FRESH FRUIT FROM DEEP ROOTS
A LOGOSPOETIC SPIRITUAL FORMATION MODEL SPEAKING TO THE MODERN WORLD
Historic Biblical Salvation as:
Trans-mutated into a Secular Salvation:
I use the term condition to describe Salvation in its original context. The condition was both its process and consequence. The New Testament gives an introduction to this condition which is explored and expanded upon in the Apostolic era and substantiated by their writings.
1. Engagement between, a Christian community through the testimony of a Christian and a non Christian.
2. Declaration, Explanation and Persuasion of the Truth claims of Christianity by the Christian to the Non Christian.
3. A period of contemplation by the Non Christian concerning those Truth Claims and whether or not that Non Christian would be willing to die physically for in an age martyrdom and whether they would be willing to die to everything in their life that is non consistent with the claims of Christ.
4. The person sharing the “Gospel” and the non Christian would pray and fast together for two or three days to assist the Non Christian in making the decision to repent by dying to the self government and placing themselves under the authority of Christ.
5. If the non Christian agreed to repent they would then go through a ritual of death and resurrection in the act of Baptism.
6. When the Baptism was complete the non Christian is declared to be both saved and added. Saved from Sin, Satan and Death and Added to the Church of Christ which is Christ’s Body.
7. As a result they would be received into the Eucharistic Community.
The whole experience of salvation was personalised:
1. What drew them to Christ.
2. What their current spiritual condition was.
3. The personal implications.
4. The personal impact of trusting in and following Christ.
1. The person was becoming part of the Church in their decision making process.
2. The Church was their model and also their authority.
3. The whole process of salvation was personalised but personalised to participate in the whole.
In the writings of Justin Martyr, Clement of Roma and in the Didache there is clear understanding that what was being delivered to the Non Christian was a set of distinctive values. Those values were not relative to the perceived need of the person coming to Christ they were fixed and rooted in both the Hebraic and New Testament Context.
The 21st Century has fundamentally rearranged the Gospel not to contextualise to the dominant value system but to syncretise with it.
Salvation has moved from being a condition to becoming a “Thing” by its reification. Salvation as a Condition allows for the above process to be experienced and for Salvation to spread over all matters of a persons existence. Reification turns Salvation into a something to be obtained. A unit of spiritual experience that once obtained belongs to the individual.
Salvation as a “something” to obtained as opposed to being a condition that one enters into sets up the away for the “something” salvation to become a commodity. It is a commodified into units to be obtained.
This commodification allows for Modernity to create Franchises for the distribution of the commodity.
There are the Olive Garden Franchise Models that have no real actual creative aura or depth to them but simulate a preudo-aura as a means of attracting certain types of consumer. At the other end of the spectrum are the Fast Food Models that are fully simulated but give the immediate gratification experience.
This process follows through into the realm of choice which is by default individual. The Franchise is able to provide an index of services that fit the felt needs of the individual and caters to that need. It is the individual that creates the market and the market responds accordingly.
Once the Individualisation process has been adopted the only next natural step is to relativise the over all process. Political, Economic and Moral considerations become the core entry point. The result is a diseased and divided body that looks more like a transvestite Bar in Berlin than a living loving worshipping community of Christ’s body the Church.
During the latter stages of High Modernity’s secularisation process the “Salvation as a Thing” method and message was highly effective in terms of numerics at the global level.
The outcomes though of the Secular Church is Salvation becomes distorted:
1. Persons are drawn into Christianity Because of a felt need.
2. The Perceptivity is Adult, Sophisticated and Often Cynical
3. There ongoing spiritual development is Intellectual through programmatic applications embedded in subjective group Music experiences
4. Confession is decisional at that public level and subjective at the private level
5. Their unity with the Church Militant and Triumphant is governed by the opinions or dogmas of their particular sectarian belief structure
As modern Western Civilisation moved from being secular into post secular there has been a rapid decline in those seeking and entering into the Church. Using the Transvestite Bar model in Berlin the optics, as it is optics that drew people to the Franchise model of the Church, must become more and more extreme to attract. At the same time it is the very optic extremism that leads those in modern Western Civilisation to consider both the Berlin Transvestite Bar and the modern Church as something to be mocked and avoided rather than participated in.
In short, whereas the Secular Church model of late modernity was able to survive in that context it will not and can not survive the desecularisation process. Just as the economic systems supported by a passive Church in 19th Century England created the spiritually marginalised, the poor and the oppressed then it is the Secular Church that has created a new marginalised community by allowing the process of Salvation to go through the earlier mentioned steps and stages.
The most obvious questions that emerge from this are, what is the spiritual anatomy of the non Christian in Modern Western Civilisation and how can Salvation be extended to them and what kinds of models will be effective in this process.
There is according the research outlined almost no place for restoring and reforming the Secular Church Model. It needs to be starved to death and left as a reminder and memorial of what damage comes upon the Church when it, “Dances with the Devil in the pale moonlight”.
I would suggest that there are a series of identifiable points within the emerging non Christian cultures of modern Western civilisation.
1. There is intact a longing for transcendent beauty
2. There is a deep desire for innocence despite its unattainability