One of the best things about being a writer in process is that you are constantly humiliated and constantly corrected. I don’t say this sarcastically. Steven Pressfield writes in his book The War of Art that for the artist, criticism is survival. That’s why I am grateful for people telling me that I am wrong….. Which happens more often than you think. (Sorry to crush all the ladies’ hearts out there who think I am dreamy) I try not to write about fluffy stuff. I don’t like the candy corn and peeps theology of people like Joel Osteen (I also don’t like his hair). I am aware of the fact that I am not a theologian, a scholar. What I know about myself is this; I have a lot of life experience for a 24-year-old. I also believe I write from that place. I think hope stems from that place. So, its good for me to be disagreed with. It allows me to re-experience my life in a new way. It’s good for my soul to be humiliated. I think what we believe is profoundly important…. But it’s not everything.
I have had the pleasure displeasure of meeting a fair amount Pastors, Philosophers and Theologians. Some of them, are true lights. Their life is their message. But, some great minds are just that, great minds. They’re terrible human beings. Their great beliefs have infused in them a narcissism and arrogance that is second to none. They trample over human beings with no disregard. They don’t care how their words and their teachings damage the lives of those that they speak about. They believe they’re right and God’s on their side because they are “Orthodox”.
I am grateful for people like Scot McKnight who point out that most people don’t really even understand Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy, it seems, is much more of a generational stance than a historical stance. Orthodoxy today means believing in things like the Rapture (which wasn’t really a belief until about 100 years ago and wasn’t really popular until the 1970’s). This is the conundrum of orthodoxy. I would recommend something like Greg Boyd’s Across The Spectrum for a book on the wide array of what has been accepted historically by the Church through its duration.
This is the beauty of the Apostle Paul’s words, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” If we have all the right beliefs, and all of the right stances but are still complete turd’s, we’re nothing. If we do not learn to live in love, if we do not learn how to serve, if we do not learn how to disagree kindly, then we are missing the whole point on theology, on Orthodoxy and on God. If Truth is the very thing that sets us free, then we cannot say we’re Orthodox and be a narcissistic tool. If we’re, then we honestly haven’t placed our faith in the true source of hope, God. For some people, when you take away their beliefs, you take away everything. They’ve created shells without nothing them. They kill anyone who might try and crack their shell. Having all the right beliefs is no reason to be a Christian. But, having the right relationships are.