[Listen to post here.]
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Well, if you made it past the title of this post, I commend you! Bravo! I trust you will be glad that you did as this is, dare I say in all sincerity, one of the most important posts on this blog! In short…it explains everything! 😮
I feel strongly that the principles and simple diagram that were introduced in the previous post, “The Stronghold of Spiritual Eccentricity (#propheticresistance)”, should be elaborated on and illustrated further. (I also strongly encourage you to read or listen to that post in conjunction with this one!) What we are focusing on in these posts is truly one of the most significant and consequential revelations/insights that the Lord has given to me over the past three decades (since it first began to come into my understanding), and I have waited on the Lord for over ten years for the right time to communicate it here on this blog! It is nothing short of a “Rosetta Stone” in my estimation, for it fits perfectly with the implication associated with the use of that name. Dictionary.com defines this as: “a clue, breakthrough, or discovery that provides crucial knowledge for the solving of a puzzle or problem.”
When looked at as a whole, Christendom indeed presents a troubling “puzzle” and “problem!” After all that God has given to His Ekklesia in and through His Beloved Son, the indwelling Holy Spirit, the New Covenant, and His inspired Scriptures in order to bring forth “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:27), it is with utter amazement and profound confusion that we observe everywhere the level of division, deficiency, imbalance, and impurity that exists within the Church! What could possibly explain such a subpar, unbiblical state of affairs after all that God has done and given to His Church in and through the Lord Jesus Christ?
Although the reality of and solution to this troubling matter is something that could never be fully explained by a simple “drawing on a napkin”, I believe with all of my heart that the illustration that is presented in these posts goes a very long way to provide “a clue, breakthrough, [and] discovery” for the solving of that profound “puzzle” and “problem!”
For mostly self-evident reasons, I call this understanding “Christocentricity/Eccentricity Spiritual Theory.” I consider it a “spiritual theory” because it provides “a coherent group of tested general propositions…that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena:” (excerpted from the Dictionary.com definition of “theory”.) Although, admittedly, it has not been “tested” broadly at this point, I have personally tested it extensively in regard to my own in-depth study of Scripture, Church history, and the present-day state of Christendom. I have found it to be the most accurate and useful tool I know of for the purpose of “explanation and prediction” of the “phenomena” we sometimes call “Christendom!” That being said, I also invite you to do your own testing of it and see if it is not a powerful lens through which to look to discern the Ekklesia how God has eternally desired it, and the “enigma” of the Church as it has historically developed! My hope is that it will give you a brand new set of eyes!
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For this post, I have once again tapped my youngest son’s talents to produce an animated short as a visual aid to illustrate this “spiritual theory.” What follows is an explanation of the diagram as it develops, along with the truth behind each aspect. Also included are interspersed snapshots from the animated short to provide additional visual clarity at each point. The 35-second animation wraps it up with a presentation of the complete diagram near the end!
And so, without further ado…
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The following diagram symbolizes that which we shall identify as “the fullness of God.” It has four initial phases, each representing one of four spiritual attributes related to God’s fullness:
- Unity – The diagram begins with a black background overlaid with one white circle possessing one indisputable and unrivaled centerpoint. From center to circumference, this circle represents spiritual unity.
- Fullness – The circle next fills in with numerous other points, each representing some aspect of “the fullness of God.” The diagram now symbolizes spiritual fullness.
- Balance – All the points turn into vectors as they orient properly to the centerpoint. Their distance from the centerpoint, also indicates their proper “weightedness” within “the fullness of God.” The diagram now portrays spiritual balance.
- Purity – Numerous black vectors appear within the darkened background surrounding the circle but none encroach within the circle. This development displays spiritual purity.
These initial four phases together, therefore, represent “the fullness of God” in its four essential spiritual attributes: unity, fullness, balance, and purity. If we further identify the centerpoint as Christ Jesus Himself (Ephesians 1:9-10; Colossians 1:18), this diagram takes on the attribute of “Christocentricity”, and as such further serves as a depiction of a “Christocentric spiritual system”…i.e. the Kingdom of God, the Ekklesia.
In regard to the Ekklesia, these four spiritual attributes of unity, fullness, balance, and purity can be seen as characteristics of the fully-matured Body of Christ toward which God is building it up and perfecting it. According to Ephesians 4:11-15, the “five-fold ministry gifts” are given “till we all come to…” a particular end:
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to…
“…the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
“…to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;
“…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
“…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–“
As we consider these verses alongside the diagram, we can see exactly how these four attributes come to increasingly characterize the spiritual condition of God’s people when Christ Himself occupies the indisputable, unrivaled place of centrality and supremacy in all things related to the fullness of God!
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Our diagram continues to develop further now in order to depict that which becomes the rival to spiritual “Christocentricity”: “spiritual eccentricity.” In these final phases, four new spiritual attributes are introduced as the fruit of a spiritually “eccentric” development:
- Disunity – One of the secondary points within the circle ceases to orient to the centerpoint, loses its vector, and enlarges until it rivals the original centerpoint in size, significance, and preeminence. As a result, a new circle forms around it that shifts over from the original circle. Now there is no longer one centerpoint and circle but two competing centerpoints and circles. The diagram now depicts spiritual disunity.
- Diminishment – With the new circle having shifted over, certain points within the original circle are no longer included in the second circle. This rival circle is now marked by spiritual diminishment.
- Distortion – All of the points/vectors of the first circle that are still within the second circle, now twist to orient to the new center. Their proximity to the centerpoint also changes, either increasing or decreasing their spiritual “weightedness.” Everything is now torqued and out of balance from the original state, thus exhibiting spiritual distortion.
- Defilement – Lastly, the second circle, having shifted over, now incorporates into it aspects of the darkness. The black vectors now included within the shifted circle turn red and twist to orient to the new rival center. Our diagram is now complete with this final development representing spiritual defilement.
These final four phases together, therefore, represent a condition we can rightly call “spiritual eccentricity”, along with its four spiritual attributes of: disunity, diminishment, distortion, and defilement. “Spiritual eccentricity” [“eccentricity” meaning “ec-“(“out of”) +”centricity”(“center”), i.e. “out-of-center”] comes into existence whenever something or someone takes on greater significance, centrality, and preeminence than God’s ordained “centerpoint”, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10; Colossians 1:18). When some aspect, even of that which belongs to “the fullness of God”, becomes more primary than Christ Himself, a new “center” forms and a new “circle” comes into existence, shifting over from the original and ushering in the four attributes of “spiritual eccentricity.”
This is tantamount to a spiritual law and its effects can be observed everywhere throughout Christendom to this day. This very process has replicated over and over again (around divergent new centers by various collectives of God’s people), and this simple illustration portrays and identifies clearly the root cause of the vast prevalence of division, deficiency, imbalance, and impurity in the Church world-wide. Thankfully, it also illuminates the radical spiritual solution and resolution to it in the restoration of the Lord Jesus Christ back to the place of indisputable and unrivaled centrality and supremacy in all things!
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If there are any bare minimum “takeaways” from this illustrated “spiritual theory”, then, let them at least be these: if Jesus Christ were truly in His rightful place within the Ekklesia, central and supreme in ALL things, according to the eternal purpose and wisdom of God, ALL disunity, diminishment, distortion, and defilement within the Church would be eradicated and cease to exist! (Tell me what would not be thus affected!) Secondly, any and every appearance of these four eccentric spiritual attributes of spiritual disunity, diminishment, distortion and defilement identifies, simply and clearly, that Jesus Christ is, in fact, NOT in His rightful place within the Ekklesia in one or more respects and something else lesser IS! Identifying the root of these eccentric maladies, and seeing its Christocentric remedy, is the greatest value and usefulness of this profoundly simple, simply profound “spiritual theory” and its associated diagram!
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Now that we have considered each phase of this diagram as it develops, along with its corresponding spiritual attributes and principles, let us take an animated look at it, all brought together in one… (expanded view recommended!)
PLEASE take some TIME with this diagram and the spiritual realities it portrays! Please consider and seek out what specific aspects of “the fullness of God” have historically taken center stage and around which movements and institutions have divergently coalesced. How exactly do these principles explain the spiritual diminishment that exists within the various sects of Christianity? What particular eccentric emphases have gotten God’s people out of focus and out of balance? What identifiable impurities have crept in that can be traced back to some lesser thing than Christ being enthroned as preeminent? These things are very real among God’s people, and maybe, just maybe, this simple “drawing on a napkin” can give us a a clue, a breakthrough and a discovery as to WHY!
Next: “C/E Spiritual Theory” – A Scriptural Case Study (Part 1)
The Stronghold of Spiritual Eccentricity (#propheticresistance)
“Christocentricity/Eccentricity Spiritual Theory” main page: C/EST
Centrality and Eccentricity
Centrality and Balance
“Christ – The Center of All Things” by Nathan Odell
Affirmations (2) – Christ the Unrivaled Center of the Church
I don’t think I will easily forget this post and the previous one. Crystal clarity. Spiritual dynamite. For the believer and our faith communities. Thanks David, and glory to God!
Thanks, Erroll…and, indeed, all glory to God! I pray that this revelation sinks down deep into people’s spirits and becomes like “eye salve”, “the eyes of [our] heart(s) being enlightened…”, that we may see more clearly the Beloved through the eyes of the Father! Thank you for your encouraging words!
Love in the Beloved!
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Thanks, bro.! 🙂