Friday, January 21, 2011

Theology As A Gift

The essential life is the reunification of man with God. Not god who is fashioned from mankind's  need and thereby a creation of man. Neither should this reunification be a superstitious and legalistic endeavor to meet the requirements  a strict moral codex or ritualistic statutes in which we commit to an external compliance replete with disdain for our brother.  The New Testament is full of reference which cautions this type of empty compliance and the pitfalls legalism. 
Many individuals, sects, world religions and Christian denominations (whatever they are) seek to determine what Christianity is and most get it wrong; plain and simple. They reduce and bind God to a religion, a philosophy or an ideal of good intention; but Christianity is the revelation of Christ to us and it is our reconciliation with God. It is not a feel good love fest, pep rally, nor is it a geopolitical movement; rather we are clothed with the very armor of Christ. We seek to unite with our God who desires our healing and a vibrant relationship with each of us.

There is no evidence that the Holy Spirit will inject Himself in the heart of an unwelcoming host. Our relationship with God is very much a cooperative effort.  When we seek we shall find, ask and it shall be given, knock and it shall be opened to us (New Testament) By our very action through praxis which is very much tangible and attainable, the power of God enters into our lives. To assume to understand theology without practice is to understand nothing. It is actually more harmful then nothing it is delusional.

Theology is not just another scholastic exercise learned by rote or traditional methods like mathematics. It is a Gift of the Holy Spirit (see St. Paul) given to those who are identified by their Chrismation and are being purified and who focus on the inner life. If we believe the Church fathers then it is not taught by these tele-evangelists on Trinity Broadcasting not by national 'icons' like Billy Grahm or End Time preachers like Benny Hinn. We are cautioned by St. Maximus and St. Thalassios (etc.) that theology is not a worldly wisdom but a spiritual wisdom and discernment which the Holy Spirit gives as revelations from God. Theology and understanding is not the result of a great intellect or persuasive speech (see St. Paul).

Those of us who are not Saints and are not yet perfected must at least be on the path to purification and healing. Humility and determination when coupled with a competent spiritual guide will help us to approach the Chalice with some hope of Salvation and not to condemnation. To state the truth plainly is not to insult or to boast about my own progress as that would be a farce. These are merely observations that I have made through my journey these almost 43 years.

This experiment in running which I write so much about and which I invest so much of my time in; is an attempt to concretely put into practice our Holy Traditions and Biblical Principles. It is not an exercise in physical prowess or a serious interest in my health but a way of using the body to bend the will; to find spiritual enlightenment. The Holies (Saints) of God who through their own purification and deification lead us by the hand, encourage and guide us on our own journey.

We are journeymen who are homeward bound. That is Theology which is a gift of the Holy Spirit not an academic exercise.

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