So I made a new Facebook Page, called The Christian Mystic. I invited many people, and one person, whom I know to be churchbound, posted to this page: Nope.
This doesn’t bother me. I am aware of the general view of the church towards Mysticism. Simply because they are ignorant on the subject.
Churchbound Christians are seldom thrilled with anything that they don’t understand. Be it Mysticism, or different understanding of scriptures. This is a normal deal.
So for the new people to the concept, I’m going to explain why it’s perfectly acceptable to say that Mysticism is part of Christianity. Let’s start with defining it.
Mysticism: belief that union with the Deity, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.
Looky there. These can be labeled, Biblically, as “walking in the Spirit.”
Other Christian Mystics, such as CS Lewis, defined the term like this: “one who seeks to experience the person, presence, and activities of Jesus.”
Then there is Brad from Celtic Straits: The term “Christian Mystic” confuses many people, including Christians, as they fearfully push everything mystical into new age or eastern religion. As in any religious stream, mystical practices are broad and can push beyond what is normative, faithful, or best. For example, I feel that some writers embrace eastern forms of meditation and a overly-broad ecumenicalism. As always, there are dangers and wisdom is required. In opposition, I think mystical Christianity has been an orthodox stream in the Bible and in the Church since it started. Mainstream Mystical Christianity has always been about encountering the biblical Jesus in our lives. It is grounded in Scripture, and believes that experiences of God confirm the Truth of Scripture, and never dispute it. I use a simple experiential test: if it happened in the Bible, it can still happen to Christians today. Many solid Christians throughout history have been Mystical Christians: like Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Julian of Norwich, Ignatius of Loyola, Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta, Thomas à Kempis, Saint Patrick, Blaise Pascal, Tertullian, John Bunyon, C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and Chuck Colson.
Evangelical pastor and writer A. W. Tozer notes, “A mystic is a believer who practices the presence of God.”
So, just from this source, I feel it has been sufficiently explained as well and proper to be a Mystic.
Many Churchbound will still not understand it. By choice. And that is ok. For those searching, seeking understanding, I hope this has been helpful.