By Fred Pruitt
Taken from an email sent July 24, 2001
What has recently risen up in me, is to realize in a more personal sense the absolute total NECESSITY to not fear, but to “be myself” in who I am. ONLY there, I believe, do I find the LIVING GOD as He is in this world – by me.
When we talk of the apparent “conflict” between “doctrine,” and “Person,” it is only because “doctrine” is “objectified,” and “Person” is subjective – “I AM”.
Therefore “doctrine,” i.e. “right doctrine” seeks to describe what really is in the final analysis “indescribable.” But that’s okay, because it is our launching pad into the Deep (Lk 5:4), which is known by LIVING and BEING, not by thinking and rationalizing. Of course we do think and rationalize about “IT,” but that is our means of expressing the “inexpressible” to those who don’t know it, so that they, too, might “KNOW” (i.e. be ONE WITH) the same inexpressible Person in union with themselves. That is our goal — not that people believe our “expressions,” but that they, for themselves, EXPERIENCE HIM by being One with Him.
Consider Abraham, who had no systematic theology, no Bible, no Romans 5-8, no background of Luther or Thomas Aquinas or Norman Grubb or John Calvin. Instead for Abraham it was just raw existential contact in the darkness of faith with the Eternal Living God.
When he looked up to the heavens at the infinity of the stars and God said to him, “So shall thy seed be,” what was that like for him? Abraham didn’t have anyone else to talk it over with, no books to refer to, no “scripture” to validate his “experience,” but just the naked “faith” that the “words” he heard in his own inner being were the eternal resonance of the LIVING Word speaking PARTICULARLY to him!
What AUDACIOUS faith! For it is one thing to believe God speaks – but it is entirely another thing to believe that God speaks TO ME! I have said that to some friends and they think I am crazy! So no wonder Abraham is called the “father of faith!” He had NO external supports of any kind, and the scripture records “and Abram believed in the Lord, and it was counted unto him for righteousness”! (Gen 15:6).
What a pregnant phrase! There is much more in the word “counted” than we can imagine. Think of this: we look rather spuriously at “accountants,” though we non-accountant-minded people desperately need them. Why do we need “accountants”? Because they “count” everything, i.e., accountants take stock of what is exactly real and true, monetarily. They count things out to the penny! They count what is really there, and give you the rock-bottom truth of the situation.
So considering that, instead of looking at the word “counted” when referring to Abram and ourselves as some magical saying that something is true which is not really true [e.g., “I’m ‘saying’ you’re righteous even though you’re not”], I am seeing God “counting” us as righteous [because of HIS righteousness in us which has PERMEATED US] as being like the “counting” of an accountant. In other words, he COUNTS us righteous because HE IS TELLING THE ABSOLUTE ROCK-BOTTOM TRUTH ABOUT US!!!! WE ARE RIGHTEOUS!!!!
We go to the worldly “accountant” to hear the “bad news” [“I’m sorry, but you’ve been spending entirely too much money and you’re going to have to tighten your belt”] but we go to the Eternal Accountant and HE says, “You are my beloved SON, in whom I am well-pleased, and I have found you perfect in my sight — so GO, BE FREE, BE FRUITFUL AND REPLENISH THE EARTH!”
How can we know this??? By hearing His word personally in the inner depths of our own being – (“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
How has the “heart” of evangelicalism been torn out of it, when it starts so magnificently by saying “You must receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior”? We do not “think” ourselves into Jesus, we “RECEIVE HIM!” Just HIM! And ALL the successive “levels” of that new life are nothing more than one and the same thing: RECEIVING HIM!
Lots has been going through my mind about “how” to get that across, because after we “receive HIM” (in KNOWING HIM AS ALL IN ALL) we are once more thrust back into the world of “men,” “concepts” and “doctrines,” and we have to operate on that level. But now that we have seen this eternal mystery in us, we now operate out of His Transcendence, and in the final guts of it all, having only HIM to offer, we invite people only to HIM that they might, for themselves, know (be “mixed as one”) the “well of water that springs up into everlasting Life”—“which is Christ in you, the hope of glory!”