You read me answering questions full of cleverness and you think you should too. You read verses like those below and think you should too. You are the same as the chief priest and elders in this: if you are born and raised in the temple you live by the temple and you die by the temple. Those are the rules.
Back in my day deconstructing God was all the rage. The verses below are simply that – reading the Word of God – deconstructing the writer’s take on God – and trying to find God today – that is all these verses are …
When I entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to me as I was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” And I said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered me, “We do not know.” And I said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Matthew 21:23-27
But today you see me putting down hypocrites. Today you see me being clever. Today you see “them”. Today you see “them” being hypocritical. But you were taught that – because those are the rules of your temple today. And the rules of your temple today are evidence and science … You take the literal and make it fact. You take the visible and make it evidence. You take your culture and make it mine (and theirs).
Your mind stays in your temple (even though your body rarely goes there). Those are the rules of your temple today.
Ever wondered why I was born with all the grief that gave Mary and Joseph – their family and friends – and me? Ever wondered why the “Creator of the Omniverse” couldn’t plan things better when it comes to creating one more life? Have you ever really got “why” the dirty, cold, smelly and dilapidated outhouse? Have you ever wanted to really get inside the “nativity” and ”advent” of your temple culture and deconstruct them (after all they come from your newly deconstructed bible)?
Your deconstructed bible is not historical/empirical “evidence” – yet you accept your temple teaching just like “the chief priests and elders” of the bible accepted theirs in their day. Today you call it “The Christian Tradition” (and that makes it all okay). You happily deconstruct the bible and yet leave so much else intact.
So tomorrow, dear Paul, I invite you come with me and deconstruct your temple rules. Do you accept?
I see your trembling
I hear your “Oh Crap! Not Again!”
I feel your trepidation
I sense your fear
Well, dear Paul, if you really do only take dictation when we chat – what have you to fear? If you really do only hear me speak – are you not simply writing another transcript? If what you write is me – then why your fear?
Or do you fear that you really are the architect and designer of these words? Do you fear that you will write words that others dismiss? Do you fear ridicule, Paul?
“So they answered me, “We do not know.”
(are you living by your temple rules, Paul?)
>> This weekend we put up our Christmas decorations. We finished the shopping. We are seriously counting down to Christmas. And then this morning God Soft Hands Jesus invites me to start over. And that does leave me trembling. With fear of ridicule. And with anticipation, with hope, and just one teensy mustard seed of faith. Because this morning I cannot see tomorrow. This morning I hear only His voice today as written here. And I know that tomorrow I will hear again – and the day after – and the day after that …
One mustard seed of faith. Is it enough? <<<
Wasn’t that only yesterday, Paul – and already you are trembling inside … Why? This is just some fun. Always “just fun” (when you don’t look away).
(Stormy Waters: Phillip Stephen)