July 20, 2015

Why the Church?

The "deep magic" of the Church, the great mystery outlined in Ephesians as existing from before the foundation of the world, is the mystery of Unity. It is at the heart of the mystery of God the Three in One. It is reflected in the cosmos that God created in all its multiplicity, coming back into unity in Christ, with the Church being the initial beneficiary of the Incarnation (the reunion of Divinity and Humanity in one Person). If the Church is incapable of exercising its underlying unity in spite of jurisdictional divisions, it has failed in the One Task for which it exists -- as the growing edge of the emergent New Creation, the Body of Christ in which all things in heaven and on earth become One, even as God is One.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


John Julian said...

Tobias, you know and I know that the reason for the crippledness and brokenness of the Church is that the mystical realities of Christianity have been pretty much forgotten and left by the wayside in the name of "mission" or "church growth" or "social service" or "liturgical relevance". And I think that forgetting goes way back further than the 19th century. Oddly enough, I think it has its roots in the theological tensions of the late Middle Ages—when "order" came to replace "awareness" and minute canon law drove out intuition. Herbert O'Driscoll used to day that we had one century in which to return the Church to her mystical roots,and if we don't, it will be all over... And to my mind, the core of that mysticism is utter unity—as you say.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

So true. I was thinking yesterday about Ephesians, and how little attention is paid to the wonderful mystery the Apostle is trying to lay out. The marriage debate reveals the lack some people seem to have about getting the point that it is Unity that is the mystery, not division. As with the Trinity, there is a marvelous relationship but an essential unity at work: and I love how the Apostle builds that litany of One - All - Each in 4:4ff; the many gifts from one Giver reflecting one Spirit at work in one Church.

More simply, if we really accepted the words of the Nicene Creed concerning our belief that the church is One it might be a good start towards getting at least Christians all on the same page! We could then begin credibly to work with those who say they believe God is Akbar and Echad!