Sunday, July 12, 2015

Holiness and Secularization

Yesterday I wrote that we are slowly but surely moving in the direction of the world. It is a necessary process . The word "secularization" has its origins in the Middle Ages and described what happened when the temporal power took control of property that belonged to the church. The church watched as the temporal power increased while -concurrently- the cleric power slowed and that its "sacred space" became ever smaller. From a "secular perspective" this is certainly a correct reading, but from a spiritual perspective it is a tragedy if I expect that God’s (the Spirit’s) influence in the world is dependent solely on church owned properties and constitutes only an economic and political force. The challenge is that believers and non-believers alike constantly confuse the church as; ‘an institutional reality’ and conversely, the kingdom of God as a ‘spiritual reality’. Ideally, the two would seek a common goal - but unfortunately, not always.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was concerned about this question and writes about a "religionsless Christianity". That means one is not to empty Christianity of content and interpret life without God, but to speak about God in a way that brings him back to the reality from where he has become homeless. * - Holiness (sanctity - wholeness) must return to the world. Putting it bluntly: The everyday must be ‘holy’, but first it must be ‘holy commonplace’. How can that be actual? There are probably several answers to that, but there is a divine method - I believe this. In this world thought pattern is the hardly logical:  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.

The verse is in the context of the word’s intent - it does not return to the Lord before it has accomplished what He said.

Today 'manna':

I believe there is a divine communication method

* Bonhoeffer: "Resistance and devotion" p. 209

Jostein Nielsen

Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army, NORWAY (Appointed as Regional Commander; Moldova-Romania from September 1, 2015

Translation: Sven-Erik Ljungholm

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