“Christian Libertarian” Excerpt #4: On The New Age of Christian Esotericism   Leave a comment

Toward the end of my Christian Libertarianism paper, I wanted to show a few points concerning what Christians really ought to be doing in their search to Find God and Deepen their own understanding. This excerpt covers the second point which a desire to see a new age of Esotericism being made exoteric, in order to combat against the absolutist positions of Scientism on one hand and yet to fulfill [while combating] the Fundamentalist position on the other hand. The previous part was talking about Frugality which I will cover at a later time. In light of the second point, the context behind that was made with the observation that we should:

“… Consider also our current age very carefully; this is the Age of Consumerism and Heightened Materialism. Look at our Age it is also the Age of Super-Churches, massive impersonal stadium sized congregations. In our Consumerist Society, we have more than we can consume, and in order to consume it all we live in a fast-paced environment. If ‘rationalism’ is the fertile ground from which Religious Fundamentalism germinates, than a ‘fast-paced, materialist’ society is the rain that it allows it to grow. Consider, an Age of Esotericism would involve actually doing what I am doing, devoting the time to study deeper topics in the realm of [theology and philosophy]. However, in our fast-paced, materialistic society, studies are boring and I need to take in information in bite-sized and easy to understand ways. What is Fundamentalism but making The Spirit Shallow? What is Fundamentalism but grasping simple concepts and living solely by simple concepts refusing to go any deeper?”

As an addendum when I spoke of an “Age of Esotericism” I do not mean occult practices, but rather an Age of Deeper Seeking and Awareness. For all Esotericism is deep down, is merely depth, teaching that can only be grasped for those dedicated enough to search for the truth. A Spiritual Tradition that is “one-size-fits-all” will not go very far, it both denies the mystical mystery of what you are pursuing as well as discourages your desire to know more: “If you want to know more than you are a sinner.” However, Christ knows that those who thirst and hunger for the Spirit are less of a sinner then those who are spiritually stunted in their progress toward God.

To explain also the analogy of Rationalism being the Fertile Ground and a Fast-Paced, Materialistic Society being the Rain that allows it to grow I mean that, a solely rational, linear, and literalistic theology deprives the profound depth and meaning that can be derived from contemplating the Bible, which the Fundamentalist say is the Word of God. To which I reply: IF God is infinite, eternal, and all-knowing why should we limit ourselves to a “one-size-fits-all” literal interpretation, wouldn’t that make God’s Word Shallow?

The beauty to this is that I have the Bible itself to back me on my question, in The Book of Psalms, the Psalmist writes: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) The Blessed Man, knows that the Word of God transcends all shallow and superficial meanings, these words He speaks to us, that are written in this book are filled with so much depth and knowledge; wisdom and understanding that it would take several lifetimes just to really begin to understand as God has understood. Thank God I say for the interpretative tradition of The Church which has exceeded more than just one lifetime of any individual that allows us to refine and gather a deeper appreciation of the Faith.

Nonetheless, I digress, Rationalism being the fertile ground gives the foundation for making the Bible a literal, linear, hyper-rational book. Our Fast-Paced, Materialistic Society then is the ground that allows Fundamentalism to grow, how so? If you live the life of one in a fast-paced world, how can you expect to contemplate on the Law of God, Day and Night, let alone anything of a Timeless Nature? One must make time for God! If your values are placed in Material Gain, you are bound to confuse the will of God with material loss always being a punishment from God and material gain always being a reward from God, when in fact it does not work like that! Hence, pastors and charismatics who teach this deeply flawed Prosperity Gospel. I will be writing a more in-depth post concerning the Prosperity Gospel in November, which I consider perfect timing for Black Friday and the Holiday Season. I will also being posting an article this month, desiring to go more in-depth on the Issue of Spiritual Infantilism and Fundamentalism.

Now as another disclaimer, I am not saying that Small Bite-Sized Chunks of Information are bad, I confess it is sometimes in these small, bite-sized talking points that I comeback to reconsider certain assumptions and conclusions I have drawn. However, I remain skeptical of those claiming to be Christian using small bite-sized talking points and those who work in Super Churches or misuse their Christianity in order to gain some politico-economic favor. My skepticism however, is more so directed toward a Church founded in 1983, 1850, 1670 or anytime following the Protestant Reformation then toward the more established and traditional Church itself, speaking of the Catholic-Orthodox Churches. Now does this mean these Churches are not faulty? Absolutely not, but there is a context present there that transcend the Shallow and Literalistic Interpretative Traditions founded anytime between the Protestant Reformations, The Age of Reason and up to the present day.

The Question remains of course, how can we reach this Age of Christian Esotericism? This age in which Christians Everywhere comeback to the True and Profound Interpretative Tradition of the Church, reading the Writings of Mystics, Theologians, and Patristics and attempting to Create a True Spiritual Theology that can show how Christianity is not some elitist exclusivistic religion as we know it today, but rather an Inclusive Fulfillment of Religion and Spirituality as it was originally understood to be. The Answer is simple, yet complex: In Christ! How do I mean by that? To War Against the World, to accept the fact that we live in a world that is shallow, superficial, materialistic, quick-paced and filled with an obsessive consumerism, BUT TO NOT Identify with it, TO NOT Internalize It. That is how you begin the work, and to share with others the same ideal once you see the labor of doing so manifest in your life! In the beginning it will seem like an act of Self-Sacrifice, because [those who are reading this] may have very well internalized worldly values and identified with world itself, knowingly or not! But in the end you will see after a time of laboring that this search will pay off and you will see how grateful one can be for doing so.

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Posted October 2, 2011 by jimbo9889 in The Objectives

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