Some Reflections on My Journey
This page is a collection of reflections on my spiritual journey as a result of questions or comments by others. The plan is to add to it as other thoughts and insights emerge.
Why Am I Staying on the Love Path?
Recently I was asked the above question. Here is my answer:
I had come to Christianity out of atheism when I was in my latter teen years — which I consider a miracle and a calling, that in all likelihood saved me from premature death. This was over 50 years ago.
In the church that I was led to at that time, I learned to pray and study the Bible and progressively developed a relationship with God. It was a non-mainstream church, so we didn’t believe in the Holy Spirit being God or in an everlasting hell. I was getting grounded in the Bible and was quite content on my spiritual journey for about two decades at which time the church changed some of its key teachings. This understandably caused a major upheaval, multiple splits, and falling away. It led me to looking into what other Christian churches believed and holding onto what resonated while discarding what didn’t.
I maintained my relationship with God and obedience to His laws, striving to do His will. That gave me purpose in life, peace of mind, and no doubt kept me out of trouble. Over the years, I experienced much help and guidance and many answered prayers, healings, protection, and most likely, unbeknown to me, numerous interventions behind the scenes.
About eight years ago I came across the Padgett messages and the teaching about the Divine Love imparted by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5) being the key of salvation – the narrow gate (Matt. 7:13-14), or what we here call the Love Path. While some things were different to what I had learned, I also recognized in the messages quite a lot of what I already knew from my decade-long Bible study – just expressed in a different way. I realized that I was already on the Love Path, following in Jesus’ footsteps and experiencing the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22) and the “divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). The Spirit fruit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” I realized that over the decades, I have grown in these godly qualities.
The most precious things on the Love Path are being in a relationship with God, knowing that I am loved, having purpose in life and hope beyond it, and being able to ask for help in difficult situations. Without these, life would be extremely difficult, if not unbearable. That’s why I am staying on the Path.
Question/Answer Session with a Fellow Believer
Question: Besides claiming automatic writing, did James Padgett claim to be a prophet or apostle or anything relevant to scripture? In other words, why was he given this passively penned interpretation? Or maybe I should ask, does the person of Padgett matter or only his “inspired” interpretation of the scriptures?
My Answer: I would say that in all cases of inspiration or mediumship, the messages would be more important than the writer/prophet/receiver of the messages. Even in the Bible, the authorship of many of the books is not clear-cut, e.g., not all of “Paul’s” epistles were written by Paul, but that is less important than what they say.
Comment: Okay, that’s a more modest claim. However, in my view, (also called “Covenant Eschatology” and “Preterism”), one of the mandates of the Messiah was to put all prophets out business: [long explanation of his view]
Having said all that, I merely skimmed your site and the only red flag was the reference to personages, as if they were anything. Not to get off on the wrong foot, I hope you can appreciate why uttering names as if they are something other than men striving to be faithful to revealed truth would have me scratching my beard.
Peace to you and yours. We may well be on the same team, but I must be sure.
My Answer: I appreciate you going into considerable length, including the Greek original words to show where you are coming from. (You are way ahead of me as far as knowing Greek.) We are not on the same page as far as “Covenant Eschatology” and “Preterism”.
However, I would like to believe that we are on the same team as far as following in Jesus’ footsteps and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in growing in love and the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). You may disagree with this, which of course is fine and is your prerogative.
Over my 50+ year long spiritual journey I have learned to take the perspective of Paul in 1 Cor 13:
1Co 13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, [by the way, there were prophets in the NT church] 1Co 13:10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. … 1Co 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1Co 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I read anything with a discerning mind and keep what resonates with me. I have learned to accept people where they are at, knowing that everyone’s journey is different. I have changed a lot during my spiritual journey from a rather intolerant person convinced that what my church taught and my beliefs were “the truth” and judging everyone else’s understanding as false; to a much more loving and accepting person respecting other people’s views even if I don’t agree with them. That is not to say that we should not seek truth — absolutely we should. But it is important to realize that as Paul said so long ago: At the best of times, we’ll only see a small part of it and at all times, love supersedes truth. (1 Cor. 13:2).
Peace to you and yours as well. I have enjoyed this exchange and also your sharing on Quora. Feel free to ask any further questions and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. I think one can always learn and grow from other people’s views even if we don’t see eye to eye on everything.
Question: So far, I’m thinking same team. Am I correct, that for you, everything meaningful is about the New Covenant?
My Answer: Yes and no. I find many spiritual things meaningful, including the merging of science and spirituality, overlap of teachings in various spiritual traditions, wisdom and understanding from ancient peoples whom western man has thought to be primitive, but who have much to teach us. There are also a lot of interesting things in the Old Testament/Old Covenant, which can teach us lessons through symbolism as I am showing in the article entitled Fulfillment of Old Testament Types. However, the New Covenant is the way and key to our salvation, eternal life and immortality in God’s Kingdom that Jesus brought to light through his gospel (2 Tim. 1:10). Nothing could be more important and meaningful than that.
Question: So, “spiritual traditions” are important to you. So Jewish traditions are one among many?
My Answer: Jewish traditions of course are based in the Old Testament. But I have been exposed to several Christian theologies — as represented by different denominations, including Catholic. In my MTh study, I was also briefly introduced to non-Christian spiritualities. as represented by different denominations, including Catholic. In my MTh study, I was also briefly introduced to non-Christian spiritualities. So I try to prayerfully discern the truth in all cases, and then take on board whatever resonates with me regardless of where it comes from.
Comment: We should get along nicely!