Posts tagged moral
Episode 15: Patterns of Spiritual Development

Every faith journey is different, but are there discernible patterns that are common among us?
Law was good, but it could never transform
It was good, it taught you that we live in a moral universe, you weren’t designed to live under a baby-sitter for ever, meant to mature and live by the Spirit
It’s openness to God that transforms, Jesus is the path to openness in God, in his death, he demonstrated his absolute trust—his absolute openness—to God and to resurrection life in Jesus.

There often will come a point where you have to get off the paved path. Often times it’s suffering or some sort of inner conflict, or a product of the Christian culture that we're living in today.

“If you ask anybody, ‘What’s the activity that you had that made you who you are?’ no one says, ‘You know I had a really great vacation in Hawaii.’ No one says that. They say, ‘I had a period of struggle. I lost a loved one. I was in the Army. And that period of struggle or that period of toughness made me who I am.’”

This idea of the dark night, some period where your faith seems inadequate or your suffering makes you ask, “Where is God?” is one of the key characteristics in the pattern of spiritual development

Every journey is different, but are there discernible patterns to the spiritual journey?
This can help us normalize our journey! We are not alone.
“It hurts to become real”
-The Velveteen Rabbit

SCRIPTURE
This development is actually normalized in Scripture
We are all being changed (2 Corinthians 3:18) What matters is becoming new creation

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Law-NT
Paul: law is a baby-sitter (Galatians 3:24)

Law was good, but it could never transform
It was good, it taught you that we live in a moral universe, you weren’t designed to live under a baby-sitter for ever, meant to mature and live by the Spirit
It’s openness to God that transforms, Jesus is the path to openness in God, in his death, he demonstrated his absolute trust—his absolute openness—to God and to resurrection life in God
Development in the nation of Israel
Jesus: Kingdom of Heaven: Mustard seed
NT Wright: every generation must wrestle with…
“We must stop giving 16th century answers…”

PSYCHOLOGY
James Fowler Stage of Faith

M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled
http://www.whale.to/b/peck1.html
-Stage I Chaotic, Antisocial
Antisocial in that it’s all “me” (perhaps Hedonistic)

-Stage II Formal, Institutional, Fundamental
Boundaries good
Dark side: very either-or, all-or-nothing. Have difficulty explaining, or comforting when experiencing suffering.

-Stage III
Skeptic, Individual, Questioner
Life is more gray than previously acknowledged

-Stage IV
Mystic, Communal
Open to God

Notice, Every pattern or theory of development we’re going to talk about today ends in some sort of “union”

It's possible, or probable to be in more than one at once. Not linear.
We may be in both or all at different times.

Exercise: In the midst of a painful thought, relationship or memory, asking God: "How can you be so good?"