A Very, Very, Very Short Mystical Apologetic
To know God directly shows that mysticism is different from any passive or legalistic kind of Christianity. It means:
* That while we honor the Scriptures, we want to know God directly, not just through Scripture.
* While we respect our heritage of teachings about God, we want to know God directly, not through doctrines and teachings.
* While we gather in communal worship, we want to know God directly, not just through the Church.
Some readers may find this unsettling. Maybe you believe it doesn't apply to you, because you "know" that your church is purer and more correct than others. Even if that were true, is it a substitute for knowing God directly? Or, you might also feel that trusting the Bible alone gives you knowledge of God directly from the Source. But it was written by mystics, listening to God speaking his Word in their hearts. Is it possible for you to read it directly, without the conceptions of your language, time, culture, and personal history? Are you sure you wouldn't understand it very differently if you were reading it, say, in third-century Damascus?
The religion we call "Christianity" changes, but God is eternal. Mystical faith wants to know this unchanging God to whom Christianity leads us, the One behind the beliefs and the words, the One whom beliefs and words cannot describe. We want to follow Jesus' example more closely, and go beyond the religion about Jesus, and take the religion of Jesus: the knowledge of the Father and unconditional love he had, and urged us to have.
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