A bit ago, I read this line in one of my very old journals:
"Please don't let me become one of those love-is-all-that-matters Christians."
It was a prayer.
I can't imagine, now, how valuing love alone could possibly be a bad thing. For out of love flows justice, faithfulness, selflessness, insert-any-positive-personal-characteristic-here. It's the greatest (and second greatest) commandment and strong enough to instruct me in any dilemma.
Why, then, did I not want to become that? I think it was for the same reason that any person judges anything: fear. We learn rules and we follow them. They make our life make sense. They give us a system to live within. That's very nice.
Back then, Christianity had given me a very neatly defined idea of what it meant to be a human. My politics, sexuality, family, morality, everything was outlined Sunday after Sunday. (I didn't notice then how the rules seemed to conveniently fit the lives those making them.)
Then there were those people who said pieces of that outline may not necessarily be part of God's plan. They suggested that there was room for people to be different from one another.
That was no good. They obviously had some kind of personal agenda. Only people who had ungodly agendas broke the rules. Further more, if that outline was flawed, how, then, was I supposed to live?
Nope. Couldn't happen.
One of the problems with this system, though, even then, was that it's difficult to explain to thoughtful, rational, loving people who are living outside of it.
Thoughtful, rational, loving person: "Why would a loving God make women with the talent, ambition, and desire to speak and lead if God meant for women to not participate in leadership?"
Back Then Katie: ""
You see? There are too many questions like that. Fear and anxiety abound.
It's worse than this, though. Fear, unchecked, becomes hatred, and hatred becomes violence. This has been one of the great downfalls of the church. In defending our outlines of what it means to be human, we have become fearful and then hateful and then violent. And the violence we've perpetrated has hurt us as much as it's hurt anyone else. Like holding the blade of a knife - the tighter we squeeze, the more deeply we are wounded.
Healing can only come once we let go.
The Kingdom of God is a wonderful, upside-down place. It lives because God lives. That makes it tricky, but when in doubt, we can follow those nifty, greatest commandments.
There. I said it. Love is all that matters.
Sorry, Back Then Katie.
This post was written as a part of a blogging game. The players are The Creative Collective and the topic is Hatred. See what the others are saying.