This series in Galatians is really gaining traction but my approach creates a lot of questions. I’m so thankful for your comments, questions and feedback, please keep them coming. Over the last three weeks I have pressed firmly on the theological scaffolding that props up the majority of people’s understanding. While this can be healthy and lead to a wider experience, many people struggle with the dissonance that this creates and as a result may be quick to dismiss the content outright. I don’t want this to happen, so today I’m going to try and fill in some (but not all) of the holes that seem to be reoccurring from your comments.
First off, a number of you who are new to this blog and podcast may think that I’m “anti-church” or “anti-religion” because of my critical examination of modern Christianity and world religions. One referred to me as an “ecclesial anarchist” which I found humorous but inaccurate. I am not simply dissing the church and its flock. I believe I am speaking prophetically to it. The deconstruction that I offer is because I truly desire it’s reconstruction into a healthy bride that redeems a hurting world, not the neutered and impotent tribe that despises the world.
My work through these studies is to reframe “how” the church believes more so than “what” she believes. This is why so many questions emerge at first from new listeners, they get high centered on what I say and not how I got there. I hope this helps slow any knee jerk reactions to my content. I’m always focused on frameworks and presuppositions. Our grasp of truth emerges from these frameworks. So I have to go deep enough into the substructure of your thinking or much of what I say will be lost.
A related snagging point for listeners is the binary (on/off switch) epistemology (theory of knowledge) from which we all come. In other words, the black and white way of thinking reduces reality into controllable tidbits like: in or out, saved or unsaved, true or false, up or down, good or bad, valid or invalid. Truth is ternary (three, trinity, third way). Truth resides within, but not completely within, every shade of grey. My work is to move your thinking into a dimmer switch mode of operation. Once you are there, you will be less likely to see my content as either understating or overstating reality. Be warned, changing this mode of thinking won’t come easy.
Fundamentalism (everywhere it’s found) loves binary power, control and argument. It loves to pick a team. Spirituality and the teachings of Christ evade this pitfall and heals people into a wider framework. If I ask you whether Jesus is a man or God this framework becomes easier to see. If you answered either man or God then you are utilizing a binary framework that forced a choice. If you answered 100% both, you used something other than a binary framework. Spirituality requires a new framework (Jesus called it a wineskin-Mark 2:22) or we cannot see the truth. Teachings about Heaven or Hell always regress into the ultimate binary quagmire for most people. It’s not your fault, most pastors cannot see the alternative from which Jesus always taught. A trinitarian/spiritual/third-way mindset (mind of Christ) only emerges as we turn loose of binary frameworks. Once this happens the world opens up to us. It’s called a rise in consciousness, awareness or salvation. I call it: Seeing beyond everything!
After listening to me for a while this will get much easier as you grow to understand. This isn’t taught as much as it’s caught. From there, its easier to answer specific questions like: “Keven, are you a… (fill in the blank)?” What starts out sounding evasive ends up sounding a lot like Jesus because like him, I reject any title, category, label, or means of indexing my belief. Again that’s another way for people to gain (in their minds) an egotistical upper hand over someone. I love you too much to get sucked into that quicksand with you. I no longer defend, debate or argue theological traditions or viewpoints even though I used to love it. A theological grid is helpful, but not the same as inner experience. It’s merely a container, not the contents.
Truth, or the gospel message, are both wide and narrow. I teach wide enough to include every soul into the conversation and narrow enough that none of us escape the invitation to go deeper. The gospel offends liberal people in its exclusion, while at the same time it offends conservative people with its inclusion. If I do my job, everyone is offended, not for shock value, but because the gospel opens us up to wider truth. I focus on the text of scripture and let the theology sort itself out in the mind of the hearer. I’m not dogmatic and I don’t preach a doctrine (though that is what most people are expecting), I simply let the scripture point us to a transforming inner experience. This frustrates people who insist on pinning me down, but I hope they learn rather than label me and run off. You have to grow up to hang here, I won’t spoon feed you.
What would it look like if someone truly shepherded people’s understanding of the truth but didn’t insist they themselves possessed it all? What if a pastor loved people enough to deconstruct their limiting beliefs and frameworks while bringing them close enough in proximity to the spirit that they could experience breath for themselves. What if rather than directing, insisting or casting fear, a teacher simply liberated people from their religious prisons into their own unique experience with God and themselves? Perhaps as you answer these questions you will begin to see a little bit more clearly the work I feel passionately called to do.
I cannot thank you enough for exploring the discovery of truth with me. For those who have been here for over a decade and for those who have joined this week, I want to welcome you to this amazing family, led not by me, but by the Spirit of God.
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