This site is a cache
of seven years' worth of musings.
Good years. Formative years.
Consistently conceived as immutable, unchanging, absolute, insoluble, static, fixed, removed.
The same sort of God yesterday today and forever.
This divine tradition situated in our subconscious posing as irrefutable reality.
God is stuck.
Ironic: this notion of unchanging, immovable, absolute God;
Such a far cry from the dynamic impressions of God that saturate the soil of biblical tradition.
The bible God is an impassioned God.
Hardly a final fix to the human quest for relational integrity
Or the fervent, feverish desire to experience something, someone, anything that awes us.
The God that is streaming ruah, flowing pneuma, torrential spirit
Is nothing if not dynamic, forceful, powerful
The wild God, God of the gulch:
She invokes an acknowledgment of aquatic movement
And stone sculpting thrust.
She is the God who compels weary feet to the confluence.
The confluence of what?
Is it the confluence where our deep fears meet with contrived certainties that comfort at the cost of asphyxiation?
Is it the confluence of our grandest delusions (of ourselves detached and in control) merging into a supposed solution with the Absolute who sees to our absolution?
God is neither a certainty nor a solution.
God is not cheap comfort.
God is not a coddler of our conscience.
God is at the confluence of threshold and compulsion.
The threshold at hand is comprised of stone and sand
And river and sun.
Find a window that frames a scene of others in motion, in life;
And cast your gaze through.
Find a threshold that parts the way between self-fixation and sensational relation;
And edge toward.
At the confluence of windowed gaze, where threshold meets lure,
When others and self spark divine and ignite in interdependent flame,
Sense God pass through and whisper compulsion to join.
In class last Tuesday my professor said:
“At CTS we are imbibing scholarly traditions that are anomalous to what the majority of Christians are familiar with.”
We are reconciling our cultural and racial identities with our religious identities. Some of us are asking, “How do I remain black and Christian?”
We are queering our religious understanding and our political stances. Some of us are asking, “How do I remain gay and Christian?”
We are opening ourselves to questions and uncertainties thus resisting arrogant absolutisms and challenging the hubris of ideologues. Some of us are asking, “How do I remain skeptical and Christian?”
“One can never wrestle enough with God if one does so out of a pure desire for truth… Christ likes for us to prefer truth to him because, before being Christ he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go toward the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms.” [Simone Weil “Waiting for God”]
Some of us are asking, “Need I remain Christian?”
What is more Christian: dominion or partnership?
A few days back Rick Santorum was on Face the Nation doing his best to clarify some of the criticism he had previosly directed toward President Obama. One of his critiques is that President Obama’s policies on energy don’t stem from a desire to help American people, but stem from a “phony ideal… a phony theology”. What’s more, suggested Santorum, it’s by no means a theology that comes from the Bible.
When asked, What in the world he was talking about? Santorum said:
“I was talking about the radical environmentalists… this idea that man is here to serve the earth as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the earth… we are not here to serve the earth. The earth is not the objective. Man is the objective. I’m talking about the belief that man should be in charge of the earth, should have dominion over it, and should be good stewards of it.”
In a book about faith, Buddhist meditation instructor Sharon Salzberg wrote:
“It is not the existence of beliefs that is the problem, but what happens to us when we hold them rigidly, without examining them, when we presume the absolute centrality of our views and become disdainful of others. Placing ourselves in a position of privilege – beliefs are treasured commodities and we are the proud owners – implies that we alone possess the earth, we possess the Truth.”
I am not a conservative Republican politician nor am I a Buddhist practitioner. I am however a student of the Christian Bible and a trained theologian, and I can attest with confidence that Santorum’s antiquated belief “that man [sic] should be in charge of the earth” is a lonely one in the field of mainstream theology. I would ask Santorum that he stick to crafting policy, and not dabble so erroneously in the construction and interpretation of God concepts.
If we continue to treat the earth as a thing we possess and dominate, much as men have treated women for millennia (a fact slovenly overlooked by Santorum), and if we maintain a rigid posture toward the earth we will break. And on our way to this self-induced destruction we will (continue to) abort countless lives, human and nonhuman, thus deserting our potential to partner with the fecundity of the earth in the process of inciting beauty rather than waste.
I ask you, What is more conducive to the Christian gospel? A rigid posture of domination, ownership, indifference, and power-over? Or a careful posture of partnership, mutuality, empathy, and power-with?