This is the second installment in a series of reflections on LGBTQ+ matters.
The Reformed tradition of Christianity has placed strong value on a particular way of knowing things. We pride ourselves in being careful thinkers. Knowing things through our minds, and putting our thoughts into words, and exegeting the Word has led to great insights of faith. It also has led to dogmatism about what we know and a constant vigilance about orthodoxy, i.e., right ways of thinking. And it has led to neglect of other ways of knowing truth, and the Truth, and to a loss at times of the bigger picture, the gestalt.
The mystical tradition of Christianity, much older than Reformation thought, has been lost to many present-day Christians. We need to regain our ability to see mystery. We need both things, really. We need faith between our ears that expresses itself in textbooks and propositions. And we also need faith that is less about head knowledge and more about knowing in our bones. We need the faith we experience when the Spirit moves us beyond words. We need faith that emphasizes love as the driving force, the center, the greatest of these.
When people on all sides of contentious issues cannot love one another, it means we have not gotten the big picture clear yet. When we fail to make room for discerning people to conclude divergent things about what the Scriptures are teaching about the origins of gender fluidity, the permissibility of same-sex relationships, the primacy of gender complementarity, and the like, then we are missing the overarching truth that love wins. Not doctrinal precision. Not rightness. Not sinlessness. Not grace and truth, but grace as ultimate truth. Love wins!
If the institutional church is to thrive, it must come to this revolutionary way of experiencing anew what God keeps doing with us over and over. God loves us like a great parent, in the presence of all our flaws. This is Christianity’s core knowledge, and it is transformative for how we live together and how we represent God to the world.
From time to time a member of All One Body will post to this blog. We will also have guest commentary. Stay tuned!
Jesus Prays for All Believers: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-- I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
John 17:20-23 (NIV)