Monday, February 18, 2008

the maybe God

"Maybe God does get upset with us for offering all sorts of prayers. Maybe God gets upset some days and not others. Maybe we think God capable of that and maybe not but I guess the point is that if we equate a certain way of thinking with "the accuser" or "Satan" or "the evil one" I'm just not sure how we can avoid calling anyone (at least implicitly) who thinks this way evil." (hineini)

you, know, i am so incredibly comfortable with a 'maybe God' idea that i wonder if it represents some kind of faith shortcoming in my theology or something. what i mean is that a God of possibility makes more sense to my heart than a God of impossibility... this is challenging for me to embrace in light of my sunday school upbringing, but there is a natural invitation to my heart there that i cannot deny.

recently i read a deep, meaningful and frank email from a friend who is fed up with his job- particularly his boss. none of his prayers seem to be answered right now and it is making him crazy. unfortunately, i'm not sure my words were much comfort because i had been asking questions of my own.

but what? God is only interested in our growth when we are theologically orthodox and well-behaved? where is that written down?

perhaps we go through famine in order to discover aspects of the spiritual walk that elude us all these years of plenty. perhaps pain and calamity are necessary parts of our invitation into dialogue with the maybe God. perhaps we cannot grasp the concept of the maybe God in times of affluence and charm.

the God of faith and UNcertainty- can we deal with a God like this?
all over the world, others do.

it's like we have been using theological hand sanitizer for so long that the smallest doubt bug will wipe us out as an entire people because we have no faculty for dealing with the God who doesn't get right back to us on this one

the God of the wait
the God of the silence
the God of the apparent absense... the maybe God.

maybe God is focusing on global injustice and disparity
maybe God is wanting me to sort this one out myself
maybe God is more like the sovereign king that the weeping lover
maybe God is angry
maybe God is hardline
maybe God punishes
maybe God isn't interested in the win-win
maybe God isn't going to ever give me a sign
not even the slightest movement of the curtain as i throw rocks at the window in the sky (rev david whitticomb, 2001)

what do we do with the maybe God, who can therefore be the undoing of everything we always thought about God?
the things that we found so endearing about God?
the things we've based our entire faith upon?

what if the maybe God is a truer picture of God than the one we've held onto our entire life? what then?

Jesus said
"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

i think that Jesus was talking about the maybe God.

what if my issues with my boss are actually my issues with my God?
is there enough faith left to still hold on? if not, what do i need to do in order to get a better grip on this God-person?

i mean, letting go is not an option- but what if the most important learnings of our lives take place in the time of punishment? what if the most important work we do for God is still before us and is contingent upon our embracing of these new revelations of God- these divine possibilities?

these are the questions that i ask the silence

to be systematic and carve very rigid lines between who God is and who God isn't presumes a lot, i think. there is no awe for me in an understandable diety. this doesn't mean that i like the glib, nonspecific, acknowledgement of a someone or something that is beyond or at best removed and therefore irrelevent- i just find comfort in the knowledge that the more i discover within the character of God as revealed in scripture and demonstrated in people, the more aware i am of how much more there probably is to discover.

geometrically, a ray is a line that extends from a starting point on to forever, whereas a segment is the portion of a line that connects one point to another. i think that it might be more comfortable for many to see theology as a segment and their own personal growth as a ray. for me, however, there is great joy in considering both my personal growth and my theology to find their beginning at a point on a pre-existing line and travelling on that line to eternity at the same speed.

i don't think that the pre-existing line is God or 'the pathway of God' or anything... it's probably just a linear model of time. however, the idea that life and love can move along this together at the same speed appeals to me, in that it is my desire to be somehow growing and deepening in my capacity to love with each passing day.

to increase one's capacity to love and express this love is, in my view, the point of a personal theology.

and this is for the questions that don't have any answers
(kid rock)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

prayer and the lying bastard

i was just digging back through some old emails when i stumbled upon this note that someone sent me once:

"Given my neurotic tendencies, my natural proclivity is to think God is upset with me for offering up such prayers."

i wonder if God, in divine grace, could ever actually be upset with us for praying. no matter how egocentric, experiencially narrow and theologically "off" our prayers might be, to what degree does God judge them versus simply considering their source?

i think that the accusor would have us subjected daily to the judgements of a harsh and perfectionistic divine parent, the approval of whom we fail to receive ad infinitum.

if i was a lying bastard, that's who I'D say God is...

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

100th episode

okay, so here we are with the 100th post on this blog.


after all these months, to reopen this all but abandoned webspace. why?

i don't know.

perhaps there are still conversations to be had. more idea-pong to be played.

i thought that i'd start this 100th post where we left off. i was in the middle of writing something and then just abruptly stopped. it was, for some reason, important enough to me to start and yet not important enough to finish. how many things about my life and yours are that way?

well, whatever the case,
welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends...


faith often unwittingly discounts reason as being ungodly and calculating… which essentially imprisons the reasonable, relegating them to mere subjects rather than citizens of the kingdom of God. this exclusionary thinking is responsible for literally chasing people whose hard-wired sacred pathway is their intellect from our fellowship as believers. It’s Spiritual Bullying.


that's it. that's as far as i got. but at least we're back at the table.