My Culture Demands To Be My Theologian And Priest

“One of the symptoms of our post christian culture is how captive our church is to the marketplace. And in a buyers market it’s not good business to give tough medicine.” Jason Micheli in interview with Rod Dreher. Crackers and Grape Juice Podcast. Episode 94

I am struggling.

I’m not struggling over being kind, but I am struggling ovee having to agree.

I have a Bachelors Degree in Sacred Literature and it is a tough time to be a person of faith.

Having read the sacred writing of every major world religion, of course I have formed a faith with beliefs and convictions from my readings and study.

Yes, i am a fishing Captain and humanitarian worker, but I was also “ordained” into Christian ministry over twenty years ago. I served by helping others discover the person of Jesus through the scriptures. I have probed the writings of Jesus followers, not merely from the last few years, but probed the wisdom written by others over decades, centuries, and millennia. There is much to be learned from the combined insight of hundreds and thousands of years of spiritual writings. Many men and women have put their “God Journey” to paper, and we have much to learn from them.

Yet, our society thinks they are the wise theologians now even though most have not read sacred writings of the ancients, yet, thinking they have the right to be my new “theologian”, my priest, the governor of my values, determiner of morality, the “carder” of the beliefs I can or should not have.

As filters if truth, I can’t hold a moral value or spiritual opinion about any human action or behavior without culture priests preaching what I should believe about that. Not mere preaching, demanding.

The pressure to conform to new created cultural theology is strong.

What is immoral any more? Besides murder, and acceptance of others choices as good, unconditionally, what exactly is considered immoral?

The word “Holy” is meaningless, as little seems impermissible.

I do love God, and I do love others. I can be kind to anyone, anyone can sit at my table. I have friends who are gay, atheist, bisexual, Muslim, cult, peace children, divorced, philanderers, and ….. What the heck is the word for a female philanderer?

I can have the most delightful conversations with people I profoundly disagree with because we are all made up so much more than just the opinions and beliefs we have. But I can’t simply adopt the newly prescribed morality of my neighborly Priesthood. I can love, get along just fine, but not agree.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (not making up my own), and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt 3:33

There are things i do that are “wrong” and immoral too, so that means I’m no better. But that does not change the fact that I should be called out on my immorality, as should others as well. My study and spiritual journey calls me out, asks for change in me, demands transformation. Oh boy that exposure is very hard on the ego, this transformation hurts, because it is changing the “bad” things in my life. Things that have been part of me for a long time.

I’ve seen faith and holiness at work, and it looks different than what my cultural priests are proposing, and frankly, holiness looks better than me.

Do I really need to just accept that porn, or lack of marital fidelity is positive behaviors because so many practice it? 

I still have growing to do in how I treat others. I am still working on loving my neighbor, and will always be.

However, with most peoples’ tremendous lack of exposure to sacred literature, scriptures, and the wisdom of men and women with profound God journeys over thousands and thousands of years, I’d like to remind most people, and FaceBook lol, that you are not my theologian, you are not my priest. You, frankly, don’t qualify.

My beleifs, morals, and values will be influenced and rise up from more serious sources, more serious people, sacred texts, and yes, science and medicine as well. But, please, don’t ask me to pretend sacred texts and history are silent about values. 

I hate dealing with these topics in writing because they end up so slopply expressed at my hand. Interpreted one dimensionally also. The writing does not reveal my heart, or how i live this out with real people. It’s too one dimensional.

I’m not mad at you because we disagree. We can still talk and be the best of friends, if you can get past my areas of unholiness.

Here’s the thing, i don’t talk about these God Journey things unless you ask. If you don’t want to go there, I’m not making anyone. But if we do ask each other, as a friend, we both need to be prepared for differences of opinion and realize we are adults, and we are both more than this one thing, this one belief, or value we have.

Being kind, loving- is the chief value. Anyone with character can be kind to those they disagree with.

I’m a wicked “sinner” with a glorious appetite for good relationships.

“(Jesus’ words) They are essentially subversive of the established arrangements and ways of thinking. That is clear from the way they first entered the world, their initial effects, and how they are preserved in the New Testament writings and live on in his people. He himself described his words as “spirit and life” (John 6:63) They invade our real world with a reality even more than it is, which explains why human beings then and now have to protect themselves against them.”

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

“It is a failure to understand Jesus and his words as reality and vital information about life that explains why, we do not routinely teach those who profess allegiance to him how to do what he said was best…….

Whatever the ultimate explanation of it, the most telling thing about the contemporary Christian is that he or she simply has no compelling sense that understanding of and conformity with the clear teachings of Christ is of any vital importance to his or her life,and certainly not that it is in any way essential.”

~ Dallas Willard. The Diving Conspiracy

And what is it, really that explains the enduring relevance of Jesus to human life?…….

I think we finally have to to say that Jesus’ enduring relevance is based on his historically proven ability to speak to, to heal and empower the individual human condition. He matters because of what he brought and what he still brings to ordinary human beings, living their ordinary lives ad coping daily with their surroundings.

Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy

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