This is just another morning. I shouldn’t even be wasting my time writing this, but this urge to write is perhaps the last addiction. The construction outside the window has begun again. Easter weekend is now behind us. My little son is off to school. He was incredibly excited about his tipper truck and bulldozer that we gave him for Easter. The world I am in now is one of complete uncertainty. I am running completely on faith these days. I have all but cut ties with the church I claimed to be my home church and the denomination I’ve claimed as my own for the past seven years. I don’t really know what I will be doing after seminary, except that I have this incredible will now to remain close to Christ in my thoughts and in my daily reading. Maybe I will go on to get just another job after school, perhaps I will get a PhD or become a chaplain. I may even yet become a pastor. But, the thing I will be more completely focused on and oriented to is my faith–reading the Bible daily, praying, keeping Church as the focal point of the week instead of having it be just another errand to run and obligation to fulfill.
From all of my studies, I have begun to develop a more concrete picture of what my faith will look like moving forward. Some people say that seminary is where you go to lose your faith, but that’s only partly true. It’s where you go to lose whatever that mirage is that you think is faith. What faith you have left afterward must be the real thing. It has to be more than just a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, too. If that’s all your faith is, then your God can be just about any sort of God–why would you need a Christian one? If you decide that you need Christ, that you absolutely cannot function properly as a human being without Christ, then you have to decide what parts of the Christ narrative are real, and which ones aren’t. I don’t think that you have to end up dismissing most of scripture as being non-historical and errant, and I don’t think you have to read scripture as being utterly historical and inerrant, either. I think that a lot of the so-called lead edge scholarly thought that we are exposed to is really just thought that is teetering on the edge of being irrelevant or at best, Christ-Lite. If you want a Jesus who does and says everything you think you would do in situations when you are at your ethically best, then you probably aren’t following Jesus, but some New Age manifestation of an ideal Self. Some of the Christ story must be disturbing or troublesome to you, otherwise you are just following a little idol that looks like the best possible version of you.
I’ve come to realize I am theologically and politically inevitably going to be always somewhere around the center, but never completely in accord with any particular denomination or political party. Maybe I am liberal as it meant being liberal back in the eighties and nineties–not as enlightened, woke, or otherwise well-informed and tuned in to my social conscience as the younger, liberal generation, but perhaps this isn’t completely unintentional.
Enough of that, though. I feel like so much of my writing becomes me just kind of going on in a whiny little voice about everything, where I wasn’t even feeling all that whiny to begin with–I just make myself whinier and whinier the more I write and complain about things and end up projecting a voice in my writing that is hardly me.