We Don’t Purge
Your first duty as a Christian Mystic is to know yourself. That encompasses a whole lot of territory.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well her religion was bogus, that Samaritans didn’t really know who God was. He also said a Samaritan could live justly and be called our neighbor in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
I teach here your theology and religious expression of life is simply your response to something bigger than all of us together. It is rooted far outside our reality, and calls us to live some shadow of that higher reality until it’s our time to leave here. Anything we do, say, even our very intellectual processes, are merely an approximation of our encounter with that Eternal Truth. Your theology and your religion — as an expression of your devotion to that truth — are yours. It may be shared among many, few or none, but the starting place for theology is only what we can know, and religious devotion is limited to what we can do. This is why rituals aren’t held as the same as what they symbolize.
You and I are limited, and the truth is not. Pretensions to offering an orthodoxy is risky business, at best. I can claim to build on the clear record of Scripture, but my teaching itself recognizes there are very strong differences in how people approach the Bible before they start.
I can tell you I can’t work with you. That may be as much a purely human limitation between us as it would be something of spiritual substance. People can only do what they can do. If you like hanging out with me for whatever reason, I’ll have a very hard time telling you to go away. Our souls feed and grow from a sense of affinity shared with others. Granted, with so many bearing such a shallow interest in anything at all, including themselves, that means having to put up with a lot of silly people who cling like some succubus. You can only give so much of yourself before it depletes your resources. You have to construct barriers for very human reasons.
Sometimes the conflict is actually of substance. That usually drives thinking people apart on its own, if it matters. It really depends on what brought them together in the first place. I fully expect my work here as prophet, and simply claiming a prophetic calling, provides a strong barrier. That still leaves a pretty large slice of humanity who can swallow the idea, at least provisionally, because something here calls their name. Somehow the fire in my soul shines through the words tumbling from my fingers. Something they want or need calls out to stop and absorb some of that light and warmth.
I walk the talk, at least insofar as I believe my God is able to take care of His business in me. I don’t fear association with oddballs, kooks, and cranks. Depending on whom you ask, most would put me under one of those definitions. I’m no better than you, and surely believe myself worse in ways I may not want to discuss. You don’t need to hear about the dark corners of my soul, only realize I have some, just like yours. We are all an unfinished work of art until we are dead. I probably need your help with at least a few details in the execution of the artistry. I’ll offer my help to you.
Why in the world would I want to kick people out? Only when I find it impossible to do what I have to do when they are around. I am accountable to some voice in my soul, and I find it impossible to act as if God isn’t at least part of that voice. I’ll do what that voice demands, and I won’t let you get in the way. But you won’t find it that hard to stay out of the way, and still hang around for the entertainment value, at least. If I can’t see where you are interfering, and there is no sense of danger because of something weird you do or believe, then you can stick around. That should leave an awful lot of room for you to pursue your own theology and religion, or none at all. Will your presence change me? How could it not? On the other hand, my theology says God is able to keep me where He needs me regardless what may be inside you and your influence on me.
Jesus hung out with a lot of people His society didn’t tolerate too well. Honestly, the forceful presence of Roman troops saved a lot of lives from silly Jewish prejudice. Rome gave some Judeans a chance to answer a call the Sanhedrin wanted to pretend God couldn’t make. I’m not a member of any Sanhedrin. If you find me tolerable, and you aren’t in the way, stick around. Let’s be friends. In seeking to the know the mind of Christ, I can’t afford to waste time on purging my associations of people who want to be here. Nothing about this ministry requires strict orthodoxy and purity; that stuff takes place in the individual soul.
We don’t purge.