Mysticism

Mariam Webster's dictionary defines mysticism as a religious practice based on the belief that knowledge of spiritual truth can be gained by praying or thinking deeply. It is described as the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (as intuition or insight).

Tragically, many evangelical Christians are experimenting with this approach to a closer walk with God and leaving themselves open to spiritual deception and possibly opening the door in their lives to demonic spiritual entities. The Bible was given to us by God with enough revelation by which we can discern what is a legitimate spiritual experience with God. We need to be careful with regard to desiring closer spiritual experiences that are not in agreement with what the Bible teaches.

Mysticism" is derived from the Greek μυω, meaning "I conceal",[web 2] and its derivative μυστικόςmystikos, meaning 'an initiate'. The verb μυώ has received a quite different meaning in the Greek language, where it is still in use. The primary meanings it has are "induct" and "initiate". Secondary meanings include "introduce", "make someone aware of something", "train", "familiarize", "give first experience of something".[web 3]

The related form of the verb μυέω (mueó or myéō) appears in the New Testament. As explained in Strong's Concordance, it properly means shutting the eyes and mouth to experience mystery. Its figurative meaning is to be initiated into the "mystery revelation". The meaning derives from the initiatory rites of the pagan mysteries.[web 4] Also appearing in the New Testament is the related noun μυστήριον (mustérion or mystḗrion), the root word of the English term "mystery". The term means "anything hidden", a mystery or secret, of which initiation is necessary. In the New Testament it reportedly takes the meaning of the counsels of God, once hidden but now revealed in the Gospel or some fact thereof, the Christian revelation generally, and/or particular truths or details of the Christian revelation. [web 5]

According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, the term μυστήριον in classical Greek meant "a hidden thing", "secret". A particular meaning it took in Classical antiquity was a religious secret or religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to be communicated by them to ordinary mortals. In the Septuagint and the New Testament the meaning it took was that of a hidden purpose or counsel, a secret will. It is sometimes used for the hidden wills of humans, but is more often used for the hidden will of God. Elsewhere in the Bible it takes the meaning of the mystic or hidden sense of things. It is used for the secrets behind sayings, names, or behind images seen in visions and dreams. The Vulgate often translates the Greek term to the Latin sacramentum (sacrament). [web 5]

The related noun μύστης (mustis or mystis, singular) means the initiate, the person initiated to the mysteries. [web 5] According to Ana Jiménez San Cristobal in her study of Greco-Roman mysteries and Orphism, the singular form μύστης and the plural form μύσταιare used in ancient Greek texts to mean the person or persons initiated to religious mysteries. These followers of mystery religions belonged to a select group, where access was only gained through an initiation. She finds that the terms were associated with the term βάκχος (Bacchus), which was used for a special class of initiates of the Orphic mysteries. The terms are first found connected in the writings of Heraclitus. Such initiates are identified in texts with the persons who have been purified and have performed certain rites. A passage of the Cretans by Euripides seems to explain that the μύστης (initiate) who devotes himself to an ascetic life, renounces sexual activities, and avoids contact with the dead becomes known as βάκχος. Such initiates were believers in the god Dionysus Bacchus who took on the name of their god and sought an identification with their deity.[6] (Wikipedia)

Subpages (1): Agenda of Mysticism
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