“The Christian Mystic” Part IV

20170430_145845 DOCTOR STRANGE”. Another very popular good guy sorcerer. But before we get into that, I must say I have so enjoyed learning about the “Christian Mystic”. This has always been an arena I was aware of, but knew little about.

I’ve never been Catholic, and I’m always very careful of adopting anything Catholic because of practices I see as not always scriptural. Not that they have not done good things too, but I tread carefully. Actually, in some ways, this has actually helped my Catholic perspective.

I’ve had to purchase 3 books, so far, and also some Wikipedia research in order to gain light on this subject. Again, I have found an area I feel to tread carefully, but as long as you are careful, I’m finding some very interesting thought. Thoughts I myself have had for a long time. Thoughts I believe may have great value in our current time. So…starting in Part V we will begin to focus on the CM, and not so much these fictional characters, although they represent very real practices by people who are not fictional.

According to the Marvel Universe comics, Doctor Strange serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, the primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats. Strange was created during the silver age of comics to bring a different kind of character and themes of “mysticism” to Marvel Comics.

The character’s origin story relates that he was once a brilliant but ego driven surgeon. After a car accident renders his hands badly damaged, he searches the Earth for a way to repair them and eventually learns of the Ancient One. He becomes a student, (after some convincing), and becomes a practitioner of both the mystical arts as well as martial arts.

He rises very quickly in his new pursuit and eventually takes up residence in a mansion called the Sanctum Sanctorum, located in New York City, and takes on the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Once again I had to rewatch the movie to refresh my memory. The training he receives teaches him to draw on energy from other dimensions. This energy can then be used to make magic. Spells, magical weapons and devices, supernatural abilities, all these things are the world in which he now lives.

Originally he was a very egotistical and prideful man who did not believe in anything mystical. Science was his chosen faith, and he was a strong believer. But his path forces him this direction and leads to the breaking of pride and the gaining of humility, even though he still seems to do his own thing, break rules, if he deems it advantageous to the goals.

When the next big Avenger movie hits, the battle with Thanos, Doctor Strange will be a part of that battle, fighting for the saving of Earth and the human race. Personally I find Doctor Strange much more interesting than Harry Potter, but both still glamorize something our Bible has revealed as “dark”, not light. Therefore, even as a child when I was very into comic books, I read a couple of his and decided that even though I enjoyed them, they were not for me. This movie was the first time I’ve seen anything of Doctor Strange in a long time.

Unlike Harry Potter, who is an unfortunate child you feel sorry for and immediately want to like; Stephen Strange is this egotistical man who has everything you could want. Granted, perhaps he has earned what he has, but his self absorption makes us not want to like him. There is not a humble bone in his body. So when life suddenly breaks a bunch of his bones and sends him down a path of brokeness leading to humility, we kind of enjoy it.

Once again he proves his ability to rise to the top, but he is still not prepared to live a life of personal sacrifice. His abilities are needed to fight the darkness always threatening to overwhelm the world. This would require complete devotion to a higher cause and a selfless life. He struggles with such a choice. He does not want any part of it. But before the show is over, he becomes this person putting the welfare of others before his own. It appears to be a lonely existence, but a cross someone must bear.

It is easy to see the parallels of the fictional Doctor Strange to the same path and choices any person faces if they seek spirit rather than material. We can look at our own journey in Christ and find commonalities. The breaking of self…study of ancient writings…gaining of spiritual understandings and spiritual laws…such as God promotes humility and resists pride. We know our own training God has put us through over the years, but never forget, if you are a Christian, Doctor Strange is not promoting our God or the Book our God gave us.

He would not be one to pray. He might meditate, but if he prays who is he praying to? Some “being” of these other dimensions? And who is this being? Would he declare him to be Jesus Christ? Sadly, no. And if he did, then sorcery is a sin he would need to abandon if he wanted to learn the way of God, the way of true light.

I for one would like to encourage every Christian to consider their own Sanctum Sanctorum, in which they pray, pour over the ancient scriptures, and devote themselves to the one true God. It is my hope that as we look further into the Christian Mystic, that it will inspire us to do that very thing. I know some of you could write this subject yourself, because you already know and love this path we speak of. But in our current culture of running here and there, my gut tells me our Churches are full of people more concerned about worldly success, than learning the ways of a true disciple of Christ.

So be careful what you do with the many many “good witch” heroes flooding our major platforms these days. The Bible is not a book of spells. Don’t treat it as such. I fear many modern churches have fallen into what amounts to casting scriptural spells. The weapons of “our” warfare work in a much different way. Walk with Christ. Learn God’s ways. Be Holy Spirit trained.

Be aware of your surroundings and know what is going on. Jesus sent the Disciples out as sheep among wolves, but he also said be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. So what is this power that enables a sheep, a harmless dove, to accomplish great things while in a world of wolves? That’s our God. To know Him is to love Him. I look so forward to examining the Christian Mystic. Amen.

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