The Cycle of Revelation, Complication, Contemplation, Revelation
Victor Lams had a spiritual revelation driving home from a Catholic writers' conference (read about the experience here, here, and here). He says, "I don't know how long this new insight will last. Likely it will fade and be forgotten in time." I've come to believe that such insights do not fade; rather, they require new thought and new insights when we ask "then what?" and apply them to complicating matters of practicality or philosophy.
It is wise to try always to leave room for the possibility that another's revelations are different from those that we've experienced. I do have comments and questions about Victor's statements, but first, I want to applaud the central lesson that Victor suggests that he's learned:
However, I disagree, to an extent, with the thoughts that led to this point:
The problem is that he goes from "something Christ-like" to "There is only Jesus." A Christian is called upon to see Christ in his fellow human beings, but he also must realize that those people are the ones who crucify the image of Christ within themselves. We writers and artists, especially are called upon to strive to draw out that seed of God in each person, and anger (as much as it is an inevitability of our humanity) can only hinder that endeavor. But none of this means that those we strive to save are free of their blameworthy titles. With free will comes responsibility and culpability.
What I see as the danger in failing to see or to accept this makes an appearance toward the end of Victor's essay:
Victor offers no answer. Here's mine: There are true monsters in real life. Fictional monsters are monstrous and wicked incidentally (Frankenstein) or as a matter of nature (vampires). Humans have the ability to choose their course to choose to heed God's urging or to refuse to hear it. Some merely slip, as Victor is claiming to have done in the past; some act out of misunderstanding; and some are beyond the ability of man to change. And we must realize this; there must be a point at which, even as we extend our own forgiveness for harm done (our last attempt to draw out the human Christ), we declare, "This is evil. This is monstrous. This is unacceptable in the eyes of men and God."
Sometimes people must be chastised or mocked or ridiculed. The key is to do so not out of spite or hatred, but with the promise of forgiveness inherent in the chastisement out of love for them and others who are at risk of falling into the same traps as well as for the shadow of the living God within them.
Posted by Justin Katz @ 12:10 PM EST