The focus that so many Christians have on Satan is somewhat mysterious to me. In fact, I should point out that theologically, Satan is almost a non-issue or a non-point in terms of necessity. The explanation of evil in the world does not require a specific entity to be the source of it; the basic Christian theology that sinfulness arises from man’s free will to not surrender to the Will of God and man’s abuse of his own passions seems to be explanation enough.

 

At the same time, if we are going to suggest that something such as Satan exists, I think the theology should more appropriately say that Satan is a creation of humans and not of God. This is not to suggest that Satan is a fictitious entity; that is not the meaning given here. Rather, I mean to say that Satan is created because of humans; our own sinfulness gives rise to some kind of trans-human evil entity, and by our turning away form this entity and back to God, said entity will diminish and eventually cease to exist.

 

Truly, I do think that if people live their lives religiously out of fear of hell, then they aren’t actually serving God. Rather, they’re serving their own sense of self-preservation; it is the committing of pride. One’s fear of hell and one’s greed for heaven are not proper motivators. If this is what’s going on, then one may as well hang it all up and go out and sin anyway, because that would be superior to committing pride in this most horrible manner.

 

With regards to a great deal of Christian theology, I would stay I remain staunchly agnostic. Funny that someone who has espoused Gnosticism would say that he’s largely agnostic about things, but that’s the way it runs. I do think a great deal of Christianity has been overcomplicated; some things just seem so simple and to the point to me that I’m not sure how the legalism and complexities of theology appeared.

 

After speaking with a Red State Mystic recently, I do think that some of the theological revolts that have occurred in the past within Christendom are largely misunderstandings of some of the subtle philosophy used to explain things. I also think that the Church has made a huge mistake in choosing Aristotle over Plato and even Neo-Platonism. Naturally, though, my criticism would possibly fall on deaf ears.

 

Erik asked me recently whether or not I would also remain Gnostic during my conversion to the Episcopal Church. The real question is whether or not I will ever find a particular label that will help explain my perspectives on things, which are always subject to change upon further evidence. I would say that I’m a mystic with no doubt, and a Christian mystic at that, but I would also say that the dichotomy between “orthodoxy” and “heresy” is quite a superficial one. I think the heresiologists made a straw-man out of a lot of the heretics.

 

So, the real answer is that I see Gnosticism as a further developed form of Christian mysticism with its own particular way of handling things, but I don’t see it as set apart as a religion or system unto itself. I know that there are many modern Gnostics who would disagree with me on this point, but I’m not concerned with their opinions one way or another.

 

Father Troy has remarked before that he finds it irritating that many Christians, typically your garden-variety Sola Scriptura Evangelical, think that they somehow have a copyright on the word “Christian.” I would go so far as to say the same thing about some Catholics. After all that has been said and done, I do affirm that the Episcopal Church is part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and I do affirm that their Holy Orders and Apostolic Succession are valid and have always been valid, whether or not they ever entered historically into liturgical apostasy.

Just some thoughts for today. I hope all my Christian friends are enjoying Holy Week.

 

Beaux

Advertisements