I had a conversation with a friend today that caused me to rethink my approach, positions, and even my writing style. I realized from this conversation that although my stance may not be one of pointing fingers, calling people morons, and generally telling the world why my view is better than someone else’s, I may (at times) come across that way.
If you have been a commenter or lurker on “The Infinite in Everything” for a while, you have likely heard me rant about fundamentalism, atheism, liberalism, biblical scholarship, calvinism, and most recently mysticism. I love talking about these subjects, but recently it has come to my attention that my snarky attitude (as funny as I may think it is) can really be quite unhelpful. This blog is my playground, so I conduct my theological experiments here in wanna-be-Albert-Einstein-esk ways. Sometimes it works, but like all experiments, it fails at times too. So, maybe it is time for a little self- and blog-evaluation.
What if my approach has been entirely wrong? What if I need to abandon the terminology I use to articulate my views on faith in favor of something that is more helpful? Here’s an example. I thought my story about the guy who wrote me off because I was a mystic was funny, but a commenter, who went by Paulos, was quick to correct me, when he said:
Dear Paulos, I am beginning to think you were right. Maybe I need to reconsider my use of the term ‘mystic’ and my use of terminology in general. Perhaps the whole notion of defining where I align or diverge with parts of the Christian movement is altogether wrong.
What if in the midst of defining ourselves, we have lost sight of our ultimate goal? To demonstrate the love of Christ to others—regardless of where they came from or who they are. What if we have sacrificed simplicity and embraced complexity? It’s not that I believe theology is simple, or that explaining our religious experiences is easy, but isn’t love simple?
Now before you think my last name should be Lennon or that I should attend the next Woodstock, think about what I am getting at here. War is complicated; love is not. Destruction happens from complex plans, but order comes from a God whose plan is simple: Let’s create order together (you, me, and all of humanity).
Maybe it’s time we abandoned terminology in favor of what we all hold true: Love is good. And a God who loves is good too. Experiences and theology can find their place within that framework. And if they don’t, then I think we should reject them. Simple, but I think it works. What do you think? How can this framework help us to see the Infinite God in everything?