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Lewis: "He that focuses on heaven, receives earth into the bargain and he that focuses on earth gets neither!"



Ethical Theology Simplified

The Bible teaches us that we should not err, neither to the right, nor to the left. The following diagrams are meant to make that clear and also, in case you do stray, that in the end--as it were through a spiritual gravity--you might land totally in the power of satan. The straight and narrow path, one could say, is the true golden middle road without a compromise on either side.



NOMENCLATURE

Christianity

Christianity is not a religious discipline or philosophy. The essence of christianity is a living relationship with one's Maker and Savior in dependent obedience, reverend awe and at best in holy worship.

Deism

This is the philosophy that God has essentially made the universe like an intricate clock work and now He is not actively engaged with either the world itself or the creatures in it.

Agnosticism

Characteristic of it is the uninterested attitude that claims one cannot know whether or not God exists (goes hand in hand with materialism).

Atheism

This is the philosophy that God simply cannot exist. Atheism can be divided in nonagressive and militant forms. Notorious were the excesses with which Stalinist and Maoist communists inforced this doctrine. Strange that posters of Lenin were hanging in factories after his death, with the line "Lenin sees you!"



These are the outward philosophies of the Western masses and range from semitheoretical to highly thought out systems. The next three ways of thinking belong more to countries like India and other cultures that have an inward life view.



Mysticism

The belief in the goodness of the soul and especially of its inward feelings. One might argue that Romanticism was an emotive reaction against the coldhearted power of reason.

Pantheism

The belief that God is not simply omnipresent, but that actually all things, animals and humans are sparks of the divinity. Now God is certainly in some way involved in everything, but to make everything part of the deity goes flatly against the tenet that God is transcendent (He thrones above the universe, not in it). This also veils our individual and collective responsibility.

Polytheism

The conviction that the forces of nature and even abstract concepts like victory and love, are the activities or even embodiments of the gods. There are in this philosophy practically as many gods as there are aspects to life and that is also the reductio ad absurdum that unnerves this belief.



Satanism holds that the Creator of heaven and earth is the real culprit and that the devil is the true liberator of your soul. Characteristic of many forms of devil worship is the one pervading thought that "All that you want, is all your law." Satanism exists as an opposite to Judeo-Christian monotheism and cannot really exist without it.



Deism results from the overaccentuation of the mind, atheism from undue emphasis on the body with its desires (theoretical atheisms, such as dialectic materialism, come about through a combination of rationalism and an overemphasis on the reality of matter). Materialism arises through the combination of mind and matter, reason and body; it is the overaccentuation of rationalism interacting with what could be termed an agnostic philosophy that has the practical trappings of atheism.


Mysticism results from the overaccentuation of the soul, polytheism from undue emphasis on the spirit. Pantheism arises through the combination of soul and spirit, mystique and magic; it is the overaccentuation of mysticism interacting with what could be called a form of spiritism.




DEFINITIONS OF TERMS


Christ

Christ is not a religious discipline or philosophy. The essence of christianity is a living relationship with one's Maker and Savior.

Monotheism

One of the main pillars of christianity is the belief in a triune God Who is totally unique.

Spiritualism

The other main pillar of christianity is the tenet that one must be born again of the Holy Spirit. [Not to be confused with forms of spiritism, including extreme Pentecostal practices].


Besides these three definitions fall all forms of deviance. Solomon in the O.T. warns us not to turn to the left and neither to the right. Either way leads one astray and away from Christ and eventually can lead down to demonic slavery to the devil.


Dogmatism

The slavish dependence on fossilized teaching. There is no freshness and true freedom in dogma per se.

Rationalism

The belief that one can attain true goals through reason mainly.

Materialism

The materialistic attitude that one must reach happiness through the accumulation of goods and property. In materialism the worldly combination of reason and matter (rationalism and hedonism) produces an egoistic stream of goods and services.

Observationalism

The excessive study of the outward aspects of life, without really ever gaining true liberty, love and wisdom in one's relation to life.

Individualistic idiosyncratism

The idea that all truths are in essence dependent on the individual. Everybody his own 'kick'.

Hedonism

The selfish pursuit of pleasure as the highest goal or means to liberty.


These are the six main steps down and away from Christ. They are increasingly externalized forms of philosophy. Beginning with false hopes for teaching per se, one can (theoretically) be led down to the most dirty behavior.

The other steps away and down represent rather internalized forms of philosophy and religion. Whereas the outward forms dwell excessively on the mind and eventually on the body; the inward forms dwell excessively on the soul and eventually the spirit.


Absolutistic idealism

The slavish reverence of so-called ideals and absolutes. This leads astray into an excessive mysticism.

Angelism

The belief that one can attain the 'unio mystica' with the help of angels. Paul in his epistle to the Colossians warns one not to be robbed of the prize in this way (going into things that one has not seen).

Acosmism

The idea that matter is not real, but only subjectively experienced. The following attitude is common to it, viz. the one-sided idea of stressing that all must form the one community. This is opposite to Western individualism and goes hand in hand with pantheism. The belief states that the individual must melt and blend in with the true common purpose of the group. This collectivism is the result of a weltfremd (estranged from the world) combination of soul and spirit, mystique and magic, in which the individual is forced to an exaggerated selflessness and obsequious resignation.

Animism

The belief that all things are alive somehow, imbued with 'soul'. This leads to polytheism.

Ritualism/Cultism

The idea that all the gods must be honored and appeased.

Magicism

The selfish pursuit of magic powers so as to gain power and liberty.



On the final step down the great adversary pulls off his mask. Here both the left and the right come together in that they employ both the deeply internalized magicism and the externalized hedonism; all on the basis of open interaction with demons.

Satan with his hordes rules here supreme through the worst form of enmity against Christ. Demonism as the true religion of love, light and life. As Christ Jesus upbraided the pharisees in John 8 that their father is the devil, one might state the case that through original sin we all are the devil's children. But whatever the claims satan has and he has nonillion tricks to keep us all busy till 'death is the wages of sin'; today is the acceptable day that anyone can turn to the Lord of lords and King of kings!



This then, summarized, is my ethical theology. It attempts to create order in a world of confusion, by analyzing the main philosophies and theologies that are at the basis of this chaos. All heaped together it looks like a spagetti ball in which the strands are mixed into one indiscernable lump of reasons, actions, emotions and beliefs (in which any combination seems possible); all in conflict with each other. What holds it together is the autotheistic desire to play god. This pride has been with us since Adam transgressed and we all choose it in great ways and small.


You can study an integration of my theoretical anthropology and my theological ethics here.



The apostle Paul: "Let nobody deceive himself, if somebody thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise (1 Cor. 3.18)!"




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