3 Nov 2003

A detail description of revelation?

Submitted by theshovel
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You say that we can not come to the realization about Jesus being God using our own intellect. It is a “spiritual” revelation. Well how then can you be sure that these truths that you are spiritually discerning are actually from God and not your own mind (or someone other than God for that matter)? Experiments have shown that people under the influence of strong magnetic fields have had “religious” experiences where they thought they felt the presence of supernatural beings. Even when the experiment was explained to them they still insisted that their experiences were real. Your mind can be heavily influenced by what you believe to be true. I would like to hear a detailed description of what it is like to receive a revelation from God. What I do know is that people don’t like to admit to being wrong. It is very difficult for many people to question a belief that they have held for many years, especially when it has been instilled in them at a young age. The latter has a tendency to leave the adult with a strong “feeling that it must be true”. This is due to the psychology of the human brain. Now I wonder how many Christians think that this feeling is part of their supposed revelation from God? Ian

Hello Ian,

Regarding your concerns, if you were to read just a small sampling of what I’ve written you should quickly realize that I’m constantly questioning the overwhelming bondage of religiosity, including a challenging here and there of religious experience. Of course, I also realize you may have read enough to be well aware of this and so may be mostly wondering how I reconcile what seems to be a contradiction.

While you may question the experiences and feelings which many use to validate their beliefs I question the whole validation process. For such validation is sought after — not only through feelings — but also through intellect. Regardless of upbringing, all are searching for something by which to justify one’s own life. But there is no validation outside the reality of Christ and him crucified - not because he is some kind of religious icon or deity figurehead, but because he is the new creation and in him is true life.

For me, I was raised in non-experiential religious environments by which it appeared that God could be understood through religious teachings and lifeless rituals, especially relating to the Bible and church doctrine. I am guessing you may have had a similar upbringing … but then again maybe not. One way or another, the very idea that the truth of God — or perhaps even the very reality of God — cannot be reached by intellectual means obviously offends you, and I do understand this very well … as it offends my intellect, too. :)

Do you realize that the objections and points you raise are most likely your own intellectual reactions designed to support your own perspective? And in suggesting this I’m not saying they aren’t good points as I, too, have seen futility and desperation in the religious mind you debunk. What I’m saying is that you have established for yourself an easily disproved basis by which to pose your questions about revelation. In requesting a “detailed description” you ask for a natural explanation of spiritual wisdom, a psychological assessment of the mind of Christ.

The really odd thing about my understanding of spiritual revelation is found in the fact that I was trained to shun it. Truth is I don’t have any grand experiences by which to relate it — that is, other than the whole experience of my life, by which I am constantly assured that apart from Christ’s mind I would gladly be hanging on to my many bogus validations, religious or otherwise. I have been given eyes to see, as have you if you are in Christ, and sight needs no explanation.

Well how then can you be sure that these truths that you are spiritually discerning are actually from God and not your own mind (or someone other than God for that matter)?

Revelation is not bound by the religious mind, even when we are given sight in the midst of our religiosity. And this is a good thing! Nor is it limited to a particular field of understanding — such as “spiritual” or “Biblical” truth — for it relates to reality itself, to everything. My confidence is not found in some kind of higher or superior understanding but in a living understanding. His revelation has caused me to see beyond my own former bondage, for it has broken down the ignorance of blindness. I now see a witness to Christ’s life in everything, even in that which seems to deny him. Whereas at one time I searched for signs of his life in the religious world I now see it unrestricted and screaming out from all things.

Well, I could go on, but I’ll give you a break!  :) Yeah, I know I can easily wear people out with my long responses, but I share what is in my heart to share. Please feel free to write back and ask or address whatever you’d like, okay? :)

Jim Minker

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