Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Christology and AA

Christology is the field of Christian theology primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ. This concerns the nature and person of Jesus Christ and the nature and person of God as well as the nature and person of the individual. Sub topics in Christology include the incarnation, the Resurrection and the salvific work of Jesus known as soteriology. Christology is related to questions concerning the nature of God like Trinitarianism, Unitarianism, or Binitarianism. Christology is concerned with the meeting of the human (Son of Man) and the divine (God the son or Word of God) in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

In the first few centuries of Christianity there were many divisions within the Church. Major heresies were defined as a consequence of resolution of conflicts on the way to a consensus or orthodoxy. One of the earliest controversies of Christology was among the Jews regarding the circumcision of followers. These schisms gave rise to actual churches and denominations some of which exist till today. Roman Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Catholics have differing views regarding Christology.

Early some viewed Jesus as an ordinary mortal. Others including Gnosticism held that he was a spiritual being who only appeared to have a physical body. Ultimately the Creed of orthodox Christianity was that Jesus was "both fully divine and fully human." This is naturally part of the unnatural mystery of the sacred.

In immediate terms this speaks directly to the Suffering of Jesus on the Cross and man's suffering in this life. It further speaks to the alteration of the natures of Christians who follow Christ and are said to become the 'adopted' sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus.

In the day to day experience one asks if they are a material person living in spiritual reality or a spiritual person living in a material reality or in some process, on the up or down elevator, so to speak. The process of recovery is a progression from the base or animal nature to the human or more divine nature. It has been said that man 'invented' God rather than that God invented man. If this were so then it really would be a mute point as man would have to be divine at the point of inventing God. Both God and the Devil are in the details. Practicing the presence of God is seeing the sacred in the mundane. Letting go of fear is to become closer to God in that God is by nature invincible, indivisible, transcendent etc.

12 step recovery programs have been criticized by orthodox faiths with regard to matters of Christology. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous requires individuals develop "a god of my understanding'. This process of reflection on the nature of God and looking up and walking upright metaphorically is no different than the church's own process in 'Early Christianity'. The Oxford Movement which begat Alcoholic's Anonymous was Christologically speaking, 'first century' Christianity.

Dr. Carl Jung saw everyone as interconnected and archetypal and part of the Collective Unconscious. A moving Christian song goes, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord". It asks that we consider ourselves as Shakespeare did, all actors on a stage, but at any point, which part are you playing in this primal drama. Throughout spiritual history the killing of the king has been a favored subject.

Kurtz' famous history of AA is called "Not God". Addiction causes a person to become a Legend in their Mind while in the world they cause increasing devastation and failure. The main purpose of the requirement that an addict or an alcoholic seek a "god of your understanding' is to simply get them out of their 'minds'. Their addiction has caused them to believe what Rabbi Dr. Twerski called "Addictive Thinking", the fundamental brain disease associated with addiction. Addiction, theologically is idolatry and the key feature of that idolatry is that the worshipper or addict has made alcohol or the drug their God.

Now in terms of Christology the question arises for the individual, what is their relationship to God. The story of Jesus Christ is essentially the story of God's relationship to man and Man's relationship to God. The Trinitarian view of three god's in one is simply that of Creator or Father, Creation or Son and Holy Spirit which to a psychiatrist is the Maternal glue that unites these two. Christology encourages the contemplation of God and the individual. To the Christian Jesus Christ is that bridge. When an Alcoholic or an Addict lets go of their addiction and bridges the gap between themselves and a god of their understanding they will likely find themselves well situated in the first centuries of Christianity. To my mind that is no heresy.

James: 4:8 "Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.

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