Richard Rohr warns us of an addition to our own ideas and in so doing extolls humility and an openness to learning. ‘Listening’ is beneficial to the soul and a window to understanding. Being opinionated shrinks our being and irritates the gracious. There is little as repulsive as being in company with an oppinionated babbler with a short attention span.
We can rejoice in the presence of humble and sagacious people. Opinionated people who are neither intelligent or informed are a cross to bear. They are a burden to families at Christmas time, a drag on institutions and companies and a hindrance to society and polity in general. A sign of ungodliness in the wider sphere is seen in the popularity of foolish leaders elected by foolish people. In the book of proverbs we find,
‘There are .. things that make the earth tremble: a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers.’ FOOLISHENSS AS POLICY
Democracy is no help among a nation of fools. The world and the church are presently shuddering in places under arrogant and incompetent leadership. It’s characterized by stagnating delay, denial and confusion covered in nonsensical spin. Church institutions can be hobbled with leaders who are neither able nor leaders in a real sense. They are merely appointees. Appointees whose personal dimness motivates them to micro-manage others more able than themselves. There are astute personnel who are edged out by the ‘inert’ simply because they are able and a threat to dead-wood burocrats who presume to represent God. A law based culture excels in small-mindedness, judgmentalism and humbug disguised as ‘gods work.’
Where there is no vision many good people perish before the foolish undo themselves.
Solomon wrote an entire book on the virtues of wisdom and understanding. Once Jesus arrived we were blessed with wisdom in person - a wisdom who invites us to live in Him and Participate in His insight. The mission and duty of Believers is to live in that light and in that that person so that we are not only the love of God but the wisdom of God. We become a wisdom that dissipates the foolishness of the non-believer and the stagnant religionist.
‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ Col 1.17 NIV. Jesus is our source of wisdom, our cohesion and purpose.
The manner in which we interpret scripture and express what we see as truth depends on the soil from which our being has grown. What was the cultural climate and soil in which we were religiously socialised? If we were raised in a law-culture, we will have acquired the impression that truth is expressed in words. If we were educated in the things of God in a new covenant culture where Christ is not only our life but the expression of truth, we will see truth as a state of being. TRUTH IS A FUNCTION OF PERSONS. Not of abstractions. Our thinking will be non-dualistic and the expression of that thinking will be spirit and life more than a rendition of information and a statement of positions.
Thus we might see good teaching as Bible studies with the citing of many scriptures. Or in the latter mode of the new covenant where Christ is our life, teaching will be an expression of our being. There will be a flow of spirit and life because what we say will be the manifestation of our sonship; a sonship that is itself an expression of our union with our Father. Union with Father because we are one with Him. Not because we did some research on the spirit of sonship and assented to it. This is the difference between speaking mere words and being a mouthpiece of the Living Word. It’s because we and our Father are one and we ourselves have become a living word.
WHEN BELONGING HAS AGENCY
Richard Rohr rightly teaches that all of us belong. Jesus has brought all humanity into Himself. He has also imbued Himself into humanity which means He has come in our flesh. If we will have Him. We can insist that He comes in the law. But Paul says that if we do this, as far as we are concerned, ‘Christ died for nothing.’ Should we belong to such a mindset ‘belonging’ is clearly irrelevant because we have made it so.
John informs us that we can resist the truth of Christ come in our flesh and thus align ourselves with the anti-christ spirit. Or we can embrace the truth of the incarnation and have the spirit of Jesus express Himself in our being in everyday life. John’s warning about spirits that are of God and spirits that are not of God implies that we can deny this, resist it , rationalise it away or claim that we have it because we have read a scripture on it and written it down as if the words are the thing in itself. No. Christ in you is the thing in itself and Christ your life is your belonging in God made real.
A real marriage is real when it is consummated and we and our spouse are one in spirit and in truth. It’s the same in our marriage to Jesus. We are the Bride of Christ when we say yes to our union with God in Jesus.
THOSE WHO EAT ME BECOME ME
This is the difference between being part of the one loaf in reality and being part of the one loaf in theory and fantasy. The Lord’s Table reminds us that Christianity is more than an ideology to adopt. It is union with God by receiving His life as our own in spirit and in truth. Those who eat Jesus will live because of Him. Those who talk about Him or live a religion of Him may pass him like ships passing in the night. We are graced in the fact that all of us belong. We are graced so that we can advance into truth in this belonging. But never so we can live in our own flights of fancy or our self-created gospels.