|Reading this morning the lessons for Sunday, I've noticed that I continually come back to several, or really a few, topics. It seems that everything revolves around these topics as I read and study scripture. What are they?
- Living authentically in the Kingdom of God - or rather living in God's Way
- How our faith, how the Way, interplays with politics and social development
- The gay, ex-gay, anti-gay controversies in the Church and society
The first, I assume, is because I believe that the Kingdom of God (the way we can live in community within God's provision and economy) presents us with a way to live authentically as God intended us to live, as much as possible this side of heaven. For myself, and I believe most of us, we live too far below our potential as the people of God, so how do we then move more fully and more authentically into this undiscovered country. God has promised us peace that surpasses all understanding, life to the full, so that we can be mature, complete, lacking nothing, and that we can obtain wisdom. Why? For the benefit of humanity and a deepening of our relationship with God Himself. All we have to do is die to the prevailing ways of our culture - "this world" - to live a life that is the best life possible, in the economy of God.
The second, I believe, is because I have an interest in politics and sociological phenomena. It is also a reaction, I think, to the perversion of Christ's message by the politicized Christian Religious Right. The way they go about demanding that the civil law be made in their own image, because they are the correct arbiters of God's law, is not correct. They harm the cause of Christ.
The third? Because I am always interested in the reconciliation of faith and orientation - whether gay relationships are truly permitted or not in God's economy of things. Additionally, I'm concerned by the confusion and harm that is often done by the unfounded claims of the ex-gay movement and the insistence of the anti-gay bunch that if we do not follow their understanding of things then this country will be destroyed by God and Western Civilization will cease to exist.
Maybe, as Roy desires to focus on bio-ethics from a Christian perspective, so I will be focusing on things dealing with how we live within the Kingdom of God, within our socio-political culture, and the competing interests of the gay vs. ex-gay vs. anti-gay controversies.
Reading Alan Helms' autobiography, Young Man from the Provinces. Writing about his former life, he wonders whether it was all a waste of misplaced attention and misplaced everything and lost opportunities for real life. I wonder the same thing, although for different reasons. His life was taken up in a whirlwind for which he wasn't ready. I often wonder whether my life will be taken up by a whirlwind - that is what I fear. I could have excelled in a variety of things during different times of my life, but didn't. I did not focus my attention on any one thing for very long. I never really applied myself fully or consistently to any one thing. I never disciplined my life so that I could excel at anything. I could say I am a generalist, which may be true, but I am an expert at nothing.
So, here I am at 41 in seminary. Will I ever excel at anything? What shall I learn, here? How shall I change? I feel almost compelled to finish this book.