16- We must not be concerned about the quantity or cultural [even our church culture] acceptability of our beliefs; but rather, be attentive to the quality and sincerity of the beliefs we have in our relationship/fellowship with God. God already knows the quantity and quality of our true beliefs; and our lack, or misdirection, of faith comes as no shock to him when we misspeak or disobey – He is constantly and Lovingly present in his Holy Spirit, and eager to help us follow His Truth. What other people believe about the quantity or accuracy of our belief may have some sway over our human cultural acceptability; but has no, and should not be allow any, authority in our Truth-relationship/fellowship with God and our ability to be the beneficiary of all God’s blessings he made available to us through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. [Please read 1stPeter 1:1-24]
17- ‘Vivid vicarious’ is similar to the type involvement entered into as one fully enjoys a book, movie, operator’s manual, etc.; and is the reason people choose a philosophical affiliation: organized ‘religion’, secular initiative, or other human endeavor. The major consideration in voluntarily entering into relationship with some person or philosophy is that the feelings attached to our internal ‘vision’ of personal involvement be compatible with our desires of the moment. For this type ‘experience’ to have a bearing on our present life experience, it is essential to cultivate inspiration that activates our practical application.
18- Vicarious participation [small ‘v’ vision (imagination, desire, guesswork about the possibilities)] is always the initial spiritual contact and entry point to True Christianity, but trouble arises when the point of entry becomes our stagnation point. True Christianity becomes mere Christian ‘religion’ when stagnation sets in and [‘religion’ dictated - or personally designed] vicarious participation in our relationship/fellowship with God becomes our preferred, or ignorantly adopted from the examples around us, reality with God – and God-required pursuit of spiritual maturity in personal relationship/fellowship with Him is neglected. In the bondage of ‘religion’, as in the freedom of non-religious fantasy, we make all things to be the way we desire them to be – no rules apply. True Christianity has definite Truth, structure, and purpose; if we are not truly living fully in its precepts, we are at least partially pursuing a flesh-driven fantasy: we are either truly pursuing spiritual maturity with God, or we are becoming mired in complacency and developing a personal prison of stagnation.
19- Degradation and stagnation in relationship/fellowship with God occurs when a person becomes satisfied with a fantasy relationship with God, at the expense of living in the reality of present relationship and stretching for greater relationship. In our Earthly experience of life, “mentally ill” defines those who choose, or slip into, a continuous state of fantasy; yet living in a fantasized reality has become an acceptable and normal ‘reality’ in the ‘religious’ part of life [considered predominantly philosophical: which most people do not consider important enough to warrant and ration time in their life to scrutinize] – including the Christian ‘religion’. We, as Christians, at least wishfully or theoretically, believe that God [the supreme God of the Christian Bible, who cannot lie; his extended expression to humanity: Jesus; and their personal extension of Wisdom, Voice, and Power that lives in the spirit realm of man: the Holy Spirit] is [are] perfect. We also ‘believe’ He judges all human truth by the standard of His own steadfast reality of unchangeable Truth. How much insanity is involved in ignoring or discounting God’s Truth of reality, in favor of a fantasized reality contaminated by earthbound philosophies which are dominated by distortions of God’s Truth and by carnal desire, imagination, fear, prejudice, rumor, preference, superstition, etc. – even when these derailments are ‘authenticated’ and acclaimed by earthly religious/political authority figures?
20- Authentic practitioners in the theoretical and practical sciences in such fields as physics and medicine, do vicarious type ‘authentication’ on a regular basis. The theorist observes the observable and measures the measurable [or relies on those of others] and, through their observations and measurements they interpret what they observe and measure, and project their calculations and vision into the currently unobservable and unmeasurable realms. With more advanced science, more in-depth and accurate observation and measurement is possible. The more accurate observation, measurement, and interpretation they develop, the more accurately they can understand, predict, and invent ways of identifying, observing, and measuring the currently unseen. At precise points in the process of authenticating a theory, the researcher, or some other practitioner of the physical or mental sciences, tests their theory: setting up experiments and searching for confirming or disqualifying markers. The first is theoretical research, the next is practical research, and then comes practical application. Through this process of authentication, true science advances, or stalemates, in its search for new levels of practical application. As we are well aware, the physical tools and mental understanding these scientists use enhances, or limits, their ability to observe, measure, and interpret; and therefore enhance, or limit, the accuracy of their ability to envision the unseen – that is why it is called ‘scientific research’. Problems arise when the practical application does not authenticate the theory. Even greater problems arise, which involve the credibility of the scientists and therefore the science itself, when a theory is marketed as scientific fact before practical application is successful, fails to authenticate, or even disproves, the theory. That is pseudo-science, or “Junk Science.”
There is a predominance of pseudo/junk Christianity [Christian ‘religion’] today, because of the misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and corruption of true Christianity, that has been established in the modern church and in the world: of which there is little difference since the church adopted the ‘seeker pacifying’, ‘inclusive’, and ‘relativistic’ philosophies of ‘political-correctness’ cultures. This contamination exposes the contemporary church’s vulnerable underbelly to attack.
21- The common misunderstanding of what ‘faith’ is, as corrupted and dictated through ‘religion’, is “The ability to conform our thinking and behavior to, and stand in steadfast agreement with, ‘Christian doctrine’ as defined by our adopted church organization” – in spite of all challenging circumstance, or contradicting philosophy or evidence.
True Faith has NOTHING to do with disregarding the logical and provable processes that apply to ALL of God’s Creation; but rather everything to do with knowing and relying on the creation processes God established before the foundation of the world. Much of the world recovered from the cultural Dark Ages [~400-1400 A.D.], and regrettably, much of it is in the midst of another, but little of the world has recovered from the post-original-Apostle spiritual dark age. The church, through necessity fomented by ignorance of authentic spiritual precepts, substituted ‘religion’ for true spiritual enlightenment. We need to thank God that much of the darkness of ‘religion’ is now dissipating, through true spiritual enlightenment and people who do not and will not settle for mere ‘religion’.
22- Romans 1:20 says the source and operations of the spirit [physically unseen] realms can be confirmed through accurate observation, interpretation, and understanding of the physically seen realm. Therefore, through accurate understanding of the (seen) elements of the physical realm, accompanied by the Living wisdom of God residing in the physically unseen realms, we can discern, with certainty, what exists on the eternal side of the portal between the physical realm and the higher spiritual realms [dimensions] of existence [life – death – new Life]. Through observing [but not limited to] the differences between a carnal-dominant lifestyle, and death to that lifestyle as we authentically emerge into the true Holy Spirit led and empowered lifestyle made available to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus, we get a glimpse of the infinite difference between physical life and eternal Life with God.
23- The decision to go into personal ‘battle’ [fervent investigation] to determine the authenticity of our life-encompassing philosophy is a very serious one, and should include investigation of a suspected enemy as well as our own position and condition, especially when we realize it will necessitate a life or death struggle for our future. Is there a security greater than the ‘security’ we now possess? Is there a risk that this battle will actually compromise our security? Is there a risk of cementing unworthy alliances? Have we prepared for battle? Is the present level of threat worthy of battle? Are we presently only seeking an element of emotional satisfaction, or are we seeking to establish Truth and authentic security and stability in this situation? Do we correctly perceive the value of the possible gains and risks? Are the possible gains worthy of the value of what we put at risk?
(to be continued) [For subscribers: between Hotmail and Gmail (I don't know about Yahoo or others), Hotmail has the best (yet not perfect) reproduction of font colors and features. Just saying.]