Saturday, November 12, 2005

Humanist Agnostic Christian

Can one be a humanist agnostic Christian? (That's a rhetorical question. I'm not actually seeking anyone's permission to use whatever labels I like to describe my theological orientation today).

Fran and I were talking last night and I explained that my Christian faith isn't entirely a "me and the Jeez" kind of arrangement, but is based very much in my belief that although there's a powerful lot of perverted Xtians around, and always have been, I still want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in. By which I mean that my baptism wasn't just about making myself belong to the man who initiated the Jesus Way, but to belong to the people who are trying to walk it. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. My emphasis is not so much personal as it is collective, and as a humanist I turn my hopes entirely and exclusively to human beings to save the world.

I am also not an exclusivist Christian. I do not believe this is the only way one can walk the path of peace and righteousness. I am terrified by the idea that one religion should dominate the world. However, nor am I a "one world religion" universalist. Not only do I think it's an idea that is inherently imperialistic and willfully, sloppily ignorant of human nature and culture, I think it's lame. I am a fan of specificity in religions: to morally evolve as a species does not mean making a big messy casserole of all our faith traditions.

That's part of what makes me a humanist Christian.
So what makes me an agnostic Christian?

I explained to Fran that I am not sure what I personally, really believe about God all the time, but that the God I *want* to believe in is the one Jesus believed in, and prayed to, and taught.

A great portion of my spiritual effort as a Christian involves strengthening my faith in this God, and delving into the Bible on a regular basis to try to understand what my master was really pointing to with that God. It's very difficult sometimes. Sometimes I wish I'd never picked up that Bible in the first place, and had just continued to live in the faith that we would all be saved by the insights of the humanities, the social sciences, and psychology.

There are days when I sit across from Jesus over coffee and say, "Oh sweetheart, you were so wrong about that God." And he just smiles quietly and reaches for another bagel.

My most recent argument with Jesus is about the ontological presence of evil as part of the created order. I think it is, and not just an aberration committed by humans because of faulty wiring or failure to submit to the Lord or even because they didn't get enough love in their childhood. I believe -- for I have encountered it in the dreamtime -- that evil is woven into the fabric of creation itself, a malevolent strand.

Jesus says "Maybe you shouldn't eat pepperoni pizza before bed." And I say, "Shut up. Evil is TOO part of the created order. And I don't mean just little old Satan, either."

It was a burrito, anyway.


Blogger fausto said...

I like the idea that the Jesus you believe in can be wrong about a burrito.

You missed another cat yesterday, BTW. (Must have been the burrito.) Check out the Socinian.


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