a lot of people, fundamentalist christians to be specific, have attacked me in my journey for being what they consider to be “too post modern in my thinking/writing/being”. i wrote a blog mentioning mysticism recently and this select group jumped on me like a southern baptist preacher at an all you can eat buffet! but i have to question them about their faith because it seems very mystical… so does christianity as a whole. the bible is also one of the most mystical documents in existence. why is this? let’s look at the biblical account broadly and see if it falls in line with what my critics are saying.
we will start with the belief in “ex nihilo” creationism, by a God that always was, is and will be, a God with no creator, no beginning, etc. then we will read the account of a man being made out of dirt, that came alive because God breathed life into him. so the man needed a partner and God, seeing that none of the animals would do, decided to perform the world’s first surgery, taking adam’s rib and fashioning it into a woman. next we see that a talking snake tempted eve, while she and adam lived in a perfect garden of sinless perfection, a garden where adam and eve walked around naked (i bet she was a 10 by the way). later in genesis, we see act of one man building an arc that would survive a global flood and hold two of every ‘kind’ of creature for most likely over a year. in exodus we see a nation of people enslaved by an egyptian pharaoh and then freed by a baby that was found in a basket on the nile river, who parted an entire sea, performed many miracles, by the power of the Lord, who saw God’s butt and came down with a glowing face. in the book of joshua, we see a mighty city fall to a group of people who marched around the city’s walls, once a day for six days and on the seventh the city fell. in the book of judges we see a man so strong that he could carry the doors of a city gate, could topple a building by pushing two pillars out of alignment, could fight lions, and could do so because he had long hair? so when his hair got cut he lost his power, and it was by a woman he wasn’t supposed to be with, no doubt. all of these stories lead into the new testament where a virgin conceives and bears a baby boy, who happens to be God. this boy Jesus performs many miracles leading up to his martyrdom on the cross and his resurrection from the dead three days later. then he ascended up into heaven. in the book of revelation we see that Jesus will come back and will rapture all of his followers, and then after a lot of crazy things happening, will come back and defeat the fallen angel, a.k.a. the snake that tempted eve and the instigator of evil in a final battle resulting in the destruction of earth, construction of a new earth, and an eternity of “heaven” for those that believe in all of the above things.
are the above beliefs not in fact mystical in nature? if someone believes that all of those things happened to help us better learn how to communicate/know/relate to God/a higher being, doesn’t that fit the definition of mysticism?
webster’s dictionary defines mysticism as n. 1. a religion based on mystical communion with an ultimate reality. 2. obscure or irrational thought. 3. a philosophy based upon spiritual intuition that is believed to transcend ordinary sensory experiences or understanding.
the fact of the matter is that christianity is a mystic, metaphysical, system of belief and it most certainly is fluid. i have to also ask my opponents if new, original thought about religion, about Christian religion to be specific, is wrong to explore? the trinity is a belief that came about hundreds of years after the bible was written, and it is a radical belief. the belief in a triune God is borderline polytheistic, but you believe in it right? what about practice/methodology, etc? martin luther questioned crooked church practices and wanted to make spirituality accessible to the common man. was that wrong?
we need to constantly be thinking about chrisitian spirituality and how it fluidly fills the gaps of modern reality- which changes with every day that passes- and aid in that process of changing the shape of our beliefs to meet the changing nature of reality. i am not saying that we will ever change the core fundamentals of our faith, at all, rather that there are a lot of things open to interpretation and tradition tends to hamper that change.
God is a mysterious God!