Wednesday, August 30, 2006

One of the greatest evidences of Christianity to me is that I see the Spirit of Jesus in all of the Christians I know. Despite your different talents, personalities, and foibles, I can clearly see that God is active in you. Particularly those of you whom I've known for some time, I've seen you become more and more Christ-like, yet simultaneously "more yourselves."


jose said...

"more yourselves"
Is that a C.S. Lewis thought? It sounds familiar.

Ρωμανος ~ Romanós said...

Very C. S. Lewis, as I read it.

I know what you mean, but I prefer to say that it's the greatest evidence of the living Christ rather than one of the greatest evidences of Christianity. Like I said, I do know what you mean, but I guess "Christianity" to me has an institutional, religious nuance better avoided.

Today in America, more than ever before, we have to purposely shed the garment of "religion" when witnessing about Christ, because "religion" has become, not only in the popular mind but also in reality by and large, just another form of "business as usual."

If Christ's holy apostles were to come to Portland this weekend, as I often tell my best friend Brock, I don't think we'd find them at the Sunday service in either of our churches (Brock is Baptist, I'm Greek Orthodox). They'd probably be downtown in Pioneer Courthouse Square "worshipping spiritually" by "preaching the good news" (Romans 1:9, Jerusalem Bible) to the passers-by.

jose said...

Ever meet someone that showed externally the "spirit of Jesus" without actually being a Christian?

A mutual friend of ours always thought my friend Thomas exhibited the Spirit, but he himself was Mormon.

Kenny said...

I've never seen that, no. In fact, my experience is of the opposite, people who are known as "good people" (always the good Buddhist, or atheist, or whatnot), but to me who are rather clearly prideful in their own goodness.

I'm not saying they're not "good people," (very often they are better people than me and mine) but I do not see in them the mark of the Spirit that comes with those who know Jesus, and therefore know that they are only justified by Jesus.

Mormons, however, are often tricky.

So I could certainly imagine meeting someone who didn't claim faith, but in whom I thought I saw the Spirit. Whenever I read Socrates, I always think he had the Spirit.

Ρωμανος ~ Romanós said...

I have seen Christ-like attitudes, behavior and actions among many kinds of people, but I don't think that's what Kenny is talking about here.

I have met people (always Christians) on whom I have seen the Spirit of the Living God (the Holy Spirit) resting. I also know by experience that what happened to Moses after he was on the mountain for 40 days is possible even now. I know an individual in Christ who I sometimes see in "the strange light of Tabor" as we Orthodox say. We don't know how or why the Lord lets us see His grace manifesting on an individual in this way, except that it strengthens and encourages me immensely that I am allowed to see it. It is definitely supernatural, and the person I am talking about is not aware of what I am seeing. Could this all be "prelest" (deception)? I suppose it could be, but by discernment, I think not. I hope I haven't written something totally incomprehensible or irrelevant, but something happened to me just now that urged me to give this testimony.