Mystics arise!

13 Sep

Through much of my life, I haven’t given much thought to the word ‘mystic’.  I used to relegate it to someone who was ‘over the edge’ in their beliefs and kind of ‘spooky’ in their deportment.

But historically, in religious circles, the title ‘mystic’, is used to describe some of our notable contemplatives.  In the last couple of thousand years, these ancient church mystics possessed a relationship, piety, and reality in God that set them apart.  Some of the more commonly known mystics include Francis of AssisiIgnatius LoyolaJohn of the CrossBrother Lawrence, and Jeanne Guyon, just to name a few.

Religious opinion and tradition generally require that to be called a mystic, one must have had a personal transformation… or must have effected transformation in someone else.

But if you think about it, that definition should apply to any seriously devout God-person.  In Christian circles, a personal and even radical transformation is not only sought after but is a powerfully validating evidence that one has truly had an encounter with God.  In addition, it will empower that person to be a ‘carrier’ of the attributes of the divine encounter and be able to impart those attributes to others.  A bona fide encounter with God has an inherent residual within it which will emanate effortlessly and contagiously to those around… almost involuntarily.

A sad commentary is that much of the Church finds itself diluted, even mousy, without much ‘transformational’ power resident within its gatherings and practices.  This is a travesty, especially since the Church’s Theology purports such great power.

This diluted condition is not a true reflection on the Gospel, to be sure.  Rather, it’s the ‘handlers’ of the Gospel who have lost their passion, poignancy, personal devotion, and the resulting overflow.  But lest I get too far out on a tangent, let’s return to our theme.

So recently, as I did a cursory investigation about the subject of ‘mystic’and I found something surprising.  The label and the description of a mystic is not as crazy as I had believed, in fact, if we’re seriously conscientious about our faith and relationship with God, then all devout God-lovers will become a mystic… maybe even, mystical… at least by definition.

A definition of a mystic:

~ Someone who believes in unseen realities
~ One who believes that they can have access to hidden mysteries, that transcend ordinary human knowledge.
~ One who believes that they can actually know God.

It sounds like they’re talking about any passionate lover of God.  After all, doesn’t this describe the basics of our personal relationship with God?

So let’s get a little more technical in our definition of Mysticism.

1. Unitive experience (believes in union with God)

~ A sense of union with God
~ Usually a fundamental part of defining a religious experience
~ Perceiving a unity to God or the Supernatural
~ Sense of participation in that unity

2. Paradoxical (hard to explain experiences)

~ Beyond normal reason, cannot be explained
~ Yet, believed to be true
~ Knowledge was gained, yet can’t explain how that knowledge came

Well, it sounds like ‘mystic’ should define every true believer.  So, let the mystics arise, stand up confidently… and be mystifying!!! 


7 Responses to “Mystics arise!”

  1. Deonna Hollrah September 13, 2019 at 5:32 PM #

    Excellent Sir!

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Mark Hendrickson September 13, 2019 at 5:55 PM #

      Deonna, Thank you! Funny how they lowered to bar so low because most of the world’s religions (even nominal Christianity) don’t experience the supernatural. But Real Christianity’s basic core revolves around the supernatural… and encountering God. So let the mystics stand up boldly and activate our ‘mystical’!!!! 🙂

  2. Deborah Fogal September 14, 2019 at 5:20 AM #

    Very good Word. I would like to see more of the transformational in me and others!

    • Mark Hendrickson September 14, 2019 at 1:25 PM #

      Yes!! More transformation, Lord. Rms 12:2 … we just gotta get a new mind!!! Which leads to ‘metamorphoo’. Man, that really excites me. Transfiguration is our inheritance. – II Cor 3:18. So we keep feeding each other the freshest rhema which breaks off the old and gives us permission into the better stuff. Yes, Lord! Watch out world, here we come!

  3. Mel Wild September 14, 2019 at 9:34 AM #

    Sounds like a normal believer to me! 🙂

    I’ve always felt gravitated to the mystics (some of my favorite Catholics!), even before I got serious with Jesus. To me, an encounter-less Christianity doesn’t sound very compelling. Our union with Christ is the very center of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

    • Mark Hendrickson September 14, 2019 at 1:20 PM #

      AMEN!!! “Encounter-less Christianity” is no doubt the reason that there are rumbles and exodus from the church. We’re gonna step on up into our inheritance. You’re a modern mystic. Breaking new ground, paving the way! You go, bro!!!

      • Mel Wild September 14, 2019 at 1:26 PM #

        And returning to “normal” Christianity is going to bring the fatherless wounded back to the church. It’s what we’ve been looking for all along!
        You go, too, bro! You’re also breaking some good ground here. 🙂

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