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"Vague belief and spiritual intuition became specific and concrete and personal in Jesus—with a “face” that we could “hear, see, and touch” (1 John 1:1). The formless now had a personal form, according to Christian belief.

But it seems we so fell in love with this personal interface with Jesus that we forgot about the Eternal Christ, the Body of God, which is all of creation, which is really the “First Bible.” Jesus and Christ are not exactly the same. In the early Christian era, only a few Eastern Fathers (such as Origen of Alexandria and Maximus the Confessor) cared to notice that the Christ was clearly historically older, larger, and different than Jesus himself. They mystically saw that Jesus is the union of human and divine in space and time, and the Christ is the eternal union of matter and Spirit from the beginning of time."   Richard Rohr, O.F.M.

If Jesus was "Christ" so was Mechthild of Magdeburrg ...and so are you.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 24th, 2016 10:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, your insight is not a whole lot different from mine here. I believe that about 85 percent of what Jesus is supposed to have said were not his words at all but those of his (crazy?) followers. Focusing on the fifteen percent that might be authentic gives me a different perspective than many (though not all) of his followers have.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 26th, 2016 10:27 pm (UTC)
Well, i think Jesus might have been a free lance teacher, but there many of those in the ancient world: Socrates, the Buddha, Mahavira, the Taoists, Stoics, Cynics, etc., most of whom were not dangerous except to those who refused to think or feared change. My Jesus did not even overturn tables or claim to be the Messiah, or threaten any body. It was the coming Roman War and its aftermath that frightened his followers into making making fantastic claims and threatening non-believers. That's just my opinion, of course, but there is some scholarship to back it up. (Burton L. Mack, The Lost Gospel, 1993.)
Oct. 25th, 2016 11:33 am (UTC)
This is the kind of thing that turns me off of Richard Rohr. If he were to say "I like to think of it as if ....." I'd read it with interest and reflect on it with open mind. But as soon as he says "this is how it really is, and all the early Church Fathers except my couple favorites, and the whole Church since then, were clearly wrong about it" ... he lost me. In fact, his idea works fine as metaphor, but as theology it's gone off the rails, in my opinion. Is there no creation? Creation IS the Creator? For me, in the formula "came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity," it is key that that Power is not myself. We can say that what God created is infused with divinity, but to say "the Eternal Christ, the Body of God, which is all of creation" -- it doesn't work for me, and it's not Christian theology, and that's absolutely fine if it works for him, but don't come at me with "this is how it is, and you and the Church are obviously wrong about it".

Which is not to say the rest of the Church Fathers were right and Rohr is wrong, either. I feel exactly the same way about orthodox (small "o" -- mostly pre-schism) Christian theology, the whole tendency to define the ineffable God -- "one God, three Persons" for example -- declaring "this is fact, I KNOW it, your understanding is WRONG", when really it's just various metaphors for God who refuses to fit into any boxes.

I have no problem with Rohr's metaphors, if he only recognized that that's what they are.

But I don't consider myself Christ, and neither would Mechthild -- it would be narcissism, since both she and I call Christ "Beloved" and "Spouse". As Spouse, "the two become one", as Christ became human so we become somehow divine. But we are still two people, God and I. I'm definitely not in love with myself, and I am not my own Higher Power.

But, um ... Namaste to you, my friend. ;-)
Oct. 26th, 2016 10:34 pm (UTC)
You are right, I think everybody ought to preface almost every statement of alleged fact with the words: "In my opinion." I don't consider myself Christ either, but i do admire those ecstatics who were able to exclaim: "I am God!" (even when it got them beheaded).+
Oct. 26th, 2016 10:13 am (UTC)
"Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in me, the works that I am doing he will do also, and he will do greater works than these because I am going to the Father."
Oct. 26th, 2016 10:38 pm (UTC)
I don't think that statement meets my criteria for "authentic," but i like it. Unfortunately, i don't think it happened. Whatever i may think of Jesus, he was one of a kind.
Oct. 27th, 2016 12:05 am (UTC)
As is each of us.

But they're words someone said, or wrote. :D

Edited at 2016-10-27 12:05 am (UTC)
Oct. 27th, 2016 01:00 am (UTC)
As is each of us.

Yet we are all one. I love, no hate, no love paradox.
Oct. 27th, 2016 01:10 am (UTC)
Re: As is each of us.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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