Introduction: Sortes Biblicae
With millions of followers around the world, Christianity is one of the most influential religions in the world. The faith has a rich history of mysticism, which emphasizes the pursuit of a deeper, more intimate relationship with God through spiritual experiences.
Although Christianity is primarily associated with organized religion and a set of beliefs, it also has a rich history of organized religion and a set of beliefs. We will explore the intersection between Christianity and mysticism in this article, examining what mysticism is, how it relates to Christianity, and how it impacts believers.
There is a term called ‘Sortes Biblicae‘. This is Latin, which means ‘accidental choice‘. It refers to the attitude of accepting the passage that was found by chance in the Bible as the will of God. This practice was especially popular among pious people in the 18th and 19th centuries. Godliness refers to those who put their relationship with God at the top of their lives and tried to accompany God every moment.
Sortes Biblicae is not God’s Will
Whenever they had to make a decision, they closed their eyes and opened the Bible as they held it in their hands. They then tried to find God’s will in a Bible passage that was taken with one hand and pointed out at their fingertips. This quote by Joy Dawson reminds me of this Sortes Vivlicae.
If you think you can know God’s will in this way, you are greatly misunderstanding Christianity. Almost every Christian is curious about “the will of God.” I once read a lot of books about God’s will. But even if I read such books, I could not understand God’s will toward me.
Later, as my knowledge of God grew, I realized that there are many books about God’s will that are based on the wrong theology. One of them is Joy Dawson’s book, which I quoted earlier. There were a lot of books describing the meaning. Perhaps among the many saints who dream of God’s detailed guidance, they dream of the following experience.
I have done everything I can to leave immediately if God allows me to. At the same time, I was emptying my mind and worshipping God, leaving my wish completely in God’s hands. Suddenly at around 5:20, God gave her husband the words of chapter Judges 18:6. The priest answered them, “Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.” We came out of the house in just a few minutes.Joy Dawson
Is this the word of God? Does God speak like this? It’s like turning the Bible into a fortune cookie. You look very faithful when you hear about this experience. But it may seem faithful on the outside, but it’s not mature Christian behavior. This is a typical example of a Sortes Biblicae. We meet empirical piety here. At its roots is Count Zizendorf, and there is the pious movement of Philip Jacob Spener. It also affected John Wesley later on.
Mysticism as a reaction against Protestantism
It is ironic that Geneva and Edinburgh, formerly the centers of Calvinism in the late 18th century, are gaining fame as centers of European rationalism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume replaced John Calvin and John Knox.
As people became indifferent to religion and pursued intellectual alternatives other than religion, a new movement took place within Protestantism. The most significant movement among these revival movements is ‘Pietism’.
The movement began with Philip Jacob Spener in Germany, who watched the dry spirituality of Protestantism shortly after the German Thirty-Year War. Godliness developed in many different directions in England and Germany. Count Zizendorf is the founder of a group of people known as ‘Hernhunters’.
He emphasized the ‘religion of mind’ based on close personal relationships between Christ and believers. Zizendorf’s reverential, which emphasizes the role of emotions in Christian lives, is also well received in the UK by John Wesley. John Wesley stressed the importance of experience in the Christian faith. As Protestant orthodoxy envisioned a dry “formalism,” the pious devoted to experience created “fanaticism,” according to theologian Professor Alister McGrath.
If you go back as far as the 18th century, this is the inside story of history. In January 1688, England abolished James II and declared William and Mary kings and queens in February of that year. Before that, they had to sign the Bill of Rights, which guarantees free communication and freedom of expression.
The ‘honorary revolution’ prevented another civil war and at the same time diluted the power of religion in the lives of the British people. Such a social atmosphere has led to a growing interest in using reason in the intellectual realm.
This is how the ‘Enlightenment Movement’ started to tilt Christians toward heterotheism. Moreover, the mechanistic philosophy advocated by Isaac Newton and his followers at the time, combined with theism, led him to think of God as Demiurgos in Plato’s philosophy.
Joy Dawson’s false teachings
Joy Dawson’s teaching seems very pious. But she has a misunderstanding of Christian love and fellowship. Whether religious love or secular love, love has grown.
The mark of a mature person is choice and responsibility. That’s why the Lord requires constant training from the saints, and that training is a series of constant self-awakenings.
We think about it in our lives. In meeting my spouse, which is a crucial meeting for humans, there are times when I wish God could tell us directly about critical decisions in life. This includes career or career choices. That sense of hope from Joey Dawson intrigues me as well. But her faith shows the wrong attitude toward the Bible. Above all, the Bible is not a collection of doctrines and commands.
Such “empirical piety” in the 19th century accelerated this phenomenon as two developments took place in the 20th century. The first step was the spiritual revival movement called the “Oxford Movement” by Frank Buchman and his colleagues.
They taught us to listen to God’s voice, which appeals to conscience to the four virtues of Christ: honesty, purity, shame, and love. And this movement has become synonymous with “spiritual training” in modern times. However, it is never desirable to think of the time of reverence as a magical means of seeking God’s guidance.
The second development is the proliferation of Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism argues that the gifts and beliefs of the early church are being restored in the church and can be guided directly by God through the Word.
Therefore, Pentecostalism thinks that structure hinders the history of Protestantism and the Holy Spirit. The church’s worship and missionary work ultimately rely on the history of the Holy Spirit. This history is too rigid, and structures that do not have the ability to respond to the situation can hinder or destroy the history of the Holy Spirit.
Worship and missionary work advocated by Pentecostalism was widely spread around the world in the 1970s. This religious movement, which excludes reason and emphasizes experience since the 19th century, has brought both wonder and anxiety to modern Christians about God’s guidance.
We must be open-minded in our guidance to God. According to some, God’s guidance is based on experience, but other people argue that this is no longer the case.
But even in the Bible, God often expressed his opinions and did not prohibit them in this way. However, this empirical argument should be tested in the light of the teachings of the Bible with an open mind and an objective attitude.
The most crucial truth that we have to acknowledge here is that using the Bible does not mean that everyone is a true evangelical. Despite its appearance, this use of the Bible tarnishes its authority, let alone increases it.
Right faith balances emotion and reason.
Godliness is not only the biggest problem in Bible application but also the biggest obstacle to justifying the harm of Bible application. This incorrect application of the Bible has naturally moved away from the application itself because it not only distorts the message of the Bible but even undermines the authority of the Bible and Christianity.
Joy Dawson also chose the Bible as the first of the 24 ways God says. She says, “Every time we read the Bible, God makes the Bible passages live through the Holy Spirit.”
She says that God speaks to us through the Bible. It is no surprise that the Bible is the living word of the living God. Therefore, we can expect God to speak through the Bible.
It is said that the Bible is God’s word written under God’s inspiration and that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. Through the Bible we read today, we can not only know God but also hear voices that are personally familiar to us.
God is not a fortune teller
When a bird pulls a note out of a tight paper box with its beak, the owner takes it and hands it over to the guest. Then the customer takes the paper and unfolds it, and the paper has fortune telling written on it. Is God a bird? Such faith makes God a bird.
There is fear behind the fact that the saints want to know the will of God. The psychological anxiety mechanism, “What if I do something wrong and get out of God’s will?” is deeply rooted inside.
James Parker says that “India” is a term that makes many Christians both bewildered and terrified at the same time. These are phenomena that happen because “God’s Guidance” is so mysterious.
This phenomenon of evangelical Christians being confused about God’s guidance began relatively recently. This is the product of a faith called “reverential empiricism.”
This belief has given rise to the belief that Bible believers can receive direct orders from God in the form of strong inner impulse, imagination, or voice. They can do this if they humbly seek God’s guidance. This is a form of faith that the Puritans in the 17th century were wary of as “emotionalism.”
Finally, we’ll discuss how Christian mysticism evolved over time and how it continues to influence modern spirituality. We’ll also highlight some of the challenges and criticisms that Christian mysticism has faced throughout history.