Christian MysticismChristian Spirituality

Fundamentalism and Christian Spirituality

By Anthony Nayagan:

The universal message of Jesus is comprised of the ideas of the indwelling divinity, love of God, universal love, divine grace, universal ethics, spiritual realization, and life in the wisdom of God. In essence, these are the foundations of Christian spirituality. The men and women who devote their lives to Christian spirituality are known as “mystics of the Church.” My book, Supreme Realization, is formative and a practical guide for Secular Christians seeking Christian spirituality.

Nowhere in the Gospel of Jesus, could I discern that Jesus intended an establishment of an institutional church. He wanted Christians to seek Christian Spirituality and live a life in the wisdom of God. That is the life Adam and Eve lived before their fall from grace. It was life in an interactive relationship with God, in love, divine grace, and the wisdom of God. That is the life Christ came to restore in us. That is also the church the apostles strived to create, a church in which Christian Spirituality thrived.

Then, the administrators took over the Church. Administrators cannot handle abstract phenomena. They strive to develop material order of a complex phenomenon by fragmenting the phenomenon into macro and micro modules, creating and put in order functionalities according to a linear (dualistic) intelligence, and order them in a sequence (models) that sustain themselves. A holistic and organic system is not something administrators can manage. They would rather  rigidly manage the systems they create by suppressing emerging exceptions, such as science. 

They saw a potential for turning the church into an administrative model they could churn over and over for material gain. In this model, the administrators aspire to have subscribers who are submissive without thinking, driven by fear of death and eternal damnation. For these administrators, fear of a punishing God is more relevant than the power of His love that relentlessly perseveres to free us from all sorts of fear. Love and fear cannot coexist. Love dispels fear, and vice versa. Where there is love, fear disappears altogether and incredible inner-freedom sets in.

In this administrative scenario, equally relevant are absolute allegiance to the hierarchy, fundamentalism based on ironclad dogmas, doctrines that thrive on the innate vileness of human consciousness, and a positioning of Satan as the dualistic counterpart to Christ. Truth is what the hierarchy’s administrator says it is, as long as he or she yields considerable weight over the followers. This cultivates a society of Christians who are thoughtless, fearful, conformists, and extremists. 

These are not the Christians Christ envisioned. Jesus wanted His followers to be assured of God’s love, totally fearless, unabashedly loving towards each other, powerful in an interactive relationship with the divine, knowledgeable in the wisdom and Will of God, and transformed as men and women who have the divine light of spirituality shining on them. God does not want us to go on a rampage to preach the interpreted Word of God; He wants us to “become” (evolve as) the Word of God.

The difference between how we gain knowledge about Christ is what separates fundamentalism and spirituality. For fundamentalists, Christ is a historical person; what He said is recorded and cataloged by His apostles; and His words are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Therefore, the words lend themselves to logical interpretations. If the analysis before interpretation is conducted by someone who has weight and authority in the hierarchy, his or her ideas are totally acceptable to an audience who does not want to inquire or think. In this scenario, inquiry and thoughtfulness has minimum value; but indoctrination, faith, belief, and total obedience sustain. Inner-freedom and fearlessness dissipate but adherence and allegiance evolve as the driving force. Thus, fundamentalism is based on fearfulness and thoughtlessness.

Spirituality is based on Christ, who is much more than a historical person who lends Himself to material definitions. He is God; and, therefore, an abstract phenomenon. His words are therefore abstract phenomena. Attaining what it takes to freely inquire and delve into these phenomena is the driving force to spiritual aspirant. 

To elaborate on this, let us consider a passage in the Gospel, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:7-8). In this passage, Christ is talking about love between a husband and wife. If we take science into account, two (flesh) matters cannot converge to become one unless the converging matters perish, and the converged matter possesses the properties of both matters. Therefore, there is an inherent contradiction in this passage simply because Christ was not talking about “death in marriage” or producing an offspring who possesses the properties of husband and wife, but a transformed living, while being in marriage and love. This is entirely and scientifically possible if the conscious energies of both matters converge to become one. Love is a conscious energy.

My parents, for example, were very loving. They lived into their mid-90’s in a relationship that lasted 70+ years. They departed from this earthly world within days of each other. My mother passed away on the day of my father’s funeral. As two matters, my mom and my dad, I always witnessed conflicts and contradictions between them. But the one conscious energy they evolved into, the one love that they had become, was the undercurrent that celebrated a glorious life between them. Love is a celebration of life in inner-freedom, knowledge about the beloved, and total unabashedness in the expression of love. 

A spiritual person, no matter which religion he or she belongs, is totally free from loyalties, allegiances, and subscriptions to any institutions. Nothing in this universe binds them to anything. Their love is in the living. Their living is deep-rooted in the love of God, united in divine love. 

Christians have a history of violently resisting such deep-rooted spirituality, even among themselves. We have historically abused, tortured, and wantonly murdered spiritual men and women who were also Christians. The fundamentalists even killed Jesus because they could not understand, but found the love and freedom of spirit in Christ Jesus was uncontainable and unmanageable. 

During the last 100 years, we have witnessed a mass exodus of people leaving the Churches. I am yet to come across someone who left because of the scandals and abuse of power within the church-hierarchy. They are leaving because the Church is no longer meaningful as an institution. The vast majority of these people remain faithful to Christ but seeking alternative lifestyles to have a meaningful spiritual life in Christ. To attain this, they are even searching through teachings in other religions that better satisfy their yearnings. 

Ever since I wrote Supreme Realization, I have come to realize His words I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matthew 10:16). The wolves I encounter are none other than the fundamental Christians. They do not want to understand that my ministry is to the hundreds of millions of people who have left the Church. 

I find that the people who leave the Church are not “faithless recalcitrants,” but thoughtful people who believe in Christ; yet no longer subscribe to an institutional Church. My message in this book is; a spiritual life in Christ is entirely possible even with or without an institutional Church set in the middle.

My message to all fundamentalists in the Church is this —

You don’t have to go after the lost sheep of Israel, instead, pray for them.

In a language that you could understand, let me elaborate on this. Satan does not want the salvific sacrifice of Jesus to take effect among Christians. He does not want Christians to have a spiritual life in Christ with love and wisdom. He will do whatever it takes to trigger the sanctimonious instincts among fundamentalists and provoke them to go against my book, me personally, and the people to whom I minister. As Christians, please resist becoming agents of Satan.

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