It is believed that Identity comes from either one, two, or all three of these different sources: the Self, the Community, and God. In this episode of the Theonauts, we want to explore these options and their implications in order to prove that the only Identity that matters is the Identity that comes from God.
Where is Identity Bred, in the Heart or in the Head?
Identity of the Human Race as Defined by God
“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in his sight is what you are and nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing that you have received…but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.” -St. Francis of Assisi
- Identified by God – Imago Dei / In the Image of God
- Key Text: Genesis 1:26-27
- Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.
- Key Text: Genesis 1:26-27
- Identified by man – The Fall / Depravity
- Key Text: Genesis 3
- Key Text: Jeremiah 17:9
- Key Text: Romans 3:23
- Identified by Christ – The New Creation / Identity
- Key Text: 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Eccentric Identity (http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2014/08/eccentric-christianity-part-1-peculiar.html)
- “Eccentric” as a combination of the Greek “ek” for out of and “kentron” for center. Eccentric literally means “out of center.” (Summary of David H. Kelsey’s Eccentric Existence)
- In a Christian context, that means that our new Identity comes from “out of the center” of the center. In other words, the core of our new Identity is not our natural and depraved self but God Himself. (NT Wright and angled mirrors).
- “The key idea behind an eccentric identity is coming to receive your life (and the things in your life) as gift. The experience of gift, cultivated through the practices of doxological gratitude, reduces both our basic and neurotic experiences of anxiety and scarcity, our worries about having enough (basic anxiety) and being enough (neurotic anxiety)…So gratitude sits at the heart of the eccentric identity.” — Dr. Richard Beck, Abilene Christian University.
- Christian Freedom
- Key Text: Proverbs 16:3: Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Identity as Defined by Sigmund Freud (the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego)
- “It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the Dreamwork and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations. … It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle.”
- attempts to mediate between id and reality
- the ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world. … The ego represents what may be called reason and common sense, in contrast to the id, which contains the passions … in its relation to the id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the ego uses borrowed forces.
- “it serves three severe masters … the external world, the super-ego and the id.” Its task is to find a balance between primitive drives and reality while satisfying the id and super-ego. Its main concern is with the individual’s safety and allows some of the id’s desires to be expressed, but only when consequences of these actions are marginal. “Thus the ego, driven by the id, confined by the super-ego, repulsed by reality, struggles … [in] bringing about harmony among the forces and influences working in and upon it.
- special psychical agency which performs the task of seeing that narcissistic satisfaction from the ego ideal is ensured … what we call our ‘conscience
- The Super-ego can be thought of as a type of conscience that punishes misbehavior with feelings of guilt. For example, for having extra-marital affairs
Christian Identity as defined by God
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV)
Heb word meod is expounded on in the NT
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30 ESV)
- Heart – Kardia : thoughts (intents) and feelings [Emotional Identity]
- Our Temple’s Holy Place – the new heart has new desires and houses the identity of Christ (table of bread, light of menorah, altar of incense, etc)
- Psalm 28:7 – My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him
- Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Soul – Psyche : the spirit (our faith, trust, and belief) [Spiritual Identity]
- Our Temple’s Holy of Holies – Energy source and where the Spirit of God lives
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your way acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
- John 14:1 – Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
- Romans 5:1-2 – Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God
- Mind – Dianoia : rational thoughts, imagination, and understanding [Rational Identity]
- Our Temple’s entrance flanked by 2 pillars – Jachin (He Establishes)
- Romans 12:2 – Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
- Isaiah 1:18 – Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
- Hebrews 10:16 – This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds
- Isaiah 55:8 – My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
- Philippians. 4:8 – And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
- Strength – Ischys : force, ability, power [Physical Identity]
- Our Temple’s entrance flanked by 2 pillars – Boaz (In His Strength)
- Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who strengthens me
- Isaiah 40:29-31 – He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint.
- Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might
- 2 Corinthians 12:10 – For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong