The god Within

Many of you may have heard it, but reading through Chesterton’s Orthodoxy today I ran across his great stuff on the terrors of “inner” religion or spirituality.  He first recounts something he read in a Christian journal:  “…Christianity when stripped of its armour of dogma…turned out to be nothing but the Quaker doctrine of the inner light.”  He comments:

“Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within.  …That Jones shall worship the god within turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones.  Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within.  Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to be hold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain.  The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.”

Wonder what Chesterton would say to Deepak?

Above quotes taken from G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (San Fransisco: Ignatius Press, 1995), 81.

shane lems

sunnyside wa