I believe that church:
complicates the simple matters of living like Jesus and loving on others with extraneous, counter-productive, wasteful, and often damaging processes.
:: from “church?” post ::
In the mix of well-intended teachings, traditional churches lean towards if not outright teach some convenient “facts” that simply aren’t true. As an example (in fairness, painted with a large sweeping stroke), issues of “right” and “wrong” or “black” and “white”. There is no grey in the utopian world of the 20-21st century church. Nothing about my own experience with Jesus or reading through the Bible leads me to believe for a moment that this is true.
Hormone-befuddled teenagers sense this. The classic question at Bible studies where teens were allowed to discuss matters of sex: “How far is too far?” At the heart of this question is a sense that all points along the “sexual immorality” spectrum are not as perfectly defined as parents would insist that the are. Without question there are some “endpoints” that are made known, but there is a whole realm of issues that are undefined. Teens inevitably make their own decisions here. Some rationalize that as long as they don’t do “X” then they’re good and others fearing lust’s eternal damning flame decide that “J” or “K” is all they can muster lest guilt kill them prior to confessing the 17 sins of the day.
The more and more I think about life, the more I realize how this question ought to set off a host of questions about the black and white scenarios that many of us are taught. Unfortunately for me and for many others I know that this isn’t necessarily the case. We are blind to the parallels.
Most of us who believe that there’s a god worth believing in struggle with the purpose for which we’ve been put here, at least at some point in our journey. If God went through the trouble of creating this blue orb in a maniacally massive universe, surely there’s some point to it all. We point to passages about the will of God and how we “are desirous to be found doing the will of God upon His rapturous return to earth.”
God has a “plan” – but it’s most likely less defined than most of us would like to believe. We give ourselves far too much credit when we think that choosing brown pants over puce has cosmic consequences or that writing messages on goldenrod is more holy than if that same message were written up canary yellow. God may not have caused that last chocolate morsel to fall to the floor.
We have this concept of God as sitting at the control panel some grand, incalculable machinery tweaking settings, taking measurements, eyeing gauges, and causing every metric to level out at just the right level so that those three tacos we prayed for show up on our plate prepared just so. We assume he gets frustrated when the flux-capacitor shows signs of failing and he has to call in Christopher Lloyd to repair it.
What if God has delegated this level of accuracy out? God: the ultimate crowd sourcing advocate. What if he’s got enough faith in the abilities that He’s given us to make the small things work out? What if He has actually said “Here’s the plan: Love me. Love other people. Make it happen”?
A few years ago during a much-needed counseling session Dr. “Bette” introduced my consciousness to the concept of living an “active” life vs. living a “passive” life. She likened it to another of her clients who was constantly being picked up by women at a bar, but despite the quantity could never find a woman with the qualities he desired. It’s because he was never actively choosing – he was passively being chosen – so he never pursued that which he aspired to.
And we sit around waiting for God to act. We pray long and hard finding just the right words to convince God of all the reasons why he should attend to our hearts desires, why he should open the doors after he closes some further down the hallway. We routinely leave it all in His hands while in the same breath claim to be that very thing – His hands.
Perhaps it’s not important how we love. Perhaps the important thing is that we love.
Perhaps it’s not important how the church reconciles the questions regarding homosexuality. Perhaps the important thing is that we love.
Perhaps it’s not important if the bible isn’t “inerrant”. Perhaps the important thing is that we love.
Perhaps it’s not important if your Arminianistic or Calvinistic or even if you know what the difference is. Perhaps the important thin is that we love.
Perhaps it’s not important what we do. Perhaps the important thing is that we love.
Some people will quickly point out the “distance” that this puts between God and his creation. Except that in much the same way that I have the mannerisms of my father and mother and how their character has characterized me – even while thousands of miles way – Gods very character and image is right there, tucked just below the surface. It’s transforming if you let it be transforming. God is present in every decision that we make. Choosing “rightly” means taking a small step in the right direction. It’s not all or nothing. It’s small steps towards doing what’s intrinsically human and intrinsically mystic.
It’s the will of God.