Monday, January 29, 2007
Still Chewing...Perseverance Redux and Expansion
Let me just be blunt. Here's the crux: some of the dialogue I've been privy to in private and some of the blogs I've seen written publicly have celebrated the Christian's freedom to question the tenets of our faith and has unraveled the assumption that "I don't know" is an unacceptable answer to theological questions. This is good. As we open ourselves to the understanding and the appropriation of truth, the Holy Spirit makes it available. We need to shed that arrogance that always searches for understandable concrete answers in order to understand the truth we do have. (How's that for a Zen-Christian mantra?) It isn't so much that concrete answers don't exist as that we so often wish to use the concrete and finite to buttress faith in the abstract and Infinite. Sometimes, believing precedes seeing.
The other side of the coin is that some of the same dialogue has shifted from celebrating the freedom to doubt to celebrating the doubts themselves and even to a unashamed rejection of the means to having those doubts resolved. (i.e., Prayer, Scripture, Meditation, etcetera. They are all elements found in a Christians "survival kit" for planet earth.) It's a subtle shift. In my opinion, it's beyond insipid. But I'm afraid it has some pernicious implications.
It is easy for the Christian to fall away from truth, but a Christian can't fall away from their human nature. What was a gentle encouragement toward honestly has morphed into a surprisingly structured philosophy that disparages the Church, disavows prayer and scripture and undermines the individual's responsibility for others. I may be poised on the brink of a complete and undeniable over-reaction, but I have dark visions of a Jackbooted Monolith that will not be questioned rolling heedlessly over any Christian who lays claim to any truth at all.
I'm afraid this is going to be the legacy of the Emerging Church. Wouldn't it be odd if we all found ourselves experiencing religious persecution not in the secular universities of the world, but in the pews of our own churches? I forsee a time when we will all long for the days when a white man in a suit had the courage to tell us the truth.
This whole entry kind of left me after the first sentence. It's amazing what I find in my head sometimes.