Sometimes, in Relationships –with God and others- you must choose between being Right or being in Relationship

7 05 2011

Theology doesn't create relationship with God

Theology seems by its nature, unspiritual. In the same way an autopsy is a matter for the dead, not the living. Roughly defined, theology is the Science of God.

The ‘scientific method’ consists of “systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.” We attempt to grow in faith by the application of the scientific method. Our life experience affirms or denies our beliefs. If we get our science right, things will go well for us.
Unfortunately, by the time be become old we encounter enough tragedy and disillusionment to strip away most of our original fundamentally held beliefs. Some become old before their time.

As I have become older, the box labeled ‘knowledge’ has continued to shrink in size, while the box labeled ‘mystery’ has expanded. The less I know, the more I believe. If not believe, put into storage, muttering, “I don’t know and I don’t care”. I guess that is belief of sorts. Interestingly, mysticism is listed as a synonym for theology. In my perspective they are much different. Mysticism is defined as, “belief in intuitive spiritual revelation”… which seems more experiential and personal. In that regard, I would label myself a Christian Mystic (add hedonist, bohemian, some might say reprobate).

God "touches" us through his creation

Every denomination has their particular hobbyhorse. I’ve belonged to a couple. Assemblies of God (Pentecostals) emphasize “spiritual gifts”, Four Square believers were strong on “teaching”. If you’re a Presbyterian, you gotta have the RIGHT theology. The Good Book states, “knowledge puffs up but love builds up”. I suspect that if my box labeled “knowledge” is larger than my box called “mystery”, I got a serious spiritual problem. I think it works similarly in human relationships. When we presume to know how and why another person thinks, feels and acts… and unyieldingly defend that position… it is likely to cause a rift.

If we are honest, we don’t have a clue why someone does, thinks, feels the way that they do. Most of the time we don’t know why we do, think or feel the way that we do ourselves. How much more, should we accept that we really don’t have a clue about God. Why does God do the things He does. What, why, how and when are questions that 99% of the time we will never know. Knowledge is not a foundation for any relationship. Presumed knowledge is even worse. Bottom-line, we can “know” or we can “grow”.

Accepting life on life’s terms. Ourselves, just he way we are. People exactly as they are, not as we want them to be. And, most importantly, God; unknowable but not unapproachable, unpredictable but not undependable, bursting the bonds of theology but reflected in the art of creation.