Secularism & Gnosticism (that sounds fun right?)

Todays Scripture: Exod 9:13 – 35, 2 Cor 4:1 – 12, Mark 10:32 – 45

I have been following a thread on http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/a-path-beyond-secularism/#comment-55666 that speaks about secularism and that the world are already seeking something more, something else beyond secularism. This is natural because the world is not secular, so the answer can not be found within secularism. The post continues to say that the church (small c) has a lot to do with the spread of secularism because the church herself came under the influence of unbelief.

We (the church) say that Christ entered and upholds the world but we often don’t really believe this to be a true reality. It is more of a nice idea. Many parts of the church has reduced belief in the incarnate, eternal Lord to “coping with depression”, “it feels good therefore I believe” and “I have all my friends there”. Taken the symbolic, sacramental and mysterious aspects out of the life of the Church (as in many evangelical churches) reduces her to church (small c). Taking the substance or the flesh (like the Eucharist as real Presence) out of something is like eating pills instead of real food. We continue to live but after a while the pills taste awful so we stop eating them and during our time eating them we forgot how to cook. Taking the established frame out of the Church (Tradition & Liturgy, proper) to “be able to listen to the Holy Spirit” will hinder the Holy Spirits work because the Holy Spirit is not separated from creation. It does not matter what scholasticism tried to do with “defining the Holy Spirit”, the tries to define Him did not separate Him from creation. No, He gives life to creation. He is still part of the creative process of the universe. This notion that God is separate from His creation is destroying the church. This false piety that says that the world was to evil for God to remain here. This hate of the flesh (mis-interpretation of Paul).  So we find ourselves between two pit falls. On the one side we have secularism where we do not recognize the spiritual and we worship the flesh and on the other hand we have gnosticism where we hate the flesh and try to ascend to the spiritual realm leaving this “evil body behind”. Christianity has always fought against these two adversaries. It is very easy to fall into either one of them because of that particular reason that we are both flesh and spirit. The lord of extremities would gladly see us camp in either one of those two states. But the proper Christian way to walk is towards the centre. Towards Christ, both human and divine. If you confess Christ authority in your life He will put everything into the proper order. He will keep you in the center because when you look at Him and His light you do not pay attention to either side of the road.

Tomorrow is Lazarus saturday, Jesus raises His friend from the dead. We view this as a miracle. This is extraordinary, out of the normal. But everything Jesus does is to put Lazarus back in proper order. Life, not death is the ruling principle of creation.This is not a miracle for Christ but just the expression of how Jesus sees Lazarus. It is us, with our limited grasp of the universe that views it as a miracle. And the wonderful thing is that Jesus is your friend as well.

In Christ

Fr. Jakob

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