The apostle John was intimate with Jesus. But in Revelation 1:17 he sees Jesus and says, "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead." He is the creator. We are creatures. He is infinite. We are finite. He is holy. We are sinners.Yes, we are to be in fellowship with Jesus but He needs to lift us up rather than us bringing Him down. We can get lifted through the word, through the sacraments, through the church, through prayer. These things are not barriers between us and God but bridges. They allow us to get a taste of heaven on earth. That is a glimpse of that intimacy we are all destined for.
When we feel we don't need the bridges. When we feel intimacy with God is just part of our ordinary life then we cheapen heaven. We stop striving for God and start presuming we have Him. There can be moments of joy in this life when we experience an ecstasy of communion with God. But that should not be the norm. There will always be periods of spiritual dryness. We walk by faith and not by sight. We can never need the experience. It is a blessing when it is there.
He closes with an interesting thought:
You understand, I trust, that there are many views of Jesus out there in the church. Some are closer to the truth than others. You also understand, I hope, that a false view of Jesus is worse than no view, because you think you hold the right thing you never go in search for him really.
a dear friend heard a sermon recently that basically went like this: You can't really know Jesus, because he isn't like your friends. He is vastly different from us. I think the attempt was to invoke reverence. But the teaching is from hell. You can know Jesus intimately, better than your friends. Or what in the world was the incarnation for? Jesus came for the very purpose that we might know God. Be intimate with him. Everything else is a sideshow.
And so the very best thing you could ever pray is "Jesus, I ask you for the real you; take away every false Christ and show me the real you."
It just goes to show how everything comes back to authority. How do we correct false images of Jesus in our minds? You can pray for that grace but the principle way those images are corrected is through the church. If you are not open to the fullness of truth in the church then how do these images get corrected? Often they don't. Often people change their minds based on some teaching but the new teaching is just as likely to be wrong as the old.
He acknowledges there are teachings from hell within protestantism. Bright people are embracing them. But how does he know he is doing any better than those guys he feels such pity for? He doesn't.