Monday 25 January 2010

In Him was the light of men

Paul Anderson Walsh just did a short video on Facebook commenting on the phrase
In Him was the light of men. He was flagging up the way Christians perceive non-Christians.
I replied that this is one of the biggest changes that take place as we move out of Christian childhood/youth (1John2) and into Fatherhood. We now see with a single eye. We don't divide God up into Christendom and nonChristendom, secular and spiritual.

Why? In the second level, and for many of us this has been a Holy Spirit and me secondlevel experienced in the charismatic realm, we divided everything up into born again and non-born again. We made crass and hurtful judgments based on human perceptions and assumptions drawn from the simple intellectual equation: if a person is not born again then their contribution in this world is decidedly iffy.

All religions do this. And this is the irony. Christianity is meant to be different. We claim that Jesus is the Life. So therefore there must be some evidence in the form of a new way of behaviour. If not, we just sell up now...become a Baptist, a Methodist, a Catholic or an Anglican and just acquiesce to the particular religious form surrounding us.
In the third level we make some extraordinary discoveries.
We learn that we are spirit.
But we learn that this spirit is variously expressed like a lamp or lightbulb through the lampshade of soul and body.
We learn in Christ we change spirit at new birth. But our lampshade remains pretty much as it was....except that now it manifests good fruit of the Spirit and positive actions.

So we come to the next bombshell. We realise that all the people that surround us whether Christian or non Christian, are at one level, the more surface levels , unable to change from their God-given selves...their flavours, their giftings....all that changes...and this is after all the real one at their spirit centre when they move from darkness to life in new birth.
This is what is known as "circumcision of the heart" . But even in the natural realm, what is circumcision but a removal of a tiny bit of skin at the tip of the reproductive organ? When we look in Christ, and see no man after the flesh:
We see a man or woman moving in / not moving in the Spirit of God....but either way we see their souls and bodies pretty much how God made them to be.
And I think that is what Paul Anderson Walsh is trying to get over.
We honour the God- created in each individual. And we meet everyone in this positive way. Even if we came face to face with Al Capone! And on the foundation of what they have already we seek to communicate the spiritual need to turn round from darkness to light at their spirit centre. Not in some Dalek process that evangelism has been guity of in the past: having a sub agenda....I will only like you if you convert. But this time loving from that Other Lover that is at our spirit centre whose name is Jesus....and will go on loving whatever another person chooses to do.

But apart from the Spirit falling in meetings, this only seems to take place on a daily basis as we get fixed in the third level revelation of Christ living His life as me.

Here is an extract of CS Lewis that Norman Grubb uses in his final book "Yes Iam" at the end of Chapter One.

**C. S. Lewis, in Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer ver (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), chapter 13, makes several statements which distinguish monism from pantheism:
"On the one hand, the man who does not regard God as other than himself cannot be said to have a religion at all.
On the other hand, if I think God other than myself in the same way in which my fellow-men, and objects in general, are other than myself, I am beginning to make Him an idol.

I am daring to treat His existence as somehow parallel to my own.

But He is the ground of our being.

He is always both within us and over against us.
Our reality is so much from His reality as He, moment by moment, projects into us .... Arnold speaks of us as 'en-isled'from one another in'the sea of life.' But we can't be similarly 'en-isled' from God. To be discontinuous from God as I am discontinuous from you would be annihilation ....
"We must, no doubt, distinguish this ontological continuity between Creator and creature which is, so to speak, 'given' by the relation between them, from the union of wills which, under Grace, is reached by a life of sanctity.

The ontological continuity is, I take it, unchangeable, and exists between God and a reprobate (or a devil) no less than between God and a saint.'Whither shall I go then from thy presence? If I go down to hell, thou art there also.' .. .
"In Pantheism God is all. But the whole point of creation surely is that He was not content to be all. He intends to be 'all in all' " (pp. 67-71).
See also: Ephesians 4:6, Acts 17:28 and Romans 11:36.

Paul Anderson Walsh also wears other hats

This was the show clip that shows what it was about: Truly inspirational


Anonymous said...

Holy smackaroo! lol...

So what is your definition of pantheism?

In all humility, I hope you will proofread your posts because so much of what you wrote can be misconstrued, yet I'm trying hard to understand what you're saying. I also listened to Paul's talk on the video, and he's not saying up" the way Christians perceive nonChristians. I thought he was offering insight into what exactly the Scripture means, "In Him was the light of men."

I don't perceive it hurtful to see folks as born again or not. Even Jesus said, "You must be born again." It's not something to beat them over the head (with a bible, no doubt) but gives us understanding as how we may interact with grace.

I'm on a journey with Jesus Christ, to shed the graveclothes of religion, but I still believe that, in these perilous times, we must *still* weigh what man says against truths documented for us in the bible. Does that make me a bible worshiper? Nope. But it just seems lately that anything goes! And my prayer is that we'd continue in love and grace to share the good news of Jesus so that every man and woman will receive the life, that is the light of men.

Thank you!!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Thanks for taking the time to write so graciously. So there are 2 thankyous there. 1.for writing2.for not being personal but keeping the questions objective. I have no real idea on how these posts are being perceived unless people give feedback.

Paul A.W. is saying there is a light in man which man cannot square with the darkness he sees inside him. Presumably, without that light we would be irretrievably lost without hope of ever perceiving the truth in Christ.
"I don't perceive it hurtful to see folks as born again or not."
"...and this is after all the real one at their spirit centre when they move from darkness to life in new birth."
and"When we look in Christ, and see no man after the flesh:
We see a man or woman moving in / not moving in the Spirit of God."
The second one goes a bit further to include a born again person exhibiting works of that are just not in the flow of what the Holy Spirit is doing.
This would be like Peter(yes I know this was before Jesus had breathed into him) minute confessing "You are the Christ" next thing he is saying "You don't want to go up to Jerusalem, Lord".

The hurt I was writing about is rather this:
when for example we are so locked into a manmade process of getting someone born again we miss the fact that something that person is doing right now is the very means by which God is speaking to them to lead them to the Kingdom.

or another type of hurt is when a composer like say Shostakovitch paints in sound the very interior world of what it is to live in a repressive regime, at one minute polishing up its brasses to go on parade, the next exterminating whole countrysides of peoples it has decided it doesn't like. If a born again person hears that music and it is not praise music, and says "OOOO that sounds is clearly of the devil"
then yes....we get unnecessary hurt. Because someone has enough light to be born again, but not enough light to see where Shostakovitch was coming from.

As for discussing pantheism or not and explaining CS Lewis's text, seeing Christ in everything is not a left-brain activity nor explicable as such. "Christ in us the hope of glory" except in a rather limited form as "Asking Jesus into your life" (which is like the necessary marriage certificate by the way) is not a left-brain verse either.In fact as a verse of teaching it is just about meaningless. But in the Holy Spirit it becomes everything.

Which is why the New Testament spells out how we do meetings. Being filled with the Spirit singing new songs,comparing spiritual with spiritual, speaking in tongues, interpreting, prophesying....
these are all either left brain/ heart activities or just plain heart activities." But purely left-brain activities on their own...NO WAY.
The only way we understand anything is to immerse ourselves in scripture and then get sozzled in the Spirit so He can bring all the verses to life for us.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for taking time to discuss this some more. I'm home sick today and have been reading blogs:-) I have to admit, my attitude is ever-changing where grace is concerned, because I see how I've taken on some kind of Christian "herd" mentality in judging those outside of Christ (in years past). It does me good to discuss these things, and let the Holy Spirit enlighten me.

I see so many people on the internet arguing about doctrine and beliefs, and insisting this one is right, or that one is wrong, and it's gotten to the point that I'm sickened by it all. I know Jesus loved people. Wait, make that present tense - He LOVES people, all of us, whether we acknowledge Him or not. The only real problem I have is agreeing with Paul and others that each man is born with that that "light." You see, I've thought the bible said Jesus was indeed the light of men...but I always took that to mean He became the light in whosoever believed in Him (a transaction occuring by the power of the Holy Spirit). I'm no theologian or even bible student, but I've read my bible a good bit these past 20+ years. I'm fascinated to learn how I can still open these pages and read something, and finally comprehend a gem of truth that I never saw there before.

Forgive my rambling...pray that I'll see what it is I need to see. God bless you and thank you again for sharing your wisdom with me.


PS--Just remembered something I wanted to mention. If it's true, that all men have the light of Christ inside them, what is to distinguish our beliefs from pantheism? Pantheism believes that God is inside every man.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Denominational churches love this territory because they don't need to stress being born again. I am DEFINITELY NOT GOING back there again. Jesus is alive and His new birth is real. See how you get on with the second video.

Is your name Annie or is that an abbreviation of Anonymous?