Someday I’ll fly
Someday I’ll soar
Someday I’ll be so damn much more
Cause I’m bigger than my body gives me credit for
After listening to the thoughts of Desmond Tutu from my last post, I imagine God to still be inspiring writers to write profound thoughts that someday will be canonized into The Bible II. The prophet John Mayer has spoken.
Desmond Tutu said this during a portion of a recent interview that dealt with his good friend, the Dalai Lama:
“Do you really think that God would say, ‘Dalai Lama, you really are a great guy, man. What a shame you’re not a Christian.’ I somehow don’t think so. I think God is just thrilled because no faith, not even the Christian faith, can ever encompass God or be able to communicate who God is. Only God can do that.”
This flies directly in the face of what traditional theology teaches. How many times have you heard, “No one may come to the Father, except through me,” which implies you have to come experience the Jesus that this brand of church is promoting before you can graduate to some distant heaven far away in the clouds. In church we are taught about love and grace and mercy which flows from God in heaven – God IS love, after all – and yet when we see these traits in people who aren’t traditional God-heads, we puzzle as to how non-Christians can experience and show these traits.
Perhaps God is bigger than we, “his body”, give him credit for.
It’s human to want to compartmentalize – and put concepts in neatly and clearly defined mental boxes. God is bigger than our mental boxes. It’s tempting to think of God in terms of metaphor to put his character in terms of something that we can understand, but the problem here is that every metaphor quickly breaks down.
God is big.
But how to we reconcile the words of a book that says “no man comes to the father except though me” with a spirit and an understanding of Jesus that is so loving that he wouldn’t see anyone not be part of the family.
We’ve got one mechanism – it’s our choice. Our go-to default position on this has been – “it’s a gift that is freely offered” and you’re stupid, dead, ignorant, irrational NOT to take it. This functions, but doesn’t remove some of the callousness – God throwing his hands up and saying “The ball is in YOUR court – I’ve done all I can do.”
We sometimes tack on that not “accepting God’s gift” makes baby Jesus cry to handle this.
But, maybe, we’re starting in the wrong place – maybe we’re reading too much into the english translation of greek words that were written thousands of years ago. Perhaps instead of reading that Jesus is the only door that leads to the father so if you don’t accept his love prepare for eternal damnation we should read Jesus is the way through eternity and He has revealed himself to so many people in so many ways that everyone can have access.
It’s a much different interpretation that resolves the “only through me issue.”
You can’t own God. But the Christian church (and to be fair, all of our faiths) have staked their claim. My God does this. You (lower-case g) god doesn’t. We’re trying to contain the uncontainable.
Sure, this is heretical – I understand. But how much more like Christ would it be to drop the us-and-them mentality, the “homosexuality is an abomination” approach to life, the drive for pious perfections and simply replace bad circumstances with good circumstances, and to replace good circumstances with better circumstances?
It is utterly irrelevant to me if when I die I was right or wrong. I don’t care what heaven is like. I’m OK with Zen-like questions surrounding my Christian faith. I don’t need answers. What I need is to express faith in practical ways by being friendly, sharing food, washing cars, giving money, hugging, and relating to people in completely unconditional terms. I am motivated by a belief that we’re all created in the image of God and that your soul and mind and strength are equally as valid as my soul, and mind, and strength.
He’s bigger than His body gives him credit for.