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Aug. 13th, 2004 @ 10:46 pm From the Undulating Rabbit Trail....
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Date:August 18th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC)

How Far Down Does The Rabbit Hole Go?

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Often, we forget that Christianity—horrible term, allowing Jesus to mentor us—is more about one person’s relationship with another, than it is about the formalized religious structures that have grown from it. I aspire to do as Jesus would do, or lacking that strength, to recognize the genuine affection—I hesitate to use “love” because Children often tell siblings “I have to love you but I don’t like you.”—that he feels for each of his creations. I recognize the necessity of having love like Christ toward the radical Shiites while coupling that with the dichotomy of the knowledge that if a rabid dog tries to bite my wife, sister, or mother, I am going to have the thing put down, and sometimes I feel that compassion.

My response to events happening around the world is more likely to show my political bent than to reveal my faith No matter whether I couch my rage, or passivity, in the Christian pidgin into which I degenerate when I attempt to move discussion beyond my verbal kith, it is still half a world away, and the doctrine of destruction, or love, or non-intervention, or forced democracy is nothing more than doctrine. I love no corporeal child. I hate no incarnate terrorist. It is all a figment, and its evanescence will be revealed when I take it to my mentor and he tells me it is worthless.

What matters is where I am. I am learning all that I need to learn? My mentor says to love my enemies, so I love Sadaam and feel the deepest possible loathing for a co-worker.

I am not making a hypothetical situation. I am talking real life here.

I recognize the sin of wanting him to die, so I pray that he will find a better job. Then he comes and talks to me, and as he walks away I mutter curses. I pray that God will help me love, and joke with my coworkers about murdering him and burying him in the back lot.

But I love the Shiites.

A wise man, one who had actually walked arm in arm with my mentor, once said that if we claim to love God but don’t even love our brothers, then the truth is not in us. Where does that leave me? I don’t know if my mentor get rid of me because I haven’t the strength to funnerwording do what he asks. I certainly hope not. I don’t see God in everyone, and I don’t show him to everyone. Perhaps it’s enough to know my weakness and resist it, or maybe something bigger is going on here. I don’t know.

One thing I do know: I will have grown into a deeper understanding of what is required in this family we call the church than I ever could in the greatest seminary in the world when—without any change on his part—I can really, not just intellectually, recognize that the problem is all with me, and the solution is all with Jesus.

I don’t know how much this relates to the thread, but conversation seems to have died so I don’t feel too bad coon-trailing along about my own issues.

Any thoughts?
Date:September 5th, 2004 11:26 pm (UTC)

Re: How Far Down Does The Rabbit Hole Go?

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Well from reading over the posts, I know I'm in deep water with this community and hope I can make a moderately intelligent post. I always knew I should check out seminary :-)

Thanks AgentGross for the message, both on the board and this morning. I totally agree that it is easy to love the enemy of your country, but not your personal enemy.

As some of the previous posts mentioned, division is a huge issue, both pre-supposed and real, in the Church. It is serious, it needs always to be addressed. When thinking about how we are to be the Body of Christ, I think about cells. Cells pull apart when dividing, often to different purposes and ends. Different areas of the genome will be utilized for the production of different proteins that ultimately leads to different functions. What Jesus talks about in the macro level (an eye, a hand, a foot) can easily be seen on the micro level as well. One cell cannot say to another, I don't need you...
However what does a muscle cell in the finger know about a cell in the ear? Yet both are important. If the Church could see division as a way of growth, of expanding, of interaction with other very different styles and methods for enrichment, but not necessarily for change. I have learned much from different denominations and even different faiths, as have most of you I imagine. I've been "blessed" and can leave saying, "wow, that was awesome..you don't work like me, look like me or act like me, but we're still working off of the same Genome..."

At a retreat last year, a lady spoke to us "young people" about the generational gap. Our parents, and grandparents are regarded by many of us with snooty disdain for their way of doing church. It's formal, unrelational, old-fashioned, scripted, etc. But she challenged us to see from their perspective. Many have bent as far as they could for us and cannot change any further. In all probability, we too will be like them in several decades. I must therefore accept them, not necessarily to change, but to embrace their faith as part of this thing called Church, to accept their presence as being part of the Body. From that, I will never speak badly about their methods again, Lord help me.