Monday, November 24, 2014

It's sometimes difficult to truly express what I am thinking....

A couple of months back I wrote a post that received a few comments.  In that post I questioned the nature of worshipping Christ, and even had a somewhat irreverent title to it, which was intentional. As I proceed on this spiritual journey, and as I take you along, I will say things that may concern those who have a strong faith, and I may say things that will actually encourage debate about faith, and allow those who read it to think about their own relationship to God, just as I am now. 

I received one comment from a friend, and it was a comment based on that person's concern for me, and concern that I might be misunderstanding the very nature of Jesus.  I wish to state, unequivocally, that my intent was NEVER to suggest that Jesus was and is anything different than portrayed in the Gospels narratives, or expounded upon by the Apostolic Epistles. A few of you know about my past, when I dated a woman who'd been a former Muslim, and was at that time into metaphysics and New Age Depak Chopra spiritualism.  It put into focus for me a very simple core truth: that Jesus is and was exactly who he said he is and was.  Notice that I use BOTH present and past tense, for you see, to me, Jesus, and therefore, God, are outside of all space and time.  Jesus IS and WAS.  This core truth is what I hold on to today.  And it always will be.  
There is a beauty that I love about being in a Liturgical church, in that the Liturgy is there to remind us, in a very poetic way, about these core truths.  The Liturgy has been there for decades, centuries, and is repetitive.  Some may find that boring or uninteresting.  C.S. Lewis found Liturgy to be alive and vital, as do I.  So, every Sunday, when we recite the Apostles Creed, I say the words with confidence and sincerity, and believe them to be absolutely and utterly true:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
       and life everlasting. Amen.  

I believe in the Triune God, and so therefore, while my statements seemed to indicate that I placed Jesus and the worship of Jesus below the worship of God, that was not my intent.  My intent, though, was to comment on the focused and almost exclusive worship of Jesus, to the point where God is not the focus.  Yes, for some, it's theological semantics: God and Jesus are one.  Jesus is God incarnate, God in the form of Man, who came to us as a tiny, helpless baby, to provide for us the Means of Grace to become one with God again, something that The Law could not do, and Man's self-righteousness could not do. Therefore, my statements may have created a belief that I held Jesus as lower than God, as NOT God, and, as my friend stated, I put Him at a level of Angels and Prophets, which was certainly NOT my intent. And Jesus does give statements that, if we do not understand the nature of the Trinity, could be confusing.  "I and the Father are one" can seem to conflict with "No one comes to the Father but through (or by) me".  If one is not theologically sound, one can read those and misunderstand what Jesus said.  I do not.  

And the few comments that I received that were admonishments for the statements I made were themselves made in a spirit of brotherhood and love, and I appreciate that.  But as I take this Journey of Faith I am seeking a simple goal, and it really is one that I've already grasped.  It's just that as I am taking this Journey of Faith I am questioning and doubting some of the stops that I've made in the past, and some of the stops I am making now. I have LOADS of questions about things that would make my evangelical Christian friends cringe, and possibly, even question my faith (which it is MY faith, not theirs).  

But always, to me, is that Core Truth - that Jesus IS and WAS who He said He IS and WAS.  That is what I hold onto with every fiber of my being.

Soli Deo Gloria  

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