Increasingly I see a clamouring chorus of: “I have rights!” alongside a quieter more insidious: “So it’s your job to fix it!” (whatever “it” happens to be in that moment).
When we look back on our evolution of personal freedom – I wonder what we will make of this pairing.
Just as whenever a government “spokesperson” is quoted in response to some not-fixed “problem” – it is always with: “We have allocated an extra £xm to that department’s budget … “ (as though some unseen fictional spreadsheet is a grown-up “solution” to anything).
As evolution goes – is this all really something which makes us stronger, fitter, and more able to meet new challenges?
It seems to me that “I have rights” alongside “Not my problem“ alongside “We haven’t a clue” is not a recipe for species-health. But it is a dangerous blame-game.
And blame-games never fix anything.
It also seems to be permeating everything. From the micro to the macro – from dropping litter – to healthcare – to immigration – to global warming (or not). Permeating the local and the global from politics to religion to secular.
But the truth is that litter is NOT someone else’s problem. If I decide to drop litter I am the problem. And that is a truth which applies to everything. From the local to the global – from having to have stuff – to stuff being the cause of much of this planet’s ills. From “society’s ills” – to me accepting that I am “society”.
And traditionally we look to the church for detached and loving sanity in all this.
A place where all are welcome, all are precious and all are valued. Love without condition – especially for the shittiest human beings amongst us. A place of safety and succour. A place of healing in a hurting world.
Yet as a Body … ?
Safeguarding initiatives (to prevent more damaging scandals). Bums-on-seats initiatives (to just keep the big doors open). And all this “biblically correct” noise – all this “including or excluding” – all this “endorsing or excusing” – all this which “biblical correctness” validates
my behaviour the “true” God?
I think I am taking responsibility for me in this “true God relationship”.
The bible has lost its appeal as a validator of my beliefs. Individual verses no longer a reason to excuse my behaviour. Individual verses no longer reason to accuse you of being wrong. Even chapters. Even whole books. And all those prophecies AND imperatives AND the divisive “science” in theological academic qualification.
Not the slice-and-dice “love” of academic theologians. Not the “which “love” was our Lord intending us to take from this one word in Hebrew, Greek or Latin?
Love is love. Like breathing is breathing.
My body will breathe fast AND my body will breathe slow AND sometimes I will not breathe at all when under water or shocked to the core. But I never worry about “which breathing”.
But I do I worry about this eternal debate about “love” and which kind of love …
The love for a child (which probably means abuse). The love of a partner (which means it must be man and woman). The love of a father (which is less than the love of a mother). The love of this compared to the love of that.
As for biblical correctness …
The Good Samaritan is simply about gay sex. The passers-by were good heterosexual pillars of society. But the helper-out was motivated by a physical sinful attraction to this innocent (and soon to be VERY grateful) vulnerable young man. Which is a biblically correct example of “who is my neighbour” AND “what is love” (thanks be to God).
And – far-fetched as that may seem (?) – it isn’t a million miles away from how I was taught God in the (biblically correct) bible.
Taught to seek out sin. Taught to compare and judge “love”. Taught a God who must be worshipped and revered and feared. Taught I was screwed without (the taught) God. A God who rules every fibre of my being and living. A God who chooses not to screw me over – unless I really deserve a good kicking (for my own benefit obviously). Taught a God who will give me good things only if …
The God I take responsibility for IS love.
And I know love and I recognise love. For love is like breathing – love is always love. What else do I need – what else must I know – to be “correct”?
This is heaven. This is here. This is now.
If I allow.