Good Grief

​Christians ought to consider the Holy Spirit and grieving it. We think it is the work of the Holy Spirit as what brings a person to Christ. We have to ask when that work is done, for if it isn’t ever done, then we have to ask a question about Christ.

Reflexively, to be in Christ is to be in the Spirit and “in Christ” is to merely say once more, the Holy Spirit is at work in a person’s life.

We are in danger then of the “unforgivable sin” when we suggest a doctrine, a set of approved beliefs is what is synonymous with salvation and atonement rather than being moved toward the good, being a participant in doing it, being transformed in it all and understanding ourselves as a result.

To see the fruits of the Holy Spirit but denying it is at work, for whatever reason, is to grieve it. Must one consent to creed? Is it of no use? It seems we must say “no” in either case.

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11 thoughts on “Good Grief

  1. Steven Hoyt says:

    “into it, god exists man” … ugh!

  2. Greg says:

    If God is moving individuals and humanity toward something, Christ-likeness, humanity in its fullness, then mental assent without effect is very limited if not entirely self-defeating.

    I like the way you challenge status quo Christianity. I think we are missing the mark quite a bit.

    • Steven Hoyt says:

      if we are to believe anything, it is that god’s will will be done and that his presence is grace and into it, good exists man. and existing in likeness to god, all humanity is compelled to what god is, the good.

      there can’t be any other reason for creating sentient beings but that they come to some experience through existing, and if god is what we think and day he is, then that experience can only be a full human life that is permeated with and hallmarked by goodness.

      this is how i see grace and faith resurrecting humanity; presence and influence, by nature.

      the rest are attempts to narrate this numinous experience.

      but, what do i know.

      • Greg says:

        It’s kind of sad to see, at least with a glimpse, the potential of humanity through the eyes of Christ, while at the same time seeing it moving so slowly toward the goal on the whole. It’s also sad when I fall short of what I think are both my own and God’s expectations of myself. I guess that would fall into the grieving the Holy Spirit category. I’m hearing that you do not think that is unique to the Christian experience, even if that is understood through a different “spiritual” experience. Do you think that Jesus spoke, at least in part, into the psychology of human development through a theological lens?

      • Steven Hoyt says:

        honestly, i don’t know. what i do know is that’s something we can infer from what’s said about him.

  3. Greg says:

    Isn’t there a profound psychological aspect to our faith? If not, shouldn’t there be?

    • Steven Hoyt says:

      i don’t know, greg, but what i think should be expected is a profound and very real numinous experience for every human being that takes a moment to do the good. because of god is goodness and we, sacraments, each time we “are” god in this way, we have to be talented it in some way. psychologically, i would think that if this was the case, well-being would be the result. if this is the “way”, the “truth”, and “life” as seen through christ, then it must be the most profound experience for a human to come to understand the fullness of his humanity.

  4. Greg says:

    For me, the creed is an entry point and affirmation into a way of life. My understanding is that way of life is first relational (between me and God, through Christ), and second, transformational, toward the likeness of God in union with Christ. It’s not “of NO use” for me. It’s highly useful both in connecting me with God relationally and directing me transformationally.

    A couple of Biblical examples stand out to support your point about the limit to the effect of mental assent to belief alone, the Good Samaritan and the man who boasted of his “righteousness.” In both cases the “believers” were not justified before God.

    Followup thoughts to ponder include the relationship between our conscience and the Holy Spirit, how the conscience is formed, and how the conscience is either cultivated or seared.

    • Steven Hoyt says:

      i think i understand this the same way. creeds are important, i just see them as limited to communal necessity; ecclesiastical. the problem comes when such things are confused as soteriological. if they do not work toward moving us to action, they aren’t properly beliefs, enduring their function is merely communal. if so, it would then be non creedal statements upon which a person or community acted.

      the question for me is about soteriology and the meaning of christianity in that sense rather than ecclesial. in other words, christianity is exclusive necessarily, because of creeds and traditions and the like, however, those in christ should not be at all defined essentially by culture but by status.

      in that sense, if like in temple practice the high priest makes expiation for all people regardless of their involvement (much like adam in universal damnation) in that act, then all are saved “through christ”.

      implied in scripture, “especially for those who believe” indicates something active is involved between atonement and salvation.

      sadly, in the various creeds, you don’t find any hint of what that is. my guess is that it is theosis. but, nothing like that is something you or i will likely encounter in christian thinking unless we go looking for it. westerners tend to like the cut and dry, one and done, nothing i must do the end game is heaven brand of … laziness.

      it seems to me.

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