seems to make surprisingly little difference whether a person professes to be Catholic, Protestant or Mormon. It is a person's actual metaphysical assumptions about how reality works, how salvation works, and the purpose of this mortal life - which seem to be crucial.... No matter what their churches may say.
This is, I think, because Christianity has been primarily church orientated, and therefore focused upon whatever happen to be the requirements of church membership - which are very varied, usually very restrictive and specific; but very detached from metaphysical assumptions.
Churches will exclude people on the basis of their failure to endorse and/ or live by behaviours that are integral to that particular church's sustained existence - but they will take no serious notice of a person's ultimate metaphysical assumptions. As long as someone verbally agrees-with and sticks-by the rules - they are included - but fundamental matters of assumption are unknown or ignored.
It is this neglect of metaphysical assumptions that is at the heart of the current malaise, and the deep reason for the mass apostasy of Christian churches and their loyal members - because the self-identified Christians, it turns-out! - have near identical primary assumptions as the mass of atheists, non-Christians and - in particular - the Global Leadership class whose agendas are now structuring the lives of everybody, everywhere.
People (including church-loyal Christians) go-along-with the secular, Lefts (and anti-Christian) agendas of the birdemic, antiracism and the CO2-environmentalism, social justice, equity etc. because - in an ultimate sense - they regard-themselves as primarily obedient creatures - obedient to the institutions of their-church...
"I need the church, but the church does not need me" means that their core metaphysical assumption is that such Christians regard themselves as members (or 'a people') - entities whose individual personal discernment has no objective validity in relation to salvation and theosis.
At root, they assume: If I am not a member, then I am nothing.
Such is the metaphysical assumption that has been exposed in these End Times. And like all such assumptions it needs to be recognized, acknowledged as an assumption - and then evaluated.
I recently criticized the Catholic Church in Hungary for its insistence that it still possesses some semblance of spiritual authority. A Catholic commenter pointed out that I do not have the fundamental right to make such a claim and that my discernment did not "excuse" me from the "one true path."
I am finding it increasingly difficult and counterproductive to argue with Christians who espouse "church above all else, church despite everything" attitudes in these times. I merely wish them good luck and leave it at that.
At the most basic level, church should represent a God-aligned community of people who have freely chosen to follow Jesus into everlasting life. Today's conventional, everyday, institutionalized Christian churches have aligned themselves with the anti-Christian System and are spiritually collapsing in upon themselves like dying stars. In spite of this, many Christians continue to maintain that churches remain the only "true paths."
At the same time, an internal, "mystical" form of Christianity guided by the Holy Spirit is becoming stronger and better established in the hearts of men. In my humble opinion, the future of Christianity resides there, not in churches.
"merely using Christian language" is a very good, and generous, description.
My understanding of Christian marriage and fatherhood is that a Christian man is to be the primary tie binding his wife and children to God through his example of personal familial love, with real Christian community acting only as backup when the Christian man requires help of some kind to further his own work of love, not any group work of impersonal love.
@Frank - It is becoming clear to me that Man can now believe whatever he wants to believe - by his choices, he is creating the universe within which he lives.
Part of this is (as Stanley Messenger says in the above talk) that from rejecting 'heart thinking'/ intuition/ direct knowing as the basis of reality - 'brain thinking' is by now advanced in its corruption and collapse. In other words, by making the wrong choice about 'who to believe' - people end up being *passive believing-machines*.
We now have a world stuffed with these passive believing machines, who reject heart-thinking and consequently become incapable of (what used to be) basic brain-thinking.
Therefore evidence, observation, experience, common sense etc have no influence upon them - and they just believe, passively, absolutely Anything that the powers of the world are Currently feeding them.
The only way they can escape would be to admit their own responsibility for their own beliefs - and to use their power to believe Anything, to believe what is Good (true, beautiful, virtuous) - to believe-in God and Christ.
Interesting post Bruce.
It actually deals with many of the themes that occupied the Nouvelle Theology movement in Catholicism in the first half of the 20th C. There was a feeling among the memebers of this movement that the faith had become "automated" and lost its connection with Christianity. They were looking for a deeper connection to Christianity, not through a deeper rationalisation of it but through a deeper "intuitive" understanding of it.
Historically, what's really interesting is that these guys--in France at least--were one of the main branches of resistance in France in WW2. The more "traditionalist" Catholic faction in France sided with Vichy. The bottom line is that the Nouvelle Theologians seem to have a better moral compass compared to the Trads.
Among those who put obedience to their church as primary; there is the assumption that the relation between each Man and God must be mediated by a church if it is to lead to salvation and theosis.
I think that's too broad a statement.
Not everyone can be a saint or a mystic and some people need guidance and rules. I think one of the big problems of the Nouvelle Theology movement was its assumption that everyone is capable of deep spiritual insight, and left to their own devices and goodwill they'd work things out in the end. It just didn't work out that way. Look at the disaster in Catholicism following V2. Note, pre V2 was a disaster as well, but from a different angle.
@SP - Well, people may 'need guidance' from a church, including the RCC - but as of 2020 that guidance is almost sure to be leading them towards hell.
Historical comparisons can be very misleading - we are in uncharted territory now. That is why metaphysics has come forward, as other types of comparison-based knowledge - which worked well enough in the past - have become positively malign.
Interesting history though!
I think the first requirement of Christians is to recognize that things have changed qualitatively for the worse since 2019 - the churches are not just in crisis, but have actually collapsed in the same way that other social institutions have collapsed: they are now shells filled with something alien and evil-aligned.
Of course there are islands of goodness and sanity in the churches - but to benefit from these requires an honest recognition of the lethal corruption of the leadership and the majority, and of the epic scope of their (unrepented) spiritual failure in 2020.
I think the reason my thoughts turned to marriage in my comments on this post was because the role of church/social group in marriage is large for a church-going person. When I wrote Paradoxical Patriarchy I had a hope that understanding marriage from that perspective would strengthen my marriage, especially the way that the Church mediated it. The most important help turned out to be that I didn't believe anymore that divorce existed, which became a bulwark against that female-hive-mind pressure to punish my husband for wrong-think.
I currently believe that institutionally mediated marriage (patriarchy) has effectively collapsed. So analogous to your understanding that Christians must directly relate to God rather than mediated through a Church, I would say husbands and wives must be "romantic", not relying on proper group support of their marriage. You can find individuals who support you, but not institutions, which will be actively, often underhandedly, tearing down real marriage.
That sounds gloomy though, so I want to add that I have a lot of hope about it. When husbands and wives progress and no longer rely on a middle-man, the opposition makes the marriage eternally stronger.
The pro-family movement made themselves irrelevant by talking about things like married fathers living more years, married mothers being above the poverty line, and children from married homes getting good grades (in schools of secular indoctrination!) They took the route of "evidence!" and ended up making a case based on Leftist assumptions, and had no way back. The case was made that marriage makes you safe, no courage needed. But that message is lame. Safety is such a red herring. Marriage can't be safe AND excitingly meaningful.
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