Richard Rohr’s book, The Naked Now is about the truth that Athanasius and the church fathers always knew – that Christ without any addition to the self, is our life. In this state of being we are naked to God, with no self-made clothing intervening between Him and ourselves; naked with no accretions between God and the self and naked because there are no insulating layers of law/religion in use as ‘clothing.’ When naked, there is no attempted mediation of the Presence by means of rites, usages, laws and venerated observances.
But we are clothed and not naked because we are hidden in Christ and Christ is our life.
In Christ’s Gospel and in His life, as opposed to other gospels and self-made-christs, God is woven into our being and we are woven into Him. This explains Athanasius’s declaration that in Jesus Christ, human beings become God *– not as in a divine status but in the noble and elevated mode of the sons of God. This is the meaning of ‘oneness’ theology which is less a theology and more the state of being that is ours in our new covenant union with God.
HARD MAN SYNDROME
We can forgo this on account of our compulsion to undo our perceived separation and non-belonging with works of our own. Because of our deep-seated attitude that ‘You are a hard man reaping where you did not sow’ we leave the pearl of great price in the ground and stick with our adamic/mosaic existence of unlife.
So we go about striving to find an identity. We make religion out of rocks and stones, sandy soil, weeds and seed pecking crows -presenting our granite surfaces to The Sower and showing ourselves far too clever to be a living manifestation of Christ come in our flesh. Too clever by half because we believe the second part of the Great Lie and the post cross extension of the fall – That Jesus and Father are not enough and we must add something of our own to be acceptable, to be accepted, received and to belong.
OUR TERRIBLE BLUNT SWORD
The result is that our sword is always blunt and spiritual vision so blurred. Living in our illusion of self-made separation, we are the opposite of the two-edged sword that discerns the difference between Kingdom and flesh. The result is that we are like the Australian prime minister – blind to opportunity and speaking nonsense in world forums while the world dies from genuine life.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV
The premise of the ‘naked now’ is that now we are the sons of God by adoption and by incarnation today and every day. We do not look to religious artefacts and usages to be holy. We live in the reality that we are holy because we are one with God – with the result that we ignite with spirit and life the things we touch and the things we do because we are alive in His Life.
* This is an affront to the religious mind that has invested all in the notion that religion is god and that he is ‘godly’ and entitled to be so because he has invested himself in religion.