Denominations and Two Realms
The primary reason for the proliferation of sectarian Christian denominations in the West, and in America in particular, is the failure to embrace Two Realms.
A primary element in biblical mysticism is the recognition of the distinction between this fallen realm and the Spirit Realm. The primary failure of Western thought is embracing Aristotle’s unitary universe. Even when we can get Christian theologians to embrace the idea there is a Heaven and Hell which isn’t part of this world, they still have this intellectual instinct to see all things as unitary. Thus, when Scripture separates between the Two Realms, these theologians instinctively mix things up.
The Laws of God apply to this realm. They were meant to indicate something of God’s ways and character, in the sense they were meant to tie us to Him personally. They were never meant to stand as some finished work, never altering throughout the ages, in that they could not possibly ever be applied evenly to all contexts. Moses recognized this by insuring there would always be priests who could get a word from God about peculiar situations, and with judges who were tasked with understanding the underlying purpose of the Law. The narrative of ancient Israeli history is loaded with reminders why using those priests and judges made a difference. The whole point was, nothing man could understand, such as the revealed Laws of God, could possibly cover all situations. It’s why prophetic commands from God could appear to contradict the Laws.
Thus, it’s not violating the Laws of God when you realize the personal emphasis of God requires you appear to disobey one commandment to fulfill another. It’s why people can walk in the Spirit and do something which appears to break one or more commandments. The Spirit has one major emphasis in this world: His Presence seeks to manifest the glory of God. Since the Cross, that specifically aims at glorifying Jesus Christ. There are times when obeying the Laws fastidiously will not accomplish His glory. So people who suffer under a Western mindset will see a problem, but the mind of the Ancient Hebrews is untroubled. It doesn’t have to be all neat and tidy, and we don’t have to nail down all the implications in our feeble and broken intellects.
In our Western minds this is not logical enough, so we realize we have to discard some portion of logic. The problem is, we are using the wrong logic. The logic of God’s revelation is distinctly not Aristotelian. It includes the direct analytical logic form as a lower default setting, something from which we don’t expect much. The symbolic logic of divine revelation is utterly foreign to Western minds, yet was the standard approach used in Hebrew culture. Yes, you can learn Hebrew mystical logic, and there is a considerable amount of literature explaining it. But Western Christians reject the whole thing, for the most part. So we end up with a broken application of Aristotle and some poorly informed attempts to use Aristotelian deduction on a revelation poorly understood. Western people do not understand the Bible, and refuse to understand they don’t understand, because Aristotle teaches them arrogance of intellect.
If your underlying logic rejects the Spirit Realm, your underlying anthropology must reject the possibility of a human spirit which is not bound by this universe. All discussions of eternal souls is wholly flavored by an assumption which excludes the truth. The truth forces us to realize there is nothing we can do to cross the barrier on our own, and this is anathema to the Western mind. Human helplessness is simply discarded before it comes into consideration. It’s very intellectually confusing because everyone insists their theology must make sense, must be reasonable and logical on Aristotelian terms, and Scripture would deny that necessity. Aristotle couldn’t handle the truth, and his logical constraints can’t even allow for revelation from outside the human sphere.
So we have this damned heresy of Decision Theology, that spiritual birth requires a human choice, when the Bible bluntly says no such choice is possible for a human. You are forced to deny something fundamental to Scripture, or build a highly rational and lifeless reasoning which can’t be applied in life. Thus, the interminable debate between Calvinists and Arminians when both are wrong for building on false intellectual assumptions. On top of this, we have one of the most damnable lies of all, that of the Great Man Fallacy. Western mythology (Post-Enlightenment) demands there always be a hero, a great man who cannot be contradicted much. It demands this Great Man achieve greatness on a very mundane human level, when Scripture bluntly points out human greatness is the greatest failure, and human failure is where God works His mightiest miracles. We simply cannot have a God doing things His way.
That’s why we have so many ugly controversies and schisms, and why we have serious contradictory claims made by all these really different Christian denominations. And all of them taking themselves so seriously! Everybody simply assumes their version is God’s version, because God can’t allow conflicting ideas; that would be unreasonable. They keep dragging God down into this realm.
I need to purchase a brown t-shirt and stencil on it: “Generic Christian in a plain brown wrapper”.