2.20.2008

Theologies, Ideologies, and Reality

My life is very full -- of wonderful people, of everything I need and most of what I want in terms of possessions and stuff, of wonderful books and music and images from movies and life, of more opportunities to use my gifts than time to take advantage of those opportunities, and of virtual complete freedom to manage my time and resources according to my own wisdom or foolishness rather than according to the dictates of a boss or of anyone else. When I stand before my Lord at the final judgment to give account of my choices, I will really have no recourse than to hang my head in shame for the ways I have wasted the abundance He has given me . . . unless I manage to actually walk in that "daily intimacy and obedience" that I write about and talk about and desire to be my reality.

I love philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology! My mind loves to spin on figuring out "how things really work" and on "what that means for my choices in life". But I have 44 years (in 2 weeks, that is!) of seeing how people construct systematic theologies and how people buy into various ideologies in order to feel safe and in control, and then do their best to ignore all the evidences of major flaws in their constructed representation of reality. "Education" at its worst just gives one very good tools to defend a very-flawed ideology against all intrusion of reality! But then, real education is a continual give-and-take between reality and our mental representations of that reality, and a conforming of the mental representation to reality in better ways, in order to allow us to experience life more fully -- both as individuals and as societies.

I have concluded that my goals do indeed require a return to school -- this fall, I plan and expect -- but that they also require me to manage my life so that I do not over-commit myself and thus lose the ability to walk in that daily obedience and intimacy with God that would allow Him to use what I learn in school to refine and shape my perception of the world according to His plan for me. I believe that a full-time load may well push me over the edge into simple indoctrination into the ideology of the school I attend, and move me ahead faster into a life that might match the definition of "success" for that ideology, but would miss God's plan for my success in being conformed to His image.

I do have His Kingdom, right here and right now . . .

And I do not dare to give that up for any other goal.

And as I live in that Kingdom and walk in that daily intimacy and obedience, I am starting to really believe in my core that eternal life includes today and that the future does not end at the grave, but that there is indeed a new heaven and new earth and new resurrected body awaiting me.

And I am starting to believe in my very core that He is not really that concerned with most of the stuff that the Evangelical culture has taught me that He is concerned about, but that His concerns go right back to all that is expressed and implied in the whole story from creation to fall to redemption to resurrection:

He is making me into someone with full free will of my own -- no automatons here -- whose free will will be in harmony with His Will in that eternal new creation we will inhabit together.

And He is building a relationship with me that nurtures real intimacy between us, with proper dependencies and proper fulfillment of my own responsibility.

The One with the best relationship skills possible is pursuing the healthiest relationship ever with me (and with you), and is taking the responsibility to teach me what I need to know to play my part in that relationship.

Theologies and ideologies can't substitute for His role in a real relationship with me and my response to Him! The best they can do is play their appropriate part in my growing understanding of that relationship and of daily reality, and in the appropriate bonds I form with other followers of the Great Pursuer.

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