To Listen While Reading


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Doctrine of Sin Is Basically a Joke

Now that I've said what I feel plainly, I want to explain.
First of all, here's the backstory...
In my theology class, we've been discussing various parts of the traditional "doctrines" like God and who He is, His attributes, etc. We just finished on the image of God and are now moving on to sin in a few days here. I have had quite a lot of trouble trying to fully explain myself because of this here doctrine. I thought my problem was going to be with the doctrine of Christ/atonement, but that's only part of it. To be honest, I'm sort of dreading talking about sin for the next however many long weeks, 4 days a week. I read up on what our textbooks have to say and I'm pretty sure we're just going to stay within those. To be honest, it doesn't seem to me like anyone has yet to believe that sin isn't this big issue or a part of our nature.
What brought about this musing is how I felt today. I had this nagging almost depressing feeling come over me and, as I've been trained to do, I started thinking about the music I've been listening to, the people I've been hanging around on my own, and the teachers I've been following because I resonate with them in my heart. I began by coming against my very self and that's when I knew...something isn't right here. I feel as if my environment is always looking inward, too, attaching every single mistake they've ever done to themselves as a pattern of life. And not only to themselves but all of humanity! I find this entirely disconcerting!
I've been thinking about what some of the thoughts I was reading are about sin, and how I feel my professor might go about it. One in particular that did stick out to me was that sin involves community, and the tearing up of it. Knowing my professor to be big on community, I assume he will probably lean more towards this understanding (not that he will enforce it on us, but I assume he will favor it). Part of me likes that because at least it's not AS focused on our own shame, but then I suppose it is. I assume it means something like one of us messes up and everyone feels it so we should guilt ourselves into never messing up and guilt ourselves into confession and repentance and guilt ourselves into feeling what other people feel and guilt ourselves into forgiveness.
I hate guilt. I hate shame even more. I hate fear. Don't you?
So why do we sympathize with it so dang much? Why do we attach it to our identities? Because the Bible seems to say so? Gag! Why should any book be an external authority by which we dictate our lives? Does not Scripture itself even say that God writes the law on our hearts (our sense of morality/ethics/just being ourselves really in relation to God and others)? Doesn't Jesus come to "fulfill" the law...or better yet, to show that He IS the law? Loving people that aren't getting loved and yet loving the self-righteous, too? God is love and since when did He ever stop loving us? Since when did He ever change His mind about us as "very good"? Why do we think we MUST conceive of a God that reigns down justice in the name of love? Because the Bible seems to say so? Circular reasoning. How do we know what love is? Because the Bible tells us so? No, because we EXPERIENCE it. No book can ever tell you what love is in its entirety. No words can. Maybe there are words...maybe they sound like...Y...H...W...H...Jesus...God...Father/Papa...Mother/Mama...Brother/Sister...Grandfather/Ancient of Days...Fountain of Youth...Elohim...Creator... Maybe love has nothing to do with Scripture. Maybe it speaks of it but we all know in our hearts that love cannot be summed up like that.
And with our main point here to be stated is that I really, really, really don't think our hearts are bad, or evil and wicked beyond all measure. I can EASILY see how that is one man's idea of how he made a mistake and now all of a sudden it's attached to his identity. That seems like the big life question we've all pondered...who am I? Am I good? Of course! Who told you otherwise? Maybe Adam got too close to his feelings of loneliness and instead of learning from his mistake, humanity picked up on it and said "hey! that's how i feel too! we must all have something about us that is this way! at least i'm not alone in that!" How sad, that humanity feels they can only relate to each other based on their problems. We long for more, do we not? We long to know that the whole earth loves us. We long to live in fullness of community. And I argue that sin does not separate us from that, but only in our minds. What if, like I've said, we just romanticized those feelings of guilt and superimposed these pagan ideas of how gods are angry and all onto the real God, forcing Him to relate to us through sacrifice--which, later on we find out He hates! (I argue not because our hearts are evil, but because we refuse to just rest and trust in Papa to show us Himself and therefore us)--and murdered our very image because we'd gotten soooo far out of hand with our mistaken beliefs? What if that mistake wasn't a big deal, originally at least, and it just escalated sooo out of proportion that God planned Christ to come? Maybe He knew we'd sacrifice Him, maybe He didn't...I don't know. But does it really matter? It doesn't change "my faith"...does it yours, I mean really? Maybe He did know but worked with us where we were, trying to change our minds, and when we wouldn't, He offered Himself up and said ", at what I just just killed both Me and yourself...and yet I forgive you ("Father, forgive them for they know not what they do..."). there is absolutely nothing that can or will EVER separate us...I prayed for our oneness to be realized between You and me and in community with the whole never lost only thought you did...I did to bring healing to your troubled mind that was never set to only thought it was and I give you so much freedom to learn and create worlds for yourself...I'd like you to rest in the one I made and to let me show you how to be yourself because you are Me...we are Gods/gods...I wanted to share in this divine nature with you...I love you my child...beloved..."
Since when has sin EVER been a problem for Papa? Since when have we EVER been disgusting to Him? Since when?
If you're reading this, I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to discuss this with you. I'm not afraid if you're not afraid. Thank you.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Journal 41--Thank You!

So the past few days have been really interesting for me. Really the past semester/past few weeks to be honest. I've been so frustrated with my Systematic Theology class. In part, because it just requires so much work on top of my five other classes of work. Lesson learned: Never take 3 Bible classes and 17 credit hours in one semester. Worst.Idea.Ever. Haha.
But what's really frustrated me recently is what I posted in my last post about the Bible. To clarify, I've settled on believing yes, the Bible doesn't have to be inerrant or infallible, but I'm not opposed to it being so. I just don't like the idea of worshiping it or turning to it to solve all our problems as the power of God lies anywhere but in His beloved children that He wishes to share in fellowship with. And I'm tired of cowering behind it, when I'm really cowering behind someone else's poopy thoughts.
And that's just it. I've been frustrated with how my beliefs just don't seem to add up with others sometimes. I know they probably do more than I realize, but it's still saddening. I feel like I can't tell my fellow Christians that the doctrine of sin is a joke, and the doctrine of eschatology is sort of a joke, too. Specifically, the idea that we are filthy rags and that grace is dependent on our being filthy rags, at least in some sense because Christ didn't truly finish anything (I'd say reveal anything about who we've been since forever) and we now have to wait for Him to return to be our true selves. I remember thinking that sounded plain enough, but not it just sounds silly/ridiculous to me. How can I not be who I've always wanted to be? How can a good Father ever be so concerned with His own sense of morality that He can't let me be, the me He conceived? How can a good Father EVER change His mind about me? And that's what I just can't understand...that the church contests that we have grace which is everything. Which don't get me wrong, it is. But it leaves God with always changing His mind, as if I'm never allowed to question it. What kind of good Father would need me to quit questioning His love? In the realest reality, I don't need to, but it's perfectly okay if I do. There's a lot of spiritual abuse going around and honestly, I think it's been to protect our sense of control. And we like to say we need to get rid of it yada yada yada, but in the depth of how people are feeling about themselves, they're really just trying to convince themselves that that's not what they're doing, calling anyone who truly disagrees outside some form of their thinking (not variations of their thoughts, actual disagreements) a heretic. I just sense sooo much fear from my fellow friends that are Christians. They're soo afraid of being irreverent to God, as if that's really what He requires. What if the "reverence" of the Old Testament was really just our pagan ideas of what gods are like, superimposed on to who God is? That's why Jesus makes so much sense as loving in the New Testament, but not in the Old Testament. How can God have a change in mind? To me, how can worship have anything to do with sacrifice? Maybe of the old self but even then, He doesn't care. He accepts us right where we are. He doesn't care nearly as much as we think He does, I think. There's so much beauty in just resting in who He is and not making this all about logic, theologians. Rest in His love and let that speak enough, theologians. Let your heart do all the interpreting. I promise it's not bad. This isn't a doctrine, like a new one. This is truly the life you've always wanted and had this whole time. Breathe. Ahhhhhh. Beauty is all around you and in you! Breathe it in! Breathe it in! Smile with no fear! Your Papa loooooves you! Soooo soo much! Mmmmmmmmm, looooove
Love is all we have and need
Theology is not to argue. It is the mystery of the times being unveiled and our rest in the fact that the universe knows it's own answers to it's questioning.
The heart remembers more than the head tries to forget. And the heart releases healing when the head forgets important things, and then the head remembers it's okay to forget and not hold on because the heart holds us together. Therein love interprets logic, for love is logic itself. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for dwelling there and reminding me of who I am.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Bible: Inerrant? Infallible? Or None of the Above?

I'll be bluntly honest here: I've been pissed lately. I've been so beyond mad about some things, some theological things, some actions Christians take because they bow down to "theology." Some really, quite frankly, shitty beliefs. In part, it has manifested in me being particularly judgmental towards Christians and I've decided that I just don't want to be called a Christian because of this: it is predominantly associated with "a special" or "chosen people," descendants of Israel and those grafted in (Gentiles, etc). I believe in ALL OF HUMANITY and I believe in love and I'm so beyond tired of not being able to say that for fear of my beliefs being attacked by, you guessed it, Christians--the one people group humanity is "supposed" to count on to show love because they preach it "enough" (but not really...holiness schpeels, righteousness moves, holier-than-thou complexes, mega churches with no purpose, endless holy wars between denominations and other religions, guilt, shame, fear, every negative thing that's not supposed to happen typically finding Christians first to express itself...ya know, the whole thing). So here humanity, friends, readers of this blog. Here's Martina's raw thoughts about stuff I'm not supposed to have my own thoughts about, or at least not supposed to conclude like this.

I don't believe the Bible is infallible. I don't believe the Bible is inerrant.
I know I said I wanted to state my beliefs outright and I do. However, I would really appreciate it if these statements 1) didn't offend you enough for you to stop reading this blog post cause that's just lame and 2) didn't stunt you in thinking that you either know exactly what I'm going to say and know exactly what I mean, based on Christian assumption, or that they are instantly a complete summary of what I'm working through. Please don't ever assume that my statements mean I have everything figured out because I don't. But please don't also assume that you remotely do either. There, now can we begin on level playing grounds? Thank you.

With these statements said, let me also clarify what I believe about sin.
I don't believe it's a real threat to our persons as humanity. I DO NOT think it is our nature. In fact I think that's the dumbest thing anyone could ever be taught, that their very existence works against them and they then have to go on this rabbit trail around pleasing an angry God...but wait, there's hope in Jesus because now God's less apt to gag when He looks at you...ya know, that whole BS story. [Let me just say here that I love people, but I HATE certain trains of thought like this. Most people WANT me to judge them based on these ideologies and I admit that when they ask for it, it's difficult not to give them what they want when I'm in a bad mood. But I STILL LOVE YOU AND I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE. YOU DO.] I believe sin is an exploitation against our inherent, divine, royal, like-God natures. I believe Adam and Eve were duped by a bad train of thought. I won't go in to detail, but right now, I believe Adam had a history of creating with God. I believe he got confused about his lack of having a partner in life and interpreted that as actually being alone and maybe romanticized that feeling too much and became its friend, attaching the snake with that kind of lying, thieving identity. In that, I also have quite a hard time believing Satan is real either. Long story for later.
At any rate, I think we're all SO GOOD and SO BEAUTIFUL and we don't have to try to prove that to anyone, ESPECIALLY God/The Father. Jesus came to show us/remind us of who we are by living it out. Scripture itself in Luke talks about how God called us "gods" (read Psalm 82...and no, I don't think that's talking about angels or some false idea we had of ourselves...I literally think God likes us enough to give us His actual image and being called a god is pretty stinking awesome and not prideful at all! It's the highest form of royalty and preciousness!!!). In that passage, Jesus refers to Psalm 82 and tells the people they shouldn't have problems with Him claiming Himself a son of God (thereby making Him one with God, or claiming to be God) because they were called gods. We are one with God and that's not an eschatological reality/future thing that's gonna happen. We're one now and just as a husband and wife grow closer in knowing each other, the same beautiful freedom is bestowed upon us. How beautiful, lovely, and fair!!!
Alllll this to say a few words about what I think of Scripture. I don't think it's inerrant or infallible because I don't believe it needs to be. I believe the messing up that happened with Adam in his mind was completely okay to Papa! I believe that perhaps He created a world where mistakes are not a bad thing at all! Maybe they're just the beauty and freedom in creating--more and more revelation and learning! And that's sounds so creatively cool to me! Like a child learning the art of living and breathing. So beautiful. Scripture can be applied in the same light. It doesn't need to "fall from heaven," it doesn't need to be 100% correct, it doesn't need to say all the right words and have all the answers to life. That sounds like Jesus to me, not Scripture. Scripture can be errant and fallible because let's face it people, men wrote it. And absolutely nothing against them, but have not we all been figuring this thing out about life's deepest meanings since, well, forever? In the Old Testament, who's to say they didn't superimpose pagan ideas of an angry god onto Yahweh, the real God? Who's to say they didn't demand sacrifice systems from God? Who's to say they didn't misinterpret God's voice in the Law? Who's to say they didn't add laws that had no purpose? Who's to say they didn't get what we think is so important wrong? I don't think the Law was set up to "point us to the end of us" or to point to Jesus even. I believe we demanded God relate to us that way and made up all this crap about His character. That's why you see His love unraveling more and more throughout Scripture until Jesus--He's been pursuing us relentlessly because He loves His babies!!! And sometimes we remember/get it! Jesus was the final say about what God feels about us--that is unconditional love. Because the very image of God, the very image of US, died because we demanded He did. Just like the sacrifice of the Old Testament, only this time we marred and bruised and killed God, who is us/our nature/our very make-up/our very image in a completely dependent and passive marriage of action with Him (I do not here assert that we are actually God, in the sense that the concept of God is made up and we are actually just dependent on ourselves). We couldn't handle the fact that Jesus claimed us as gods and loved us and hated our religious ideals but not us. So we killed Him. And if we would have known what He represented, we wouldn't have killed ourselves! Or God!
And then there's the little nit-picky verses that people will declare against what I'm saying and I'm so fed up with that. What if the apostles got stuff wrong? Or better yet, what if we translated what they were saying about the real message of the Gospel (revealing who we are) in a twisted way because we picked those religious ideals back up? What if there's some serious stuff wrong in Scripture? What if we did add junk that wasn't there? What does it affect? I would hope nothing but we're so caught up in it being our ultimate authority, worshiping it, laying with it, singing it, quoting it, memorizing it, reciting it over our problems as if the verses are more anointed than our very's absolutely asinine. If my one or major reason for belief in God/the Father/Jesus is because of a book, I'm screwed when it comes down to real life problems. I'll cower and hide behind my Christian religion and never truly be fulfilled, only trick myself into thinking I am because I define myself by how well I'm doing as a Christian (based on how much I pray, read my Bible, attend church, and forcibly tolerate people I really don't like). All this not realizing my identity lies in my heart, where the Holy Spirit, the conviction I have about loving people because I'm MADE IN LOVE and everyone knows love is good, UNLESS THEY'VE BEEN BRAINWASHED OTHERWISE. AHEM.
I leave you on this thought. Ponder this question: If you could not use Scripture or any other ministry, tradition, or something you've heard someone else say (especially another Christian) as your reasoning, what reason would you give for your beliefs?
Thank you for your time. Sorry/not sorry that this may have offended you. I STILL LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS WILL. No arguments!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thoughts on School

I don't believe in academia.
Arguments won't save me. Maneuvering through logic and reasoning won't save me.
I live by my heart and nothing else. My heart is the most wise person of the universe.
I don't give a rip about words.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Am I An Introvert? Am I Afraid?

Today in one of my classes, I finally piped up about something I felt passionate about. Let me tell you, reader, I have never done this in the entirety of my existence. Sure, I've shared passion amongst friends and such but never in a class setting. Honestly, I'm an introvert. Not the hardcore kind that is always secluded and socially anxious. No, I'm an introvert in two particular ways: I need alone time, it's precious to me. And I have to have time to process my thoughts. Period. I'm not much of an external processor UNLESS I am particularly close to you and you know where I stand with the heart of Jesus. Only a HANDFUL of people in my life do and I'm completely okay with that. I don't enjoy being a totally open book to everyone I meet--I don't think it's healthy and it's just not beneficial to me or anyone else. For these reasons, I don't share in class much because I'm usually trying to figure out what the heck I think about things before I say anything. I hate giving half-butt answers for the sake of participating. That has no value for me personally but it's cool if it does for others. Really! It's just not my thing and I've come to terms with that. I've done the whole shaming thing and tried to tell myself I'm just afraid of sharing. In part, I am afraid of sharing, but it's not simply because I'm socially anxious. It's because if I don't see a point in sharing, I'm not going to. If what I say isn't going to bring me closer to the people around me, if it's not going to benefit my thought process, if it's not going to help us gain understanding I see absolutely no point in sharing.
Today, however, I did share an impassioned thought on something. I did this knowing that the person next to me probably wasn't going to like or agree with what I was saying. They didn't rebut or anything, I just got that vibe based on body language and past thoughts they had shared that would counteract my thoughts. And honestly, it's bothered me all day. Knowing that this person feels the way they do. I'm more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's just hard because I've been where they are, BELIEVE ME, and it's such an unhealthy way to think about things in my opinion. So now knowing that I've shared something so deep in my heart in a place where someone finally disagrees with me (normally this thought wouldn't be a point of disagreement). It's scary, it's daunting, I sort of regret sharing my thoughts because it's easier to keep them to myself and share them at other times. But I did nonetheless and I cannot take them back, only either continue to ascribe to them, tweak them, or drop them. And that's the beauty of what I've learned today. That sharing something DOES NOT mean it defines who I am in my belief systems. It defines nothing really. It only speaks of what I'm feeling in that moment. And there is the beauty of living, friends. I will continue to share as I feel (which probably won't be much like this cause it's just not my style) so inclined because I am awesome and my feelings do matter. Take me or leave me world, but you need me. Just because we're friends in Jesus and we love each other so much! Haha take that, "unloved" ones! YOU'RE SO LOVED!!!! And I don't care if you don't believe me. I'll just have to show you with my words. :)