Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The idolatry of Fundamentalism...???

I'm not a follower of the Orthodox stream of Christianity in practice but I often dip into it's waters for tension to my protestant paradigm. You may or may not be aware that such mainstay theological truths such as hell are concepts that have many different perspectives and ideas associated with them in the various Christian denominations and branches of historic Christianity. You may or may not agree with this man's conclusions...but you have to be willing to admit that these concepts have been hotly debated and not everyone comes up on the same side of the conclusions. Some are not even willing to listen to the serious questions people have about Hell...like: Eternal torment or Eternal destruction??? As we engage our culture, we have to be prepared to answer questions; that to many, are the fleshy spot underneath our Smaug wing...waiting for the Brad's arrow of logic to sink into...It's sad how many Christians have not taken the time to read, listen or study any other perspective within the Christian tree of history and experience. Once you do, you will find treasures worth adding to your spiritual house.

"And Jesus said to them: "therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old." -Matthew 13:52

The more you study and are exposed to the diversity of thought within the fence of Christian Orthodoxy...you might discover that your hidden perplexities, hesitations, frustrations and gnawing questions have also been thought, wrestled with and dared to be spoken. Others more brave, less fearful than you, have come to terms or discovered a way to be faithful to truth and yet, work through doubt as well. Many have found paths through the deep dark theological woods that had you cowering at the entrance of your own private Mirkwood. “It pleases God a great deal if the soul never ceases to search; for the soul can do no more than seek, suffer, and trust…Seeking with faith, hope, and love pleases our Lord, and finding pleases the soul and fills it with joy....It is God’s wish that we should observe three things in our seeking: the first is that our search should be committed and diligent, with no laziness, as it may be through his grace, glad and cheerful without unreasonable depression and unprofitable misery. The second is that for his love we await him steadfastly, without grumbling or struggling against him, until our life’s end, for life only lasts a short while. The third is that we should trust him utterly with sure and certain faith, for that is what he wishes. -Julian of Norwich "Showings of Divine Love"

That search is a difficult one of sifting ideas, teaching, historical positions and fresh theological hobbie horses that run amok. Daring to reacquaint oneself with the Ancient Paths while at the same time cling to the truths that have been liberated from darkness of traditions, time and ignorance. Not and easy endeavor...but essential to be able to walk in the fulness of grace and truth.

Thus says the Lord, `Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls.' But they said, `We will not walk in it.'" Jeremiah 6:16

I fear too many...say the same thing.

I pray that we would not be cowards, who cannot peer into the mysteries of God's word without going mad in our interpretations and drive away all reasonable dialogue. Let us not become so barnacled in our hearts and minds that we knee jerk ourselves right out of the saddles of truth; when an honest seeker proposes sincere problems with our pondering's about God, His nature, His ways with humanity and with what we say He intends to do to us after we die...
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