Can We Let Him Go? If He Asked...?
Yesterday’s post left off with a dense definition of "fitness in faith": risking doubt & curiosity into Godde’s scripturally-pointed mercies, leading into an expressive delight and unexpected belonging that companions the suffering of self and others.”
A first distinction, which may feel semantic to some. I’m not defining faith per se, but fitness IN faith. Gifts ought not be analyzed/defined apart from the Giver, and faith of others is beyond my pay grade.
Other distinctions, in no particular order.
I am a grammatically precise writer, so I see “an expressive delight” and “unexpected belonging” as two aspects of one whole. The verb tense is therefore singular, companions suffering… Doubt & Curiosity is similarly singular.
It is a risk-taking posture-willingness in today’s world. Most of us in Protestant faith communities show an aversion here, preferring imputed certainty and competence . Congregations project their own needs for certainty-competence onto pastoral staff, so it becomes a “short putt” to pastoral leaders conforming to these values over humility or surrender. Any leader expressing unadulterated certainty today should be ignored, imho. Our Trinitarian One, Whom I called Godde, Who dances as Creator-Jesus-the Christ-Our Lady, was clearly not so authoritarian as that.
Scripture points the way, but is often less helpful unless one is listening with willing-prey-like ears and quiet attention. Yes, I’m relinquishing the customary formulation of Scriptural Authority our blessed Reformers needed to evolve Spirit’s invitations beyond Roman Catholic authority structures. I am thankful for their formulations, even for their sacrifices—some with their lives. Yet I can no longer sit silently by while Protestants now enact the same level of ecclesial rigidity to protect themselves from what feels chaotic. ‘Authority of Scripture’ thinking is separating us more and more, keeping us in cognitive debate and dissension. I do not relinquish Scripture—generations of wisdom over centuries, millennia—but I do place it back into its humble origins of complexity, multiple voices—most of them excluding the powerless and the feminine—toward an utterly nonlinear sacred path of risked doubt-curiosity.
My institutionalist pastor-husband responded predictably with his well-learned definition of faith: imitating the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, the Apostle and High Priest, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3). In this vein, Christ’s obedience unto death blazes the trail and establishes the pattern for all those who would take His yoke upon them and learn from Him. (1 Thessalonians 1:5ff)
I was startled by the visceral revulsion I experienced.
This is part of our (Christian) problem. Imitation of patterns, no matter how presumably 'holy' or 'authorized.' Unthinking, rote answers to deeply evolving questions. The utter disregard of missing voices in the centuries of understanding who this man was, is, could be.
Is this what is beginning in me? Being a Christian, hearing His Voice asking me/us to LET HIM GO so he can LIVE ANEW? Maybe speak to more of us, afresh?
Again and again...?