Wednesday, 2 February 2011

To be in Christ

I have recently become facebook 'friends' with a guy I went to school with. I remember him as a fun, funny, popular, cheerful and happy-go-lucky kind of person; I also knew that for quite some time he hadn't been in contact with his family and there was the intimation of a problematic phase of life. But God is in the problematic phases of life (thank you God), and in looking at my friend's info page on facebook, it is most obvious to me that he has been on a life-changing spiritual journey for the past few years. He has become what some might call a follower of the New Spirituality, along the lines of the Christ Consciousness movement, which is an attractive spiritual quest and one that I think has some truth to offer us all.

My friend makes inspirational videos and posts them on You Tube under the name Amplifying the Light (Atomas Victory), if anyone is so inclined as to look at them. An interesting thing that my friend has written in his You Tube profile:
This channel is dedicated to broadcasting (Amplifying) information and knowledge (Light) about, what may be considered "Secret Teachings". Of course none of these are really secret but it's probably not the type of information that you would find at the local church (lol).

I'll admit that a lot of these 'secret' teachings would be considered gnostic and heretical by many Christians. But I also think that the Church is missing something significant if it doesn't take more seriously the meaning of what Jesus said in John 17 when he prayed to the Father for his disciples that they would be one with him as he is one with the Father. By the Holy Spirit, we live in Christ and Christ lives in us. And Christ is One with the Father. So not only does Christ give us 'access' to God, he also makes possible the intimacy between us and God that Christ himself has.

Meditation features highly in New Age Spirituality. I don't think Christians meditate enough about the fact that God is in Christ and therefore through him God is in us. This morning I decided to try and meditate on the concepts of 'One' and 'Oneness'. It was lovely, though I only could sustain it for 15 minutes as I'm not well-practiced in meditation. I would like to try and keep this up though. I'm grateful to my old friend for helping me to remember the intimacy that God offers us all when we are open and seek this.

I realise writing about this stuff is risky - it's on the edge. But the attraction is in the emphasis on love and on freedom, which is exactly what the gospel proclaims. It's interesting how this resonates with the writings of some of the Christian mystics like Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich, and the more contemporary Thomas Keating. And it resonates directly with my own conversion experience, too, when the purity and clarity of God's love was shown to me 12 years ago. 'Awake, O sleeper, and Christ shall give you light'. It seems that our fear is a block. I want to try and get rid of that block. I'd like to engage in this conversation with others who are either attracted by this or repelled.


  1. What an interesting ecclesiological question! Can I start the ball rolling? It always seems a shame to draw dividing lines between the "ins" and "outs" - as if one set of people have ever got it right. Even the "orthodox" don't practice what they preach. As disciples I wonder if we should always be prepared to learn from the outsider. Just read this (I think I understand it): "We should not hold our views so tightly that we cannot appreciate the perspectival truths embodied in the lives and works of others. We should think of our 'truth claims' as the product of embodied thinking not as eternally or universally valid thought." (Carol Christ)Gosh. Any spirituality which helps us grow in love with God sounds good to me.

  2. Karen, a great book on the subject is "Abide in Christ" by Andrew Murray... definitely one of my favorite authors.. it is so meaty, I can only read a page or two and then have to let it sink in for a few days. The power of meditation, I believe, is what you choose to meditate on. If you are opening your mind and soul to something, it should be the pure things of God, and not just simply opening for openings sake. There are far to many spiritual dark entities that are waiting to take advantage of an open, empty mind and soul. Prayerful meditation to our Lovely Lord and savior is a blessing and can't help but lead us into a deeper relationship with Him...

    The only thing I question about what you wrote is that I don't believe God is "in" Christ, but that Christ is God. They are not two that have been melded together, or one that has the other indwelling in it. They are one in the same. Maybe that is a moot point and maybe that is what you were trying to say and I didn't get it :) And btw.. LOVE Julian of Norwich...

  3. @David - thanks. It is difficult to feel free to discuss these things. As my friend Rachel has recently blogged (, sometimes the language we use to describe our views about this can be misunderstood. I am grateful that being Anglican allows (for the time being) broad understandings.

    I think there are three things I'm gaining from reflecting on New Spirituality: 1) it is so important that we Christians take seriously what we say in our liturgy - 'that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us'. 2) as you've said, we must be open to hearing (and learning from) the outsider. 3) the most important thing we must learn from the Spirit is Love.

    @jeaucamom - hello and thank you for the book recommendation - sounds good. I agree on the importance of what you choose to meditate on, and also on the dangers involved in terms of spiritual preditors. We musn't be naive about that. I think the attractive part of meditation for me is simply committing time to just 'be' with God, when life seems so contantly busy and over-full of stuff that doesn't matter as much. I would like to regain that sense of inner peace and joy that I had when I first became a Christian through a conversion experience. I think so many people are seeking this inner peace and joy.

    Yes, Christ is God, and that brings up a point about the New Spirituality that repels me, which is to say they do not see Jesus as being God, apart from the fact that they emphasise the divinity that is within all of us - that, in a sense, we are all God, so I suppose they would have to agree that Jesus is God, too!

  4. Just received the book 'Abide in Christ' - can't wait to get into it. I'm sure it will stimulate more thoughts on this subject.


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