This was the synthesis I finally arrived at after much struggle: I would never again deny the substantial possibility that my faith was completely in vain – and that, if so, there could be little reliable basis for an equanimity based on faith or on anything else. On the other hand I would keep on going to church, holding fast to my perception that some things, like human decency and the existence of existence, still seemed more plausibly explained in a universe with a God in it than in one without. My certainties were gone, but I had at least decided on my course. Big questions. I always look to art to help me tackle big questions. This time was no different.
Archive for the ‘Religious Writings’ Category
A message of the Book of Job, then, is that God is not just or fair in the limited way we understand those things. God’s covenant with us is that He will be our God and we shall be His people; there is nothing in there promising no crucifixions, as Jesus could tell us.
You say tomayto and I say tomahto. You say Original Sin, I say human cussedness. In terms of results, at least, if not of causes, we’re talking about the same thing. We humans tend to screw up a lot.
In a modest and untrained way, I was evolving a theology of escape and renewal, if you will. I still believed in building lasting things – sometimes. But sometimes, I thought, you needed to leave off, and leave. It wasn’t contrary to God’s plan; it was God’s plan. And I wanted to share my point of view.
In the world of Genesis, knowing the difference between good and evil seems to be a bad thing. Adam and Eve develop what in English we call modesty, the sense that some things should stay private, which they experience as embarrassment. And somehow that makes them God-like. And even more confusingly, God treats this as a bad thing, objecting as if He were afraid of the competition. What a thematic mess, at least for a modern-day Christian!
It seems quite possible the Supreme Court could act in such fashion as to lavoid announcing a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. And there is a reasonable chunk of the commentariat encouraging the Court to do just that. In my view, such a sidestep would be a big mistake becauseIt would put the Court in bed with stupidity, a place the Court can ill afford to be these days.
Perhaps a lot of us sing loudly of feelings that are not quite our own, assert kinships and allegiances we do not exactly feel, try to feel familiar and comfortable in places where we are not thoroughly welcomed.
If I knew that my contributions would only finance food, clothing, shelter, health care and child care and not drugs, I’d be much more inclined to be generous. But how can I know? When the panhandler approaches, there’s no grant application and no time for due diligence.