02 May 2022
You may have noticed I tend to avoid overly cerebral discussions here. Man's intellect is what brought us the Fall. The moment Adam and Eve decided to trust their own reasoning is the moment they could not resist eating the Forbidden Fruit.
But once in a while it becomes necessary to help my brothers and sisters find a reason to distrust reason. If you are smart enough, you'll know that Aristotle disproved himself and his own assumptions. Sometimes we have to explain so that our minds can find the path of submission to the heart, because it's not always obvious. Thus, we need to talk a moment about the distinction between God's Law and Natural Law. The latter refers to whatever mankind can perceive about the former.
It's not a question of how much content there is; the content of the Law was never the point. The issue is that your intellect cannot bring you to God. It is the very thing keeping you from God. The term "Natural Law" is used in philosophy and theology to point to things everyone should be able to see, if their intellect had sufficient resources. Those who promote the term see no difference between Natural Law and God's Law. They are Christians in name only, lacking the proper trust in their convictions. They do not grasp how their hearts can be a source of truth that contradicts the intellect. They believe that the intellect is not sufficiently fallen to prevent genuine faith. For them, faith resides in mere knowledge in the mind.
This is the primary difference between cerebral religion and genuine faith. All the past two millennia of church thinking and debate have rendered a very large body of religious belief, but not much help for genuine faith. There is much talk of submission to God, but no power to throttle the flesh and submit. That's because the only power to make Christ Lord is Christ's own power; man cannot do it alone. And because the cerebral traditions reject the necessity of biblical mysticism, there is no body of teaching in the church to bring us into faith. All they have is intellect and institutional discipline of the flesh.
Again: If you aren't a mystic, you aren't following Christ. He was a Hebrew mystic; the ancient Hebrew religion of the Old Testament was inherently mystical. Jesus understood it at a level above the intellect, and that's where you'll meet Him and make Him Lord. There's plenty of talk about the heart as the seat of the will, but no one carries through with it. They continue with the false mythology of the heart as the seat of sentiment. They refuse to admit that the heart is the throne of God, and keep trying to lock Him into their minds.
This is also the source of what we call "Decision Theology". Submission to Christ is not a decision; it is a surrender. He's already Lord. You don't make Him so. The decision was made before any human lived, so the issue is to recognize Him or not. You don't have the power to silence your own flesh; it will not lay down and die. It has to be killed by a power greater than your own. Thus, faith is not a decision; it is recognition of what the Lord has already done for you. This is why Paul made all that noise about predestination. The point at which your life changes is when you recognize you were elected, and awaken to a higher level of faith consciousness.
Do you see? I can't even state it clearly. Words are insufficient. You cannot get away with using the term "Natural Law" to keep faith under human control. If it's a human prerogative, then it's not faith. I've spent time among those in the Reformed/Presbyterian traditions, and they talk a good game on faith, but I've never faced bigger knothead about fleshly discipline than a Presbyterian minister. They say grace gets you in the door, but I've seldom seen the like of the legalistic nonsense in how those churches operate. They embrace the dehumanizing mechanism of institutional order; it's rule based, not heart borne.
That's because their churches are still human structures, not divinely ordained. It doesn't matter which of the various historical church organizational patterns you choose -- magisterial, presbyterial, or democratic -- all of them are wrong. If it is not the tribal feudal household of faith established by Christ, then it is not His church.
Yes, I know the terminology and forms for traditional theological debate. It's all man-made crap, and it produces more crap. It does not set you free to follow Jesus the Messiah. It serves as yet another Pharisaical enslavement of people to the human intellect. There are plenty of people out there who need genuine shepherding; they don't need a man-made organization of rules and principles. We should not require them to learn traditions of men.
I will very specifically set you free to disagree with me. There's no need of formal debate on anything. I'm not going to rule by my talents; I'm going to encourage you to get to know Christ better on whatever terms He has burned into your heart. We already know that using the term "Christian Mysticism" is a very blatant rejection of human traditions. It's not about the content of religion, but how you get there. It's meta-religion. If you walk in faith, you'll get it and be blessed. If you don't walk in faith, it will perplex and leave you wanting more. That's how it's supposed to work.
Natural Law is what any man can discover. It is not sufficient. God's Law is by revelation only, and it is not written in your mind, but only in your heart. There is a difference.
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