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20101029_a_fairy_tale_by_temporary_peaceSeems as if everywhere I go in bloggerville, this debate is raging over the triune nature of God, the trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Some do not accept the trinity at all and I am rather surprised by this. Some are obsessed with human hierarchies, with chains of command and who has authority over whom. Is the Son subordinate to the Father? Who submits to who? Who does the Holy Spirit answer to?  Who’s the boss?

Out of the kindness of my heart and an awareness of my short temper, I have resisted the urge to participate in these debates. My particular brand of truth can be a bit offensive to some. For example, whenever you find yourself falling down a theological rabbit hole, begin with complete intellectual surrender, that is, “God is good and I am moron.” We do not know what we think we know. Worse yet, we haven’t even got the wherewithal to comprehend it if it were shown to us.

There’s a video floating around, a couple of teen age boys who are colorblind. They finally get a pair of special glasses designed to help them see colors and the moment they put them on it is instant tears. Complete emotional collapse. They cannot believe what they are seeing, it overwhelms them. That is a tiny taste of what being confronted by God is like. Everything you thought you knew about the world around you is gone in an instant and He is more beautiful than we can even imagine. Foreign to our brains, familiar and yet unfamiliar.

It is that need for human hierarchies that I wish to speak to, that craving for order within our chaos. Who is in charge here? Who’s on first? Power and which one really holds it, one over the other. We cannot even conceive of a person having 3 separate parts without immediately demanding to know, so which one is dominant? That’s the human world and we tend to perceive things through our own eyes. You simply cannot have 3 distinct and separate persons without having a clash of wills requiring a hierarchy to straighten everything out.

I think you can however, I think marriage gives us a peek into what that looks like sometimes. Two separate people becoming one flesh, one will. You’re both on the same team, what impacts one, impacts the other. Couples who have been married a long time sometimes can finish one another’s sentences, they can anticipate each other’s needs. They are aligned and in tune, separate people, but together as one.

Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. One would never look at one’s hand and one’s foot and demand to know which one is in charge, who has authority over whom. We as people are mind, body, and spirit, another kind of trinity, but all working together, I hope. It’s the body and mind that throws us for a loop sometimes, our will trying to go against our spirit. Our will sometimes clashing with God’s will.

I sometimes say, “God is a person, but God is not a people,” meaning you are in a  relationship with a person who has personhood, yet it is personhood like no other.

It’s really not the theology here that fascinates me, but rather what motivates the questions in the first place? What is the emotional investment in needing to see a clear hierarchy within the triune God?  What is the psychology behind refusing to accept the trinity at all? What is it about the nature of power that often gives us so much trouble?

At the root of many of these discussions is a frolicking debate over marriage, complementary versus egalitarian, as if we must select one or another, are both parts equal or are they complementary, who has authority over whom, where’s the power and who really gets to be the boss? We’re playing King of the Hill when we should be playing King of Kings.

It strikes me as kind of sad really, because all but forgotten is the idea that we are all  actually the bride, awaiting our Bridegroom, and our job is simply  to align ourselves to His will.