Tuesday, 13 March 2007

In the beginning . . .

This blog came to life through my very traumatic experiences at the age of about 60. The immediate result of those experiences was that I have been unemployed since then. I have tried to get back to work on a couple of occasions, but those have never lasted more than a few months.

My life situation forced me to reconsider everything I believed. Now, I am slowly re-discovering my identity.

• I still believe in God, though our relationship has changed, for the better.

• I still trust the wisdom of the Christian scriptures. But I think if we had more respect for the scriptures, and didn't try to make them into something they are not, we'd all be better off. I also realize that there is more to the to the work of the Spirit of God in the world than is (or can be) contained in Christian Scriptures. Which means I can and look elsewhere for wisdom -- and often find it.

• I still think the church is important, as the collection of faithful people. But I think that it has become institutionalized and imperial in its approach. That has become problematic (some might even say "demonic"). The British evangelist John Wesley once observed that, "the world is my parish." If that is true, then Christians need to be active in the world, not just in the church. That activity in the world was a crucial part of the life in the early church (i.e., in the period right after Jesus; indeed, for the first 300 years).

• I believe my identity continues to be ethical, perhaps even "prophetic," as well as thoroughly pastoral (based on a deep and abiding care for others). Part of my work includes discovering places in the world (though not as much in the church) where I can speak God's human and humane truth (in both circumspect and direct language) in ways that "the world" can hear it. For that, I am, and will be, thankful.

That's where I begin.

About the icon of St. Anthony . . .
The icon comes from Eastern Christian Supply Company. With thanks!