Years ago, I was reading a book on the search for meaning. In it one of the authors emphasised the need to be cautious about either/or thinking and be ready to contemplate both/and thinking.
The latter is what we call non-dualistic thinking. It’s important because we have been given life in a non-dualistic Being. The trinity may be three in one, but God’s prime characteristic is One. Thus, it should not be surprising that in Jesus Christ we get oneness with God, oneness with self and oneness with others. It’s called love and is the essence of life.
ALL THINGS IN HIM
‘As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth’ Eph 1.10 ESV.
Dualistic thinking in which something is either correct or incorrect will deliver us the coordinates to travel from any point in space back to earth. Non-dualistic thinking in this situation will be no help at all. But it will be useful in helping us discover the meaning of meaning and the meaning of persons. In every case, however, clarity of thought and the arrival at the truth is always aided by knowledge over ignorance.
This is why we cannot be dogmatic about faith communities being members of Christ’s body just because they claim His name. At least not without ascertaining what His Body is, and what it means to be ‘in’ His body.
We can be in a family as a robust son or we can be in the family as a delinquent. So the issue is not necessarily about being in. The Kind of belonging we enjoy is the issue.
If a christ can be any one we say he is or have any qualities we care to nominate. If this membership can apply to anyone from the Waco Cult to the local Baptist church then our notion of such ‘belonging’ is at the least limited or just plain misguided.
Jesus described ‘good belonging’ in Himself as the branches of His Vine. In this image we are the effect of His person. Paul describes our being in God in the words, ‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.3,4.
Jesus is the Way to ‘belonging’ in the life of God. Paul points out that we can belong as sons or as slaves in Galatians. It’s beneficial to have the real Christ and the real Gospel to possess true belonging.