When I was a wee lad I used to go on dogwalks with my dad. Dog poo then wasn’t something that was scooped, bagged and binned. What the dog did the dog left and so did we. Less than one half-century later every poo our dog does is scooped, bagged and binned. When I was young man seatbelts were optional. There was no argument about being unbelted, it was just the way things were. Now it is an offence to drive unbelted. And then there so many comedians we all watched on prime-time television is our youth – now invisible and “inappropriate”. Like the many books we read and loved – now being withdrawn for their stereotyping, implicit “isms” – for the cause of correctness and cleansing.
And yet the bible remains inviolate to all such cultural changes. A document written 2000+ years ago. Seems odd to me that does. The Word of God or the Word inspired by God. Don’t mess with God.
Except we do.
We use its pages to justify and validate anything we think we need of God. If I die tonight where will I wake tomorrow – hell or heaven? Better believe son, better believe. Say the words and get saved. Don’t wait. Along with the gender bullshit: man runs the spiritual side of family and woman does the laundry (and mustn’t wear revealing clothes). Which sounds remarkably similar to those wrong-God-Muslim rules about clothing and women. Because man is weak – can’t control his stiffies – has to act on being “tempted” by woman – must discharge his juices when physically awakened. But is “spiritually awakened” and biblically endorsed enough to run the family-God-stuff. Isn’t all that just picking and choosing which bits we want and which bits we don’t. Which “God rules” to enforce and which to ignore. I have seen exactly that in denominational constitutions. I have been told exactly that about denominational (bibles) constitutions.
And yet the bible remains inviolate to all such cultural changes (allegedly). Because it is the Word of God. Or the Word inspired by God. Which means we mustn’t mess with the bible. Except we do. Always. Especially the bit about Love. Unconditional Love. With all that biblically correct academic study and rulings on what Love and its four or more different definitions and contexts actually mean. Because I wasn’t taught that I am Love or I am not. I was taught God and Jesus are but I am not and I cannot. I was taught I need biblically correct rules and biblically correct beliefs. Love was not enough. Is not enough. Rules and beliefs are. And as I walked away and laid down the bile study I found Love. Without transaction or condition. In every second of living and life outside the biblically correct bible. Love that is not a choice to switch on or off. Love that is. Just like I Am. Always.
Seems odd to me that. That I wasn’t taught “that” – but was taught all the in-fighting, attacking and defending. All the academic study and arguing about biblical correctness. All the messing with the wrapping and packaging in the name of God. Yet ignoring the essence of the bible. The bit that says take Unconditional Love to the whole globe. Not take the wrapping and packaging – nor the in-fighting and defensive institutions – not even the clever arguments and scare tactics – and deffo not the transaction of being saved. None of that stuff. Just the essence of Love you, Love me, Love something bigger than all of us that binds all of us together. That makes each as valuable as each. That makes each worth listening to. That makes my soul and yours – the inside bit of each of us – worth saving from fear and danger in every moment of living right here and now.
Not the “traditional” Great Commission of preach at ‘em and save ‘em for God. Not the you must believe this to get that. Not the say these words every Sunday and your sins will be forgiven. Not the wrapping and packaging written 2000+ years ago and refined and honed, debated and adapted, changed and changed again as wrapping and packaging always is.
But the essence – Love Without Condition. Love that is. Like I Am.
When I was child the rules didn’t state that dog poo must be picked-up. Now they do. They didn’t judge comedians as being “inappropriate”. Now they do. So many “rules” have changed even in my short lifetime. And yet Love remains. The first thing I knew even before I was born. The thing O seek each day of my life. The last thing I will know even after I die. Love that is not one of four different definitions. Love that is not given to get. Love that is not reserved for those who love me. Love that is. Or is not. That “Love”. The same Love as in the bible if I prefer the essence to the pretty packaging. If I allow the essence in me rather than the ever static-changing rules around me.
I wonder …
Whether the less I live in the bible, the more I may allow Love in each moment – the less I study the wrapping of the bible the more I may be the essence of the bible – the less I need to defend or attack what you or I believe the more we may find in common with each other.
I wonder if that is what was meant by The Great Commission. To take Love (without condition) to the world.
Doesn’t that make more sense than taking rules and beliefs and words and institution and division and transaction in the name of God Almighty?
I have come to think it does.