“But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.” Joshua to Israel, Joshua 23:8. Madame Jeanne Guyon, 17th century French mystic, led Christians to seek peace with God without the interference of Catholic priests and ceremonies. Mysticism isn’t a Christian monopoly. Moslems and Hindus are only two of world religions with the emphasis. Ancient Essenes and Gnostics majored in it. Madame Guyon sought in mysticism what ecclesiastical Roman Catholicism couldn’t satisfy.
Mysticism is perfectly sound New Testament teaching often distorted by being filtered through one’s personality and preferences. It can be as easily absurd as formalism in belief and worship impermeable.
To be fair with the Madame, we must see Christian mysticism as a reaction to the cold, priest-ridden, form-fascinated religion foisted by Roman Catholic theology. Left spiritually cold by the externals of Catholic religion, mystics found peace by losing self in God’s presence.
Thus, Madame Guyon could say she didn’t need to ask for forgiveness from God. In the ecstasy of his presence, none existed. That’s incorrect. Humans must seek forgiveness before we enter God’s presence. However, while in a state of forgiveness, and in God’s presence, the forgiven Christian is aware only of the Savior’s Glory and Grace and of himself only as one lost in rapture. –End Part I-
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