Monday, 3 September 2012

stamped in gold beliefs

(Written 16 August 2012 in my journal)

I wonder - just because a "belief" was held by the "early church fathers" (or "the reformers" or whoever) - does that make it "stamped in gold" for all time, just exactly as they wrote down their thoughts about it?

Or the way the early church did things - like house gatherings (or catacomb gatherings, for that matter!)?   Do we hang onto that - exactly like they did it?

How far and wide dare we let our conversations go?  How big is God?  What is included in Him?  In what ways?  What happens, what does it mean, really, that someday evil will be destroyed, completely, and that You will finally (once again) be "All in all" (as if You ever stopped being that?  Did You? Could You?) 

(It seems to me that good and evil are so intertwined, tangled together in our world... how does one know when one ends and the other starts?   How can one pull apart the tangled strands to separate them?  Or does the whole thing have to be destroyed (like chemo kills good cells as well as cancerous cells...?)

See, that's something only YOU can figure out... and You have dealt with it by the death - and LIFE - and LOVE - and TRUTH - and, yes THE WAY - of Jesus.... but can we really sit down and write out a definitive, pat theology about that, that will stand as "ultimate truth" forever?

Which also reminds me about what the "Velvet Elvis" book says about "the Trinity."  A "doctrine" which "all truly Orthodox Christians" (why do we capitalize like that?  it is a way of saying we've got that concept all figured out, carved in stone forever? oh dear...) "accept and believe" ....

and which really wasn't "defined" in its "creedal form," so to speak, for a few hundred years after Christ. (And which a lot of people, including some otherwise pretty "Orthodox" Christians still wonder about, and struggle with, and beg You to reveal more clearly about ... me included, from time to time ... quite a lot... maybe pretty much all the time, even...)

And if it took the church that long to "figure it out," what does it say about the apostles?  About Jesus, even?  Who is more "right," the "Church councils" hundreds of years later - or the "hints" we get from the Bible?  Or is this yet another example of You slowly but surely revealing Yourself to mankind as You've been doing since the beginning?  And if, then, the "revelation" about "the Trinity" as expressed in the pages of the Bible is in some sense "incomplete," at what point can we say that we have "got it"?

Maybe we need to pay more heed, when we glibly say, "Well, it's a mystery."  Indeed.  And if so, maybe we need to be more careful about being so "sure we have it right."  And maybe we need to be a lot more open - and focused - on listening to You, reaching out to You ... growing in love, in relationship, in knowing You. 

Being awfully humble in Your Presence.  And viewing You - and everything to do with You (which is a lot, if You really are All in All, Creator, Alpha and Omega, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Saviour, Mighty Counselor, Good Shepherd... and on and on...) - with a great deal more awe - and wonder, and wondering - and much deeper longing and desire (You are the Desire of Ages, after all...) than we do.  At all.

Yes, Lord.

Thank You (head bowed, knees bent, laid out on my face before Your majesty...)

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