Sunday, December 13, 2015

If we dare

It’s a funny thing, but in the last few years it has become clearer than ever to me that the doctrinal issues really don’t matter at all. It doesn’t even really matter what we believe about the nature of Christ. What matters is that we believe He is the Savior of the world, and that He is the Truth, the Way and the Life. How can a man be the Truth? I don’t know, but He is. Before you decide to stone me, try to hear what it is I am saying, and not jump to conclusions.

That the Truth is a Man, and not a doctrine, fits in so well with God’s very nature.

Notice, in the Old Testament there is no doctrine at all except, ‘I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods but Me.’ Nothing else. How simple! And look what happened. The rabbis turned that into a vast theological system.

And into that system comes a man who is Who He is, who does not argue, who does not teach doctrine. Do you ever hear Jesus teaching doctrine? or religion? No, He just speaks the Truth, and that Truth is Himself, that He is sent by the Father to do His will, and to speak what the Father tells Him to speak. Nothing else.

And look what the fathers have done to that. We have had councils and even wars over questions that not Christ, not the apostles, were ever concerned about. We have disputes over the oneness of God, and about the Trinity not being written up in the bible. Of course it’s not written up! It doesn’t have to be!

That the Divine Nature is a triad is not a doctrine to be believed
what good does it do if we believe it, what evil if we don’t?
It is a reality to be lived, to be lived, really and truly, the pattern of all being: three are one, not two, not one, but three.
It’s just how things are.

Jesus came to demonstrate that and to invite us to join in that threesome by sending us the Holy Spirit who incorporates us into the Body of God, making us ‘one of the Family.’ It is so awesome!
How petty we are to nitpick each other and tear each other’s flesh over trifles!

I have no problem with Orthodoxy and with its Christological dogma, because I really believe it is an expression in human thinking of the livable reality that I have just been describing, otherwise I would not be an Orthodox Christian.

And even though the Orthodox Church is responsible for a lot of the turmoil in the early Church, defining what’s what and who’s who, and even though it has canons and rules and jurisdictions and squabbles enough to tear the heads off many chickens, the Orthodox life is really quite simple, just as simple as the life of any Christian of any denomination or lack of one.

As simple as the life of any lover and disciple of Jesus.
I know, because I have met them there, as everywhere,
and I hope I am one of them.

I have declared many times, not to contradict, but simply to state a fact about myself: I am not an ecumenist. Ecumenism is for those who think the Church is divided and so they take pains to reunite it. But if we know it as one, we just live in that knowledge.

That is, if we dare.

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