One of the biggest critiques of friends, critics, professors and other people who have read what I written, is my use of logic and reason, or my arrival to logic and reason. Especially within a few of my friends who are reformed, systematic, they struggle with the answers I have arrived to, which I understand. Others, who are not informed with Philosophical thought, which I understand as well. For some, they don’t understand my story, and, how I have come to my theological answers or questions. So, here is some of my ways of trying to articulate that.
The most important message of the Biblical message to me has been that of grace. As a person, who developed multiple addictions (Eating, Caffeine oddly, at times spending). I have also accumulated mass amounts of shame through violent and degrading acts that have been both observed and experienced. As well, I have seen the effects that these addictions and shame, has caused me to act and respond with others.
So what is Grace? Grace is a gift. More importantly, Grace is the gift of the impossible becoming possible. I have several friends in my life that I absolutely love. I would actually do the Christlike thing for a few of self-sacrifice for them. When, I actually receive them, I must come to the realization that they do not have to be my friend. They do not have to love me. They do not have to care about me, listen to me, look out for me, talk to me. I can’t force anyone to do any of that. Therefore, the impossibility of their friendship, allows me to receive the grace of their friendship. Grace is something that is out of the economic circle. When I expect their friendship, my sense of entitlement and selfishness, eliminates the grace of the unconditionality of the gift. When someone gives me something that is outside of me, I receive something that opens up a new world of possibility for me. So when, I can receive forgiveness, healing and love, I reconcile those broken parts of who I am, and, the patters of living they produce. Therefore the gift of grace, makes the impossibility of forgiveness, healing and love, possible. This gift of grace, has opened up a new kind of faith.
So what is faith? Faith, as I knew growing up, was a heightened sense of morality, correct doctrine, and, sin management. Faith, as I come to know it, is the courageous leap, into the Absolutely non-absolute. When I see God asking people to do something in the Bible, it doesn’t surprise me now that pretty much every time he essentially says, Do Not Be Afraid. Meaning, that there is some sense of fear within us, or, there is something that might cause us to fear ahead. So the leap is full of fear. Also, when we understand that God is the Infinite Absolute Truth, the Truth that is being explained cannot be not be understood cognitively. For what human mind, which is confined to limited human understanding, can come into the grasping of the infinite divine being? Therefore, the human and divine identity of Jesus and God, much like everyone else we know, including ourselves, can only be understood experientially. Love can only impact us as love received. We can only love as we have received love. Therefore, I can only reciprocate God to the world as I have received God whom I am in relationship with. Therefore, to come back to the same premise of my first point, the impossibility of something makes it possible. The leap of faith, assures that I may not be caught, that I might get hurt, but, it is my hope, because of the God I am in relationship with, will catch me. Therefore, I am falling, but, hopefully it is not scary. Faith, cannot be produced on logic and reason, but, faith jumped into produces logic and reason. Once we make the uncertain leap, we come into the knowing of the divine being we are being held by. This, through the logical mind is absurdity.
Christianity is absurd. Faith is absurd. Hope is Absurd. Love is Absurd. If it wasn’t we’d have certainty. Then we wouldn’t have the need for Faith, Hope and Love. But, what is more absurd? A life of absolute certainty and reason? Or trusting the absurdity of Faith, Hope and Love? It’s in Faith, Hope and Love, that we are able to receive all that is Grace. The life we didn’t deserve. The life that opens up all of the possibilities of life that were once impossible.