Personal Religious Experience v Established Orthodox Belief.

Of course they are not necessarily enemies. PRE must lay gently over EOB!

But for John we know he is protecting the Church from those who lead astray with false teaching and prophecies, he calls them ‘antichrists’. Simply because they are denying the orthodox tradition of the person of Jesus Christ and also because of their lack of love for others.

Often we are drawn away to side issues that the world wants to make as supremely important because it involves their lifestyles. There isn’t anything wrong with that providing we come from the premise of this one question: Did God become human in Jesus Christ?

If He didn’t then everything else is a side issue and not relevant.

If He did then what does that mean for the way I live?

“They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4 v 5-6)

John sets the 2 sides parallel, ‘them’ and ‘us’; the ‘world’ and ‘God’; ‘the Spirit of truth’ and the ‘spirit of falsehood’.

PRE is always easier than the EOB’s Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the impact on our lives.

PRE is set within the world we create for ourselves and EOB is from another world.

The speech of PRE is shaped by the world and the the speech of EOB is Christ-shaped.

Everyone can say they are having a personal religious experience but it must sit upon the foundation of established orthodox belief. That’s good for John’s generation and for 2023.

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