You do not know


“This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,'” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.” John 1:19-28

We seem to be in love with conflict.  It seems a timeless thing.  And with it less and less the answers we like.

Among you stands one whom you do not know (is an answer).

I wonder more and more why we need to be right more and more. Plastic: are with us or are you an intentional planet poisoner? Global warming: are you with us or an intentional planet fryer? God: are you with us or an intentional self-centred sinner?

I look at Jesus and wonder.

He walked with all … talked with all … listened to all … healed all … challenged all … ate and drank with all … accepted all … was at one with all.

I look at Jesus and wonder why we cannot.

Whether this need to be right trumps knowing Jesus at all.  That means love is never really the answer – because we lose control of who is right.  I wonder why being saved seems to include so much “right” that must remain “right”.  I wonder if it’s because my saving life falls apart without me being right saved. And that falling apart is not allowed being Christian.  And not being Christian is not an option being saved at all.

Which might mean that being saved needs “being right” more than “being loved”.

Which might explain why love is never really the answer.  Which might explain why we can never really become the very Jesus we worship.  Might even explain why we have given up trying.  Why we prefer remaining a poor sinner saved. Because the bar is so much lower.

Among you stands one whom you do not know.

I keep hearing about this God of conflict.  I keep hearing about blood spilled for me.  I keep hearing I should be grateful.  I keep hearing I am nothing without God.  And then I hear I should not even believe in a divine anything.  That we humans should take responsibility for ourselves.  Stop leaning on God like some shameless cripple.  That this reliance is causing great harm to the human race and our very survival.

And all I hear is “right/wrong” … I hear noise … I hear division … I hear lemmings marching to the edge of the cliff completely unaided.

Among you stands one whom you do not know.

I wonder whether being right about the “god” AND being right about the no “god” makes any difference at all – none of us “know”.

Except “the right to be right” is addictive.

And we are addicted.

But don’t know it at all.

.

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12 thoughts on “You do not know

  1. I think as you do, Paul, we believe we live in a dichotomous world rather than one of 50 or more shades of grey. A world of right and wrong, never maybes or nevers or don’t knows, a world that doesn’t dare think of a maybe god.

    • Too wishy-washy by far! 🙂

      And yet the LGBTQ (etc) community have collared the colours of the rainbow because that best represents what and who they see themselves as.

      Something to learn from. Always something to learn. 🙂

      • We transgender folk have our own purple rainbow, the various shades of pink with blue that defines our place under the umbrella our government has created to protect us. Doesn’t work in practice because there are always those out in the Rain unprotected by anti-discrimination acts etc.

        • I haven’t heard of the purple rainbow – the colour combos are cool! What I love about the rainbow as a symbol is the concept of infinite colour as a way of life rather than the polar opposites of “black and white” living. So much more inclusive.

          • The Purple Rainbow expresses the variety of sex and gender. There’s about 6 sexes, known to midwives and doctors, e.g. abnormal genitalia, this is the intersected part of our world. Then there are Transgender, Transsexuals, Pangendered, those without gender– THEY HAVE A GREY RAINBOW ALL OF THEIR OWN, hitcap lock, and many more. At some point once everyone accepts that sex and gender are not black or white. We can climb out of our GREY boxes.

            • This may sound crass. But isn’t that taking “inclusion” a little far? A new language of colour that may (inevitably) just miss one or two. Almost a new theology (even “religion”)?

            • I put it badly though we were speaking of brollies and things. Also I was writting partially from my Psychologist hat.People in these colour spectrums want most of all to feel human and included, this is one of the reasons that intersexually has been invoked. This revealed to many that sexuallity was definitely non-binary, helped heal the psyche of many but not all.
              The desire to be included as any other is included, or perceived to be so has created its own problems stretching the elastic band of the definition of inclusion- i.e if this one is accepted and included what about me who is different from them. I had not long been declared legally male when most of the nouns above were invented to describe more and more of the differences. Jessica and I could not quite understand the need for the redefinitions that created exclusion, but everyone wanted to be recognised as the individual colour they believed they are. People are always seeking to eplain what they see within themas an anomally.
              After all people are people and thank heavens for the difference, people just need to know they are people.
              The Church is not the biggest barrier though has harmed the souls of many by giving the perception that in our ‘abnormality’ we are intrinsically evil acts awaiting commission – catechism dogma.

              One might say that if those who seek inclusion but have left mainstream church – and who want to be accepted there, do form new religions or sects. The United Ecumenical Catholic Church of Australia is one, MCC is another, far older. America has generated so many more, as has Britain.

              In the race for inclusion God gets left out of the picture because God is seen as the ultimate enemy for making us this way in the beginning. It might be a religion without a god that will make many happy or a hand made god.

            • Thank you. More and more I find myself looking into “the eyes” to see within, rather than focusing on exterior trappings that invite differentiation. More and more it becomes simple.

              Can I love you? Yes. Why? Because we connect.

              The continued “biblical exclusions” of what we do with our wiggly bits seems more and more “outside” and less and less “inside”. Yet everything the bible teaches is of the behaviour “outside” driven by the spirit “inside”. With the fusion of the legal system and culture and religion – seems to me God has become the scapegoat rather than the cause.

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