My Thoughts on Christians Proclaiming “Truth”

In recent days I have been enjoying a new social site based on the Christian faith.  I am a Christian, which is why I categorize certain ideas under the heading The Jesus Journals…no brainer, right?   The label of “Christian” was one I wrestled with for awhile.  There has been so much damage done through hypocrisy and just plain harsh critical conversation.  I want people to experience my heart and not be put off by my label.   At this stage of the journey the burden of trying to stay unlabeled is just as great as being labeled so…as the doctor in the television series  Becker remarks (something to the effect of),” it is alright for you to choose not to like me.  Just do it for the right reasons” —not predisposed because of a label.

That ranting behind me, I’ll get to the core of my thought process.  I’ve read a few things about various  “New Age” stuff put out on instructional forums, and while the historical information given can sometimes even be admirably respectful  and unbiased….when it comes time to present the answer of whether something is permissible for the follower of Christ things start to get dicey because judgment and divisive bias enter stage right.

Since this is a very personal thing, I’m not always sure that we can give people the limits of our understanding of truth…becoming judgmental towards those who don’t live inside the box.  We’re really not supposed to squabble over doctrines.  We are to encourage one another with love by the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control) and live according to the love chapter of 1 Corinthians 12.

Even without these instructions…we are to love our neighbors (those we like and those we don’t) as we love ourselves and do unto others as we’d have them do unto us (not as they actually do unto us).   That along with loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength, etc. fulfills the intent of the law.  All the do’s and don’ts of law are summed up and remedied by these concise exhortations.  Yet I, like every human being, fall short of this goal frequently.  That’s why it’s important to be humble and repent.

So why do those who preach the good news and try to share this love keep ranting about how everyone besides their flavor of Christian system is doing it wrong?  I think it’s pretty straight forward…are we following the example of Jesus…all other documents filtered through His life’s example and teaching, or are we adding our own control mechanisms and agendas to the mix?  Of course we want to bring the healing and heart rebirth that results from giving our lives to Jesus in an act of faith.  That’s like delicate surgery though.  It’s open heart surgery.  Yet we treat it as though it’s a deconstruction and reconstruction process.

In everything it is important to find our common ground and work toward understanding one another, and then to begin the dialogue.  Laying out criticism and schism produces negative results.  Even those who may follow out of fear often wind up following after other things eventually because they’ve been hurt so badly when they expected to be loved.

We can’t throw out the baby with the bath water.  (The bath water being those habits that harm ourselves and others) When it comes to this New Age title that I hear tossed about like it was a hot potato that no one wants to be stuck with in the Christian conversation,  lets remember that God is communicating through every way possible, especially in these times.  Quantum science is discovering things about God’s creation that was boundless mystery before.  We share things in common with people, whether they believe as we do to the letter or not.   Hello Christians…we share with every religious system the reality of being loved by our Creator.   Experience (and please avoid jumping to the phrase “relativity”) is part of the relationship process.  Everyone’s journey is relative to their proximity to whatever intimacy (or lack thereof)  they have in relationship with God.   Being in meaningful relationship with Jesus (he’s not dead)is possible relative to the heart’s disposition.  Let’s use language to help us make progress rather than slaughter that which we might not understand or have had narrowly focused training in.  The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is already in us.  I think that may be one reason the Bible encourages us to come and reason together rather than come and condemn others together.  We’re saved to share love by the power of the blood of Christ…blood shed as a sacrifice for our sin.  We are saved to share mercy, compassion, respect and genuine love with everyone, that we might be a light in darkeness which envelopes the human condition.

BTW, a note on living in the light…I was reading yesterday in Ephesians about the Armour of God and found passages exhorting me to turn from works of darkness and be in the light.  Having heard that used in sermons as an ax to slaughter the “pagans”, I went to the original Greek for better understanding, listening for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I found, quite notably, that it is speaking of us living with integrity…personal integrity…being the love of Christ inwardly and in relation to the world and people around us without displaying  hypocrisy.  (Obviously that’s my own way of wording it).  So before we preach to remove the splinter from the other guy’s eye, we need to make sure that the log in our own is gone…that we see and believe and respond with integrity…after the example of Jesus.

Many men very connected to this world’s system have had their hands all over the translations and distributions of the scriptures.  That’s one good reason to weigh and consider as we read scripture.  It’s also important to remember, as we read our translations, that Jesus didn’t speak English and languages translate strangely at times.  Sometimes it’s man’s best guess as to what the ancient bits and pieces of recovered documents were written to mean.  Even the red letter version of the gospels (although I like that style) can’t convince me that we can, without doubt, know that Jesus said every word verbatim in English.  Let’s reason together.  Let’s let the Holy Spirit do what the Holy Spirit does best…guide us into all truth.

Cyberdating My Husband

Yesterday morning my husband and I did something new and interesting…and filled with laughter! We “cyber” dated.

He took me to our local wifi restaurant, along with his laptop computer and our new family laptop computer and we “connected” over coffee and breakfast. I’d never done anything like that and he was kind enough to show me the ropes. (as a homemaker of 29 years I’m a little shy to try these things on my own the first time out)

Our teenage son even got in on the action by IMing me. I responded by saying, “Well hi son! I didn’t see you sitting there!” (groans from the audience…)

I love the play on word game, and I really enjoyed trying to juggle IMing and talking over the computer (literally) to my husband while attempting to consume coffee and grits (still have to eat soft food after the tooth extraction).

I sincerely hope everyone, reading this or not, had a chance to laugh as much as we did yesterday and to fall in love all over again over the computer (or wherever else one was playing)!