I get a sense I am meandering into writing “adult material”. Theological porn. That I am straying outside the lines of decency and into temptation of the dark side. I get the sense that straying too far from accepted creeds and scriptural teaching taints me.
And I may be wrong. I might just be writing stuff that isn’t interesting anymore. I might be more insular than interesting.
Whichever it is … I was mulling things over with GSHJ in the shower this morning, as you do. And he popped this train of thought into the conversation:
Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt and shalt not, thy will and thy will not. Thy must and thy must not.” And they stood the test of time …. with a little tinkering. Like 600+ minor additions along the way … just to make sure things were crystal for everyone under every circumstance. And like all comprehensive “how to manuals” – blokes never read them. Like every gadget ever bought and assembled – blokes know better than to read the instructions. So it became rote not right.
And then Jesus came along. This wasn’t just about instructions or rotes. He talked “Be Attitudes” – the “I Am” pictures and imagery: Don’t just NOT kill – love each other. Don’t just WORSHIP God – love God. Don’t just do STUFF by rote – do it right!
And that was a very significant departure from the 10 + 600+. Love became the engine for all else. And then – because love is too simplistic – too “fluffy” – too forgiving of those who don’t deserve it – back came the “commandments of belief”:
And now we know where we are again. We have the I Believe Booklet. And even blokes scan that from time to time. Bullet-points are good. You know where you are with them.
And in a sliver of time called three years – in between the 10 + 600+ – and then the bullet-point tract – Jesus drew me and you pictures: mine and yours Be Attitudes … mine and yours I Am imagery … Spoke of love … Demonstrated love … Lived love … Was love … Is love …
But just like a hymn sandwich we seem to still prefer our version: sideline love so we can do what we like best – become mature Christians.
And how might I know when I have achieved this destination?
When other mature Christians tell me I have. The ones who know God better than I do.
I hear words.
They were amazed he taught with authority. The kingdom of God has come near. Love is the greatest on this hangs all else. Go and sin no more. You have faith or you don’t. These can only be cast out by prayer. You only come to me through me. Be still and know. You have heard it said but I say. You have seen it written (but someone will write this down for me).
I see the bible being rewritten and questioned and rewritten and questioned again. Not by us – but by “Jesus of Nazareth” – the Son of God. Rewritten with “love” as all – as everything comes from love.
And I see that being rewritten again.
Academic theology teaching how Jesus of Nazareth – Son of God didn’t mean “love” – he meant something Greek I don’t understand. So all I need is the pamphlet – the creeds of belief / commandment. Those are the words of Jesus of Nazareth – the Son of God.
How much simpler can living get than living in love with love of love?
The living and loving drawn and framed so wonderfully by Jesus of Nazareth – the Son of God. A living that IS right now today and every day the kingdom mature Christians seek. A living that IS TODAY of those “new immature Christians”. Who need to have “that” taught out of them in order to become mature Christians.
And in writing these conversations with God Soft Hands Jesus – I seem to be now writing words that are not right. Words that may have a place behind closed doors out of sight of the children . The very children we are charged to become by the same Jesus of Nazareth – Son of God – we worship. The very children who we think we need to protect from Jesus of Nazareth – the Son of God, all so that they may eventually become those we name mature Christians.
If GSHJ is happy to chat about all of this in the shower – why can’t I with you?
Unless “love” is too forgiving.