God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few – Ecclesiastes 5:2
These days I have been doing theology terribly wrong, and I feel that my Christianity has turned upside-down, like a certain apostle’s cross.
The study of a thing is supposed to lead you to understand that thing. Theos-logia, the study of God, was supposed to make me understand God, right? I look at many pastors, preachers and writers, the heralds of “sound theology”, and they seem like they got it. You ask them a question about who is God, who is man, what is our purpose, why is there evil, does God really exist, can I trust the bible, and several other questions, and they have the answers. They can even tell you how the world came to being, and how it is going to end. It’s amazing. Looking at myself I wonder if I’m doing it wrong, I mean, compared to them I really am not getting it at all.
I think it is because I have been around a lot of different churches/traditions for my age (I’m 22 as I write this), and it exposed me to so many different answers to all of those questions, I honestly cannot nail down the one right answer. Although being around all these different churches, I have a strong aversion of churchianity, and I make an effort to have a life outside of it, with people that are still pure from its influence. In relationship with people outside the church, listening to them and talking about these questions, I often realize how absurd many of the experts’ answers are… and, believe me, my friends are still rather OK people! I am sure it would be worse if I started hanging out with thieves and prostitutes.
Now, I am not an agnostic, by far, my heart and mind are still captivated by Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Indeed, I think He is responsible for most of my bewilderment: The Christ I encounter in the gospels was purposefully unclear about many things, He always used mysterious language, and as it pertained to us, there was only one thing He was crystal clear on: God’s ruthless intent to make reconciliation and love tangible realities in human life, and our responsibility towards him in actualizing it. As the embodiment of the Godhead, Christ shows himself wanting very little to do with the questions and answers of religious experts, and very much interested in spending time at parties with friends, friends who were sinners. A Jesus who would bring good news to the poor, not as a story or a set of beliefs, but by giving a helping hand. A Jesus who came to save sinners, and who did it without them knowing it, utterly misunderstood and rejected. A Humble God who gloried in his own defeat, confounding the wise.
I love the fact that Jesus never wrote a book. Studying and dissecting God, I discovered that God does not want to be studied: That’s not the kind of thing you do to a friend. He would much rather share a cup of wine at the dinner table.