Friday, August 05, 2011

Quit Acting Like A Baptist

Even though the Baptists provide a written statement refuting all systems of theology that would "deny the supernatural elements of our faith", in fact, with few exceptions, they relegate those elements to the New Testament days and cast great suspicion on any and all who claim that God speaks, moves, or works through them in a demonstratively supernatural way today.

I was delighted along my Journey To Orthodoxy to discover all of the supernatural elements of the Christian faith, alive and well in the orthodox Christian Church.  I have also been surprised lately to discover a propensity in many orthodox Christians to act like Baptists. It seems it is acceptable to talk of Saints and other dead believers to whom God spoke and demonstrated his power supernaturally, but let such happen to a living person and immediate condemnation occurs.  There seems to be a little more room to accept that an aesthetic, a monk, or a clergy has such a relationship with Holy Trinity, but should a layman experience a like walk with God, he is likely to be accused of being deceived by demons.  I have been the subject of such accusations, not for anything I have said or written, but simply for advocating that our God speaks to and through us in supernatural ways that can transcend the natural human experience. One JTO reader, after having read my some of my posts, affirmed me in that he saw nothing erroneous in any of the posts or words. He later, after talking to a few people, decided that I was influenced by demons. I was also chided, and even hounded by another JTO reader to the extent that I had to block all further e-mail correspondence from him, only the second person I have had to deal with in such a manner.

I wonder what these opponents, these Baptistesque, purveyors of the existence of only a humanistic relational Christianity, have to say to Saint Symeon The New Theologian.

"Believers acquire the knowledge of God by means of various and divers signs: mystical and unutterable workings, ambiguous sayings, divine revelations, flashes, contemplation of creation and many other means to increase the faith of such believers and raises them to the love of God. Not only this, but God informs them, as he did the Apostles, through the bestowal and presence of the Holy Spirit, and they are illumined more fully and are taught by the light, since God is ineffable and inexpressible, uncreated and eternal and incomprehensible. We are able to possess all knowledge and every word of wisdom and word of more mystical science. Furthermore, we are able to manifest the working of miracles and the grace of prophecy and diverse kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues, helps and the administration of cities and people, and the full knowledge of  future blessings, and the gaining of the Kingdom of Heaven, adoption and the putting on of Christ and the knowing of the mysteries of Christ and His mystery of dispensation toward us and, simply, all things which the unbelievers are ignorant of. We who are believers are able to know and to believe and to say these things, being taught by the Holy Spirit alone." 

Would anyone care to pray to Saint Symeon and tell him that he, too, was deceived by demons?  Quit acting like a Baptist.

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