From my blog post: "Do you want to join the ultimate dance?" For me, these questions remain: "Did I love unconditionally? Do I love disregarding the desire to find a reason, a 'because' before I love? Am I committed to stay the course until the unconditional and unreasonable love of God in me shows up to bring me into his/her purposes?" This is really challenging but has to be done if we want to make an authentic statement to people who are asking genuine questions. When we are confronted by honest questions, the place to start is to know that we don't know and to be honest enough to confess it. We are learning to honour people who think differently from us, and to learn from them. But to do that we have to accept and love questions, learn to live with them and allow them to become our teachers. Can you imagine a Christian church where that happens? Many fundamentalist Christians shoot their wounded and they believe that they are justified for in their minds their god does that. They believe he banishes the wounded (those who have not "accepted" Jesus as their "personal saviour") to hell forever. In that light it becomes easy to dismiss a person when her questions become uncomfortable. Just send them to hell. I am so glad that Jesus and Paul did not have that attitude. "Father forgive them ..." Those of us who have come to know the "other God", have begun a revolution that will include and care for every person we see as wounded and imperfect (including ourselves and those who do not agree with us). We are joining the Dance of the Trinity and reaching out to touch one another and be together. There are more and more people from all traditions who are joining the revolution and when a tipping point is reached, we will live in a world where the Unseen is manifested, where Love is real and the Dance is the main attraction. All I have to do right now is not break relationship ... Love will do the rest. Joe de Swart commented brilliantly: We are at this moment right in the middle of a reformation. A reformation that is going to shake off hundreds of years of theological and interpretational dogma adherence. If our very root spiritual exchange (dance) is with the living, then any version of stagnancy cannot be truth.
Hold on to the version of software and hardware dating back to Luther, and irrelevance, first inward to ourselves, then outward into our relationships becomes the ossified into crystallised state. And we go nowhere. We cannot live in the 21st century with the theology and faith of the 16th century. It is dishonest. All around us, we see people giving up. But, what are they giving up? Giving up on something directing, informing and guiding people from another century. In today's world, it may as well be people from another planet.
All reformation adopters first grow tired of the construct (how of doing - current and prevailing method and structure). Once the construct is gone, we find that it is actually not the meetings and structure that was the only burden, but the whole thought package.
Brave people, then dig deeper, and find that all's not well in the spring behind all the thought dogmas. That spring itself is good (intentionally) but insufficient (compared to the vastness possible). Then the struggle ensues against the narrow portal, the closed spigot, the frozen tap. As we try to open and broaden it (the real One is limitless), we go through anxiety, rejection (first of ourselves, then by others), uncertainty, doubt, fear...
But, it is impossible not to press on. So we do.
And all this is built on the revolutionary nature of Jesus himself, who tossed over the tables of tradition. We learn to re-evaluate who our neighbour is (all those "other than us" ones), how God relates to us (in more ways that we ever imagine), how broad love is (much broader than we feel comfortable) and how much grace there is (for more than we decree worthy). All of our post modern angst, the culture wars, the political wars, the so called woke wars, are all part of the reformation. It asks us to use the teachings of Jesus to re-evaluate who are our neighbours? Who do we need to learn to love and accept (Jesus and tax-collectors, adulterous wife, the prostitute and the blue collar workers), to us it challenging to see the marginalised and the rejected, offensive ones and see if we should not throw our arms open to such? We are moving from bible reading, preaching, karaoke singing, arm flapping and tithing, into something new (drawing from the margins of the past) but it really is not some modern day St John of the Cross stuff (that ship has sailed), we are just seeing the our previously dear history, had some margins, and those margins are very interesting. We are not resuscitating Theresa, Fenelon, Guyon or Lawrence. We are looking upwards, inwards and outwards for the fresh 'now' stream as it unveils in human imaginations. God peeling of another layer.
There are two community archetypes: Let's call the one the Amish, the second we call BB King.
The Amish community works because it solidified so much of the daily questions already in the past. Shall we use a motorised car? No, we need to live closer to living things, at a slower pace. Do we want to wear Prada or Nike? No, check shirts and modest frocks are our uniform and makes us all similar. Etc. Democracy works in a community with a very long tail of tradition. Don't like the tradition? Go somewhere else. Daily discussions are off a very limited agenda sheet. Decisions are micro-evolutionary with few dramatic changes. Stability and certainty assured. But it starts to be very alien as time goes by. Don't get me wrong, it is good! We can learn much from looking at this living museum, but museums do not solve my issues of now and will not cover this earth now. People rooted and faithful to the long tail of history and culture.
Secondly, BB King. BB looked to surround himself with people with a great gift and mastery in music. He could not care a fig about the tradition, the culture or the origins. It was the expression, the demonstrated ability, the flow. Meeting up, delighting and playing with as many 'others' helped him to do his thing ever better. Overtime everyone wanted to play with him. He was attractive, inventive and humble. Working with him made other people shine in ways the never could otherwise. But, this community of BB, was a short-tail community. It did not care about your origins and history, it valued your musicianship. Not that history did not matter, its just that these people acknowledged that history for you may edge your jazz skills, for another classic skills and a third it formed the blues. All is good. But music itself transcends all genres. If you want music, then make the history tail short. It looked forward, chasing that new sound, and fresh innovation. BB worked with people that were drug addled, broken and even desperate. His friendship and invitation for collaboration micro-rescued many, maybe for only a few days, maybe for ever. BB judge not. We oscillate in ourselves between these two poorly illustrated bookends (make your own parable if mine offends), the long-tailed and the tailless relationship options. I think that we are moving from Amish to BB, and the Amish don't like it. Even the non-Amish on the outside, still want us to be rather Amish, they bought the postcards.