Holism – A strong tenet of Celtic Christianity

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Holism, as it relates to these principles, is the idea that the holy God is present at all times and in all places. She rejects the notion that life can be divided. If God is infinite, God must be present always and everywhere. And when God is everywhere, there is no time or place that God can be isolated or pushed out of a situation. Consider the following verses:

“And these words which I am commanding you today you shall keep in your heart: and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you go about, and when, when you lie down, and when you rise.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7

“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and though we die, we die to the Lord. Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” -Romans 14:8

“Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his own good pleasure, which he purposed to himself, to unite in Christ, in the fulness of the dispensation, all things which are both in heaven and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:9-10

God cannot be broken

God cannot be broken into pieces and that is a true blessing. Our God is present when we are alone or in a crowd. The same God is present with us in battle and in the car. God remains present when we are hurt or happy. Our God is present in the sinner and in the holy. God loves the sinner as much as the saint. Many will point to verses like Habakkuk 1:13, which says that God is too pure to look at evil. However, there are several occasions in Scripture where God is in the presence of evil.

In the book of Job, Satan is in the presence of God, demons interacting with Jesus in the gospel accounts, the “accuser” of Revelation 12 begins in heaven in the presence of God and is cast down, plus the prophet Isaiah, a self-proclaimed sinner (Isaiah 6) , is in the presence of God. In truth, as an imperfect human being, I enter the presence of God every day in prayer.

I think Scripturally the best that can be said is that God does not condone sinful behavior but is still present with the sinner. The Habakkuk verse is a statement of God’s holiness, not a question of proximity to sin. It may come as a surprise to some, but God has no eyes as we understand it. God is spirit (John 4:24) and not a created man.

A deeper meaning

In a deeper sense, the idea is of a holistic faith that includes mind, soul and body. Many within the Christian faith seek to remove the body or (flesh) from the equation because of their belief in the sinful nature of the flesh. However, depriving the body of the beauty of divinity can harm man. This idea also connects to the first principle of hope. For the Celtic Christian, hope means looking first for the good, rather than the evil, in all things. This must also be applied to the body.

If we first look at the body, mind, and spirit as created by God and originally good, rather than focusing on sin, we can begin to treat the body as a part of us given to us by God. If the body is a gift from God, then the body should be treated as such, even if it can be argued that it is in a fallen state. Body, mind, and spirit must be treated holistically as God-given media of both expression and communication with God. How is that done? Through a holistic faith.


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