I have been on a spiritual quest ever since I began to reflect and remember patterns of thought. Ever since I can remember, God has always been at the core of my life, and I have memories that transcend my days as a toddler.
I’ve always been aware of a “higher power” that transcends all of our human bickering in regards to the divine. I must say that I highly suspect that so many people competing for God’s attention must make him feel flattered… In a way, our religious bickering is a reflection of our most inner need to find the Source that makes us whole.
Although I am a Christian minister and avid student of mystical theology and Apostolic teaching, I find that much of Christendom does not understand the uniquely profound mystery of the Christian message.
And this ignorance is reflected in our over 40,000 versions of Christianity we call “denominations.”
I have had a very eclectic Christian experience that includes Roman Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Baptists, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicanism and Lutheranism. Although I have settled within the Lutheran family, that doesn’t mean that I am completely satisfied within Lutheranism. What I love the most about Lutheranism is that at its core, it reflects the ancient emphasis of the “Kerygma” (preaching of the Word) and God’s means of grace, the Sacraments. Although Lutheranism is the most pure form of Evangelicalism, it still misses the point of the Gospel by means of it’s fear of thinking outside of the artificial constraints of the Book of Concord. In fact, while I was in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, it felt as if the Bible was not allowed to speak for itself, outside of the constraints of the Book of Concord.
The reason why Western Christianity fails so terribly is because we have forgotten that our Faith is about redeeming the whole human race by means of leading people towards the greater truth that transcends the illusory things of the material world. Christians have forgotten that Christianity is the incarnation of everything that everyone has ever longed for- materialized in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
When I read the Bible and the disciples of the Apostles (Apostolic Fathers), I see a Gospel message that infinitely transcends all the catechetical instructions that most Christians have received since the early medieval ages. If I could encapsulate in a few words the essential message of the Gospel, it would be in the following way:
The Mystery of Salvation is that the infinitely indescribable, supra-dimensional, unfathomable consciousness known as “God,” is found primarily in the most simplest and common things of life, such as bread and wine. In our inner cores, we long for what satisfies our most basic deficiencies. This drive is what propels our spiritual quest towards self-realization, or what we call “personhood.” Man is just an image existing in the darkness, seeking for the true and only SELF that gives purpose to our existence. Christianity is about realizing that we truly are the image of that invisible, incomprehensible, self-existing “I AM.” Salvation is about believing that we truly are intricately beautiful before God’s eyes, for in his eyes, he finds nothing more beautiful than his own reflection. God loves us so much because by loving us, the I AM is loving himself.”
God took upon himself everything that would impede our realization, and died on the cross, because by doing so he has provided a means by which he himself can become the complete image of the invisible God. Without us there would be no reflection to gaze upon. We in Christ make the I AM complete. It is in our self-realization that we are nothing, that we find and reflect the true God in our being.
That is the essence of the Gospel message and how the Apostolic Fathers taught it.