So just a fair warning this post is pretty psychological. Blame it on the alcohol…and drug counseling license. This is not one of those times where you can breeze through what I’ve said and shrug it off because it doesn’t already fit into your pre-arranged paradigm. Some of my posts are about the collective church but here I am challenging you (all of us) to legitimately look within.
If someone where to read my journal they’d see common themes. You could tell what issues I was coming to terms with and working through in 2008 vs 2009 and so on. But I don’t think is particular to me..
I think that we often come to the table with preconceived notions about lots of ideas and so our individual theology can be more of a portrayal of our own personality and thinking patterns than it is explaining truth. That’s not to say there isn’t truth in there, but we’re like the guy who buys a new Jeep and then starts noticing that there are thousands of Jeeps in his town. They’ve of course always been there, but he’s now looking for them (at the expense of looking for other things).
Whatever we are working through, whatever aspect of Christianity and life we are currently exploring is likely a reflection of ourselves and what path we’ve been walking on.
So the universalist is likely one because they want it to be true and they’re emerging from a viewpoint that separated itself from everyone it possibly could, or conversely the exclusivist holds that view because they struggle with sizing people up and can’t fathom just any old person gets into heaven. Or someone who spends lots of time defending sinners may be doing so because they feel the need to know they are still justified and have grace from God in spite of their own sinful shortcomings and bad habits that won’t seem to break. The legalist may emphasize God’s demand for purity because they want to feel validated for all of their effort.
This may actually be fairly basic, as whatever we are focused on we start seeing in sorts of other places. I fear we become blind to this phenomenon and therefore starting transposing these ideas into our version of absolute truth.
I hope this doesn’t come across as too provocative – but we like to think that God has led us down whatever spiritual journey we are on. And certainly God is with. However I think we also put ourselves on the next spiritual road so that we can find fertile ground for justifying ourselves and whatever we are working through at that time.
This isn’t revolutionary. We often accuse certain people of making Jesus into their own image. However I am suggesting that to some degree we all do this. We can’t escape our own psyche, we can’t escape our issues – they will pop up somewhere. And theology is just about the most perfect place for them to pop up.
But maybe this post is moreso a reflection of me, as I’ve already told you this is exactly what I do.