Is There a Christian Way?

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I happened upon a blog post during a recent and rare trip to New Advent; a Catholic site with an amazing assortment of subject matter and an archive of wonder.  I say “rare” only in that I do grow tired of its futile emancipation of things incredibly shallow in nature.  I can read only so many times, “9 Reasons Why Pope Francis Likes Vegetables”, before I want to throw up my vegetables.

Anyways, having gone through the Catholic RCIA program in 2013, that’s the Rite of Christian Initiation for all of you non-Catholics, I found this post of good interest.  I’d have to say in regards to my own experience with RCIA, that it was far less frustrating than the type of one imagined in this post.  It was, nonetheless, similar with the writer’s experience in the fact that the program I went through seemed to offer up nothing as an examination of why I ever came to RCIA and the Catholic Church to begin with.  What was my motive?  Why the Catholic Church and not the Latter Day Saints or the Assembly of God?  Had I been called or was I searching?  Was there any metaphysical substance within me that sought the here-and-now, just as much as the there-and-later?

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The Commonality of Faith

Portrait of a boy with the map of the world painted on his face.

In the modern, secular world, the average citizen has lost the appreciation of just how fundamental religious identity is to our basic existence.  The secularist – remote to the religious experience all about them each and every day – sees religion as a membership in an organization; a simple choice that can be flipped with an opportunistic lifestyle, a change in schedule, or a little enlightenment.  The results of such a naiveté is just beginning to roost like gargoyles on the growing discord we call diversity.

But religion is not an organization with a human leadership that shops for designer bargains at a factory-outlet store.  Religion isn’t just tucked neatly within the prefrontal cortex of the brain; ready to be affected by neuroplasticity brought about by human events.  Religion has demonstrated that it is much more pervasive and prevailing in all human cultures; signaling that it is embodied within every cell within every human body.  It is not likely to go away with a “shoo”, or retreat to its dog house with a “bad doggie”.

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The Problem of the Spirit

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Worrying about evil is, quite frankly, small potatoes in comparison to a much greater human condition that plagues the vast majority of mankind; the absence of any consciousness of the spirit.

We pursue a path of consciousness that solely imbues our intellect and passions as the arbiters of our existence, and in extension, that of God’s existence.  We actually believe that what we cannot rationalize, at this moment, therefore does not exist, and man’s history has consistently demonstrated this demoralizing condition.

Let’s look at the Bible for a moment.  There is an argument – a position on God’s existence – that takes on the rationalization that if the Bible is errant in its assertions or circumstances, then God must not exist.  I have to ask the question, “Why?”.  Critics, for purposes of convenience and certain lack of awareness of spiritual matters, equate what they can see with their eyes and then perceive from paper pages with ink imprints, as somehow possessing some form of power that dictates over God and not under God.

Man believes his intellect and passions should be the sole arbiters of truth.  My simple argument against that is man’s history.  Such a consideration is obviously not true given the results, and to assert that it is our intellect and our passions that has at least gotten us this far, well that I would agree with you.  We have obviously put performance aside.

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The Spirit Immured

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God is Spirit

For God, there is nothing supernatural. All that He creates is of order and process in the spiritual and physical worlds. Whatever we see about us in this physical world is of great wonder – it is our world – so we can only conclude that the wonder of the spiritual world must be vastly beyond our conceptual ability. Why? Because God is spirit, and I believe that where He abodes there are many wondrous things. We attempt to penetrate it with the tools of our mind and body, but we always seem to know no more than when we started. Why is that? Continue reading The Spirit Immured

The Rights of Evil – Part 8.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

God’s Biological Love – The Second-Person Relationship

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Martin Luther King Jr.

The second obstacle to the secularist goal, is the natural superiority of the second-person relationship over that of the first-person and third-person relationships.  An individual is a finite creature in that he or she can only interact with others on an intimate and transformative level to the degree in which they can physically place themselves in contact with others.  In the practice of second-person relationships down through the last several millennia, its evolution assumed a pace that permitted a relatively smooth assimilation into the society.  For there to be true cohesion between the members of a society, there must be the constant opportunity to directly permit the gentle persuasion of the second-person relationship to overcome the individual inclination to self-centeredness.  We call this liberty.  However, since the late Middle Ages and on into the Enlightenment, where man changed the final cause for his advancement as a society through science – that of the final cause or will of God – to its efficient cause – man himself – our ability to communicate in the second-person relationship has diminished greatly; despite the technological wonders that have afforded us the opportunity to be closer than ever to one another. Continue reading The Rights of Evil – Part 8.