I respond of course, to Pastor Wilson’s post in which he offends me right out off the gate by alleging, ”Everything comes down to that simple division.”
That sure sums up the horrors of religion in the hands of all the linear thinkers! Linear thinkers either cannot or will not wrap their brains around the nature of a paradox. Messy, confusing, not their cup of tea. Instead, everything must be cut and dry, black and white, one extreme or the other, either/or. This kind of boxed in thinking is likely reactionary, in response to all those whose perceptions of objective reality have now been so liquified it is actually leaking out of their ear cavities. There is truth in the saying, ”so open minded our brains done fell out.”
In case my instincts failed me and I might be perceiving this argument all wrong, Wilson doubles down in the concept here, ”We used to live in these very predictable containers. There were binary containers like male and female. There were objective physical containers like tall and short. There were logical containers, like true and false. We were hemmed in on every side, and it was starting to feel a tad claustrophobic.’
He writes that wistfully, whimsically, sentimentally, as if to say, oh how I long for the good old days, for the safety and security of my little box. It was so predictable, up was up and down was down and my world made sense, but now it is all just a gelatinous mess of chaos and disorder, dominated by subjective reality and moral relativism.
I write this truth not to mock or ridicule the owner of these thoughts, but rather to suggest that perhaps our thinking is wrong, that perhaps there is a whole lot of shaking going on in the world because God is up to something good? Perhaps the safety of our tidy boxes have become a prison?
I once walked out of church to protect them all from the words that were in danger of spilling out, from my cry of anguish that was about to exclaim, My God man, will you please climb out of your blasted box and reach for some life and life abundant?? I’ve seen more joy and less bureaucracy happening at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Fortunately I did not say any of those things because they would not have understood and it is impolite to wake the dead when they are busy sleeping.
My point being, this longing for neat and tidy boxes, for coffins, is also a form of death, and those who feel the oppressive hand of claustrophobia bearing down on them are responding exactly as God designed them to. They are fighting to get out. We were not designed to live in coffins. This is just as true in oppressive religious systems as it is in oppressive atheism or oppressive secularism, like the kind that currently has many of us walking around with a muzzle on 24/7, worshiping at the foot of safe and tidy boxes where germs cannot get you.
All of this to say that contrary to what Wilson writes about how, “Christians must recover a holy dogmatism,” the problem is much, much larger than that. We must restore integrity, authenticity, and value to the entire notion of faith, to let it be seen as if it actually matters, as if there is some genuine substance behind what we say we believe. I love the church on Sunday, but the church on Monday is often the very same church bouncing your paycheck, abusing their wives, husbands, and children, having affairs, and selling meth and heroin. Don’t tell me our church isn’t like that, because if it has people in it, it is ”like that.”
The last thing the world needs is more hypocrites espousing their holy dogmatism like a bunch of white washed tombs who wouldn’t know Jesus if He came up and kicked them in the rear.
Or as the saying goes, karma always has a way of running over our dogma, which is probably why Jesus NEVER said, and you shall know them by their dogma.