I seem to be storming through my reexamination of my earlier essays and I hope I shall not regret being to honest about my inner most heart-thoughts.
As I was planning to finally step away from A.D., I noticed a rather odd title ‘Bi-polar Christianity’. At first I was a little up on my high horse. As you know I have suffered with bi-polar disorder all my life, I gave a karate chop reply and then read slowly through the opening post. It was all about William Lane-Craig’s beliefs. I’m not really a big fan of W.L.C so I pretty much ignored the questions being thrust at him and decided to share my own experiences as a Christian. (bi-polar regardless )
As I wrote I found myself responding a booklet I had posted to the net about eight or so years ago. It was titled ‘CAN A CHRISTIAN BE DAMNED?’ As I spent many years being tied down to the election-reprobation-predestination gig, you will appreciate how difficult it is to reassemble myself now that I have pretty much turned 180 degrees. I’ve been labelled with plenty of names in my life. Some I did not mind, ie. Calvinist, Double Headed Predestinarian, but lately I’ve had names like Arminian and Pelagian thrust my way, but if they’d been paying attention they might have simply called me a Christian Mystic (for that is what I am!)
Now that we have that all in tidy little box. Let’s have a look at what I wrote in response to a bloke who calls himself ‘avalon’ (he is a member of ‘The Society of Friends’) and I’ve had some very fruitful discussions with him in the past. Especially with regard to discussion about what happens to us after we die.
Jesus Loves You ( Can a Christian be damned ? Reexamined )
The short answer: No.
Here is what I wrote in response to an unrelated topic, but which throws a light on my own feelings about this nearly a decade later.
I have suffered with bi-polar disorder all my life and it was actually as a result of learning how to have pray properly that I was able to be removed from all medication.
Though it is certainly true that I suffered the most serious bouts of depression during my early fanatical religious phase and that I was better able to manage myself once I had embraced an atheistic style of life, I did not make any real progress until I entered the prayer closet.
Jesus saved me, and continues to save me, that my friend is the message of the Christian faith.
Put in a slightly different way, I have been through the full gamut of Christian indoctrination in all its various forms. ( I even had a try at Christian philosophy ~ and boy did that mess with my head. ) Essentially my experience of Jesus became the bedrock of my faith, instead of the Bible or the many varied flavours of it. I don’t mean that experience became the bedrock of my faith, but rather the person of Jesus Christ did. As I am not a Bible literalist/dogmatic scripturalist, I am free to cast off whatever does not agree with that experience.
What really changed me was falling to pieces (morally and mentally) and finding myself so far outside the loving arms of the Church, only to discover that Jesus had not deserted me. This changed the way I thought about people. Instead of painting them with saved or unsaved brush strokes, I began to understand that I could never accurately make any judgment about another person.
I think it comes with knowing this love of Jesus and understanding that it cannot change and yet to understand that some people by their very nature will not want to be close to such a love, it still does not answer the question about who would be able to behave so wretchedly that they would be excluded from such and all embracing love. I don’t want to bend to Universalism, but I do think that there is some merit in being less uptight about it.
In short there is a good possibility that we have got the whole story wrong and that we are all going to end up together in the same place in the next world, yet personally I think there are some people who will take a lot longer to get to the table of the Lord. If that it equal to what some call ‘Purgatory’, then perhaps there is a distinct possibility that the next world will be a place for being taught into the paths of love, but the road will be very long for some. Sort of like the Beatles tune, ‘A long and winding road’
I hope I have not butchered you post too much, but I am not a big fan of the W.L.C system, though he seems to be quite good at arguing.
Eric J. Sawyer (windchimes)
From: Bi-Polar Christianity? ( D.A – ‘avalon’ )
Update: 18th April 2011
Having grown tired of Kismet’s posts on other threads, I didn’t read it until now and felt it deserved a reply. Perhaps it is a good way to end this blog.
Kismet wrote the following:
Something we should certainly consider in this regard is that human beings have both a higher and a lower principle in them. First, there is the soul, the noble and lofty principle towards which we all strive. However, there is also the downward turning, primitive animal consciousness, which is savage, cruel and ignorant.
Now, it is important for one not to neglect either the higher or the lower aspects of one’s nature. If one cleaves too closely to the soul and disregards the flesh, then he becomes a hypocrite and, like you say, bipolar. But if one lives only for the flesh the same thing happens, for there is a cavernous gaping hole in the human being which only the spirit can ever satisfy. This is why both incredibly immoral and incredibly moral persons can both be exceedingly wicked on the inside. It is because they have a severe spiritual imbalance.
When one persists in this dualistic way of seeing, there needs to be a proper rebuke, and that is why one is judged to be worthless from that vantage point, because he has to be shocked out of his stupor, he has to be pulled out of his false consciousness and into a newer, righteous relationship with the Lord (or Lady) God.
To which I replied as follows: (I added the picture for fun.)
I just noticed this now.
If you read slowly through Romans 7 – Romans 8, you will finally come to this passage: ‘Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.’
I think it is passages like this one that keep me from leaning to far over to Universalism, for there is a warning in this passage which states that ‘if you live according to what you refer to as your ‘primitive animal consciousness’, ‘you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.’ If this is indeed true, one is left with only one choice. Live!
If you liked this, you might enjoy reading my story : From Abraxas to Jesus