An Addendum For Dichotomy

Yes, I'm aware that my last two posts seem to be in direct contradiction to one another.  I assure you, they're not.

My life journey consists of finding the Truth, finding who I am, finding who God is, finding the how and why of my existence.

I ascribe to the "elephant theory"of religion and Truth.  Ironically, when I googled this to link it, I realized that it comes from a Hindu poem/fable.  This makes me laugh inside, because many of my readers may find this to be a further contradiction.

I grew up Christian as most of you know.  I don't like to be called a Christian anymore though, because the associations of pain, condescension, and hypocrisy ascribed to this title make me want to run far, far away from anything and everything associated.  I tried to turn my back on all of it at one point near the end of high school and beginning of college (yes, while attending Christian schools in both cases).  I'm jaded... plain and simple.  As far as I'm concerned... the church is more or less... wrong.

HOWEVER, I keep coming back to the teachings of Christ as my primary lifeline and use HIM as my life's role-model.  I still attend (and am involved in serving in) my church, because, I do worship the God of Christianity.  But my God is bigger than that.

I study and listen and process opinions and beliefs from many sources.  I will spend the rest of my life searching for pieces of the elephant around me that will help me to understand this larger view of God.  While this intimidates many people, I find this to be the source of continued joy and wonder for me as I continue to delve deep into my understanding of and relationship with God,  and the world & people (s)he created for me to know and love.

I don't wanna ever end this journey.  Join me?  It's worth it; I promise!


melissa said...

I think you and I would have a lot to talk about (in a good way) over coffee. I really empathize with this post.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you think of God as bigger than Christianity. And if you are simply referring to our ability to communicate God to each other in the sense of a "religion" than I would agree with you (believe me, I have my own issues with the church).

However, those short-comings should be directly attributed to our fallen human nature and the struggle against sin. I believe that God can be completely understood (in as much as we are capable of understanding Him) through His Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean we ignore everything else, but it must not contradict the Truth of the Bible.

In the "elephant theory" of Truth, I would say that the Christian is the one person who is not blind - just terribly nearsighted. So while he might not understand all the details of what he is seeing, he could identify the elephant. Now he has the arduous task of explaining it to people around him who are missing an essential piece of the puzzle, and most of them think he is crazy.

They have always been blind, you see, and have no concept of sight. So while their observations may be true in the sense that they are reporting what their sense of touch tells them, it is not Truth.

Not trying to pick a fight, just reflecting on my own understanding of the "elephant theory".

Nean said...

Thanks, shevrae, I appreciate your viewpoint on the elephant. :) I would say, however, that even Christianity is far, far from what Christ envisioned his bride to look like. Christ didn't come to create a religion; He came to show us what God's love is supposed to look like. Sacrificing love and passion, through pain and torture when necessary. When I see those who call themselves Christians TRULY acting this way, maybe I'll agree that they're just near-sighted and not blind.

I'm not trying to pick a fight either... just expressing my views. And I internalize all pieces of Truth as they are expressed to me... It's the only way to filter it all. I dismiss nothing without trying and testing it first against the God that I have come to know and love.

There is no way that I think there is ANY religion out there that is closer to the Truth than Christianity, but God (and therefore Christ -- see I'm not that far gone -- I still believe they are One!) is the only ONE who truly knows what the elephant looks like. (S)He is, after all, the one who created all... including said elephant. And if (s)he wants to reveal the True nature of the Divine Self through a variety of means, philosophies, and religions, who am I (a mere creation) to argue that (s)he is doing it "wrong."

And yes, God is bigger than Christianity. Christianity didn't even exist until about 2000 years ago... and God is eternal.

kj said...

I didn't think your posts were contradictory at all. Does all wisdom not come from God? I guess I see God as WAY BIGGER than any of us can imagine. As you so aptly pointed out--God is eternal while Christianity is only 2000 years old.

I agree with you that the church is a far cry from what I think Jesus envisioned. And at the cost of sounding heretical, the church's theology is a far cry from what I think Jesus' teachings state or even imply.

Sometimes I think that we're so busy trying to defend the boundaries between "us" and "them" that we can't see the forest for the trees. Or differentiate the elephant's trunk from the elephant's tail if you will. One isn't wrong because one only sees "in part."

Jason Kichline said...

I think you ate right. The issue in the church is that there is this odd notion of "us" versus "them" and that somehow we are better, without sin or whatever. This viewpoint is false. The good news is that we are all God's children and he loves us the same.

I don't disagree with the elephant theory, in as much as we all may experience God differently. But the notion that we are blind is our own fault. The word of God is a light to our feet and a light to our path. It explains how we are to react in the presence and love of God. So we are all on a journey in our experience of God. Let's open our eyes a little further to see where God wants to take us, so that we can see God.

Elvin said...

Some day the body of Christ will rise again out of the grave we have made for ourselves.