How We Have Learned Christ

“But for him who is in earnest about the will of God, it is of endless consequence that he should think rightly of God. He cannot truly know His will while his notion of Him is in any point that of a false god.

If such a man seem to himself to be giving up even his former assurance of salvation, in yielding such ideas of God as are unworthy of God, he must none the less, if he would enter into life, take up that cross also. 
He will come to see that he must follow no doctrine, be it true as word of man could state it, but the living Truth, the Master himself. 
Many good souls will one day be horrified at the things they now believe of God. If they have not thought about them, but given themselves to obedience, they may not have done them much harm as yet. But there are those who find them a terrible obstruction, and yet imagine, or at least fear them true; such must take courage to forsake the false in any shape, to deny their old selves in the most seemingly sacred of prejudices, and follow Jesus as He is presented by Himself, His apostles, and the Spirit of Truth. We must look to how we have learned Christ.”
– George MacDonald 

Truths Ancient and Simple

The process of living seems to consist in coming to realise truths so ancient and simple that, if stated, they sound like barren platitudes. They cannot sound otherwise to those who have not had the relevant experience: that is why there is no real teaching of such truths possible and every generation starts from scratch.

~CS Lewis, Letters of CS Lewis (8 May, 1939), p. 166

Obstructions of Man

From a letter George MacDonald wrote to an unidentified man, printed in ‘Wingfold’ Spring 2017: 

“If any man comes to me with theological questions, if I find that they are troubling him, and keeping him from giving himself to God, I do my best to remove any obstructions as are the result of man’s handling of the eternal things: what I count false, I will not spare. But if a man come to me only for the sake of conference on the matter, I will hold none. Let him get what teaching he is capable of receiving from his knowledge of Christ.”

 

Unto the True Alone

They will not, therefore cannot, do not know him.Nothing they could know, could be God. In sooth,

Unto the true alone exists the truth.

They say well, saying Nature doth not show him:

Truly she shows not what she cannot show;

And they deny the thing they cannot know.

Who sees a glory, towards it will go. 

But Will it Make Me Happy? 


The question for me regarding the validity of a religion is, does the philosophy match up to reality – does it produce real results that work across the spectrum of the various fields and areas that we inhabit as human beings? 

There are various ideas on having a successful business, as there are many fields of thought on the subject of bodily health and medicine. And the thing you’ve got to ask yourself after hearing the theories (and hopefully testing them in your head to see if they even seem coherent or make sense) is, “But does it work?” In other words, is it true? Does this idea match up to the reality of the world we live in, or is it a “nice idea,” but not at all practical? Even saying it that way clouds my meaning, because there are differing meanings of the word “practical.” So the question “does it actually work?” ends up being a better test in this space. 

And I think at the end of the day and when you get down to the full meaning intended by the verbiage used and the picture painted by the various religions, that Christianity is the one that the most “true.” It is the one religion that is big enough to not only match up to the reality of the conditions of life we find ourselves in as human beings, but also large enough to cover all the bases, beginning with the care of all the multitudinous needs of every individual man, woman and child on this earth. Once those are considered, we find that the Christian point of view then still has breadth to cover the needs of humanity considered as a whole, and of the creatures that coinhabit this earth with us, and of the planet itself. 

Once the needs of all the beings on the planet are considered, organized and arranged for, then we have the possibility of an operating system without missing code or bugs , and we have the potential for everything to work and flow smoothly in harmony and peace. And at that point, we have the possibility for peace and fulfillment for every individual within that system. When all the pieces are set to right, then you have a world that is conducive to the flourishing of the human mind, heart and soul, and the flower of that eudaimonea is the happiness we were looking for all along. 

But as Lewis says, you can’t get that flower of happiness by seeking out the flower first, or by trying to find “happiness” itself. You have to do the work of planting the right seed (one that will actually produce flowers), tending to the seedling and young plant, watering it, fertilizing it, and weeding it. And then, at some point after some considerable time has been spent in setting the plant right, all your labors pay off, and one morning when you had almost forgotten about the roses, you find your plant has flowered. 

Riane