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November 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Hopefully this doesn’t come across too negatively since I haven’t had someone to filter thoughts through for the last week or so.  Needless to say, this has become somewhat of a giant urn in which I am able to boil down and sift through things in a writing-things-out sort of way.

The question of the hour is this.  At what point along the journey (of following Christ) did we 1. center everything we do, think and say around arriving at a certain place (heaven) and 2. secure all of those reasons so tightly in a vault of complacency that to even suggest we are closed minded initiates a sort of “preemptive war” mentality that launches us into a state of, honestly, lunacy?

Now, there are countless times that, in the nearly 30 years I’ve been alive, I’ve been wrong.  And I’m not one to deny having thought and acted wrongly.  And I can’t help but wonder, what’s wrong with being wrong?  It’s difficult to admit, but I’ve been raised in a sub-culture that is never wrong, especially when it comes to issues of doctrine, justification for certain behaviors and yes, quite often, with scripture.  It is my assessment that churches are the only places in society that we tolerate and even accept a culture of mis-education and even lack of education, save (most) ministers, priests and clergy.  It’s only here that we are allowed to hold ungrounded and unsupported arguments claiming, that’s what the Bible says or doesn’t say.  End of conversation.  Now, I realize that is a broad sweeping stroke and it’s not my intention to start any debates, but ruffling feathers and peeling away the layers of ignorant comfort is something I’m interested in doing.

Now, some of us may be thinking, “Phew!  It’s a good thing I’m not closed minded.”  Here’s a clue that we may in fact have our beliefs locked so tightly away that we’ve almost completely forgotten upon what ground we were originally standing.  If we can look in the mirror and honestly tell ourselves that we do not need any other influence for Christian living, apart from scripture, we may be closed minded.  It’s awfully arrogant to think we can come to scripture able to flawlessly and correctly interpret scripture.  If you can look someone and tell them with complete conviction, if there’s no heaven, this whole Christian thing isn’t worth my time, we may be just a bit closed minded.  Are we really only in this if there something in it for me at the end?  If we can’t enter into the secular arena, have conversation (NOT debate) and allow our beliefs to be scrutinized, picked apart, mocked or simply discussed, it’s entirely possible that we are refusing to allow the very Spirit of God to penetrate to the deepest recesses of our being, and in turn, bring forth something new, fresh and most likely greater than that which we so desperately and childishly cling to.

I know this is erring on the negative side.  I also know that there are plenty of opportunities to poke holes in my logic.  And it isn’t my intention to ignite new flames of dissent and disagreement.  What I am working toward, as with the way in which I live my life, is to bring about a new life NOW.  There are so few places in scripture that even reference the notion of heaven being our ultimate purpose, or grasping with white knuckles the ignorance and denial that affords us the illusion of comfort and security.

What kind of people could we be if we opened the steel doors of our hearts?  What kind of people could we be if we allowed and even embraced the opportunities for new understandings?  What kind of people could we be if we came to know Jesus as ancient Israel understood the concept to know: as in sexual intercourse… (Borg.  Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time)  Does that change anything?

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