Sunday, 1 December 2013

Driving in the Car.

I find cars are a really good place to think, don't you?  Well, not when I'm doing the driving, of course, but when I'm being driven.  The scenery passes in a blur.  There is nothing to do & nowhere to go & sooner or later the old mind starts to drift.....

Some really weird stuff comes out of that place sometimes.  Like the last one...

I was thinking about doctrine...I know!  Specifically I was thinking how hard it is to let go of stuff, change our minds about what we believe ~ against all reason, all logic, more often than not.     And I ended up embroiled in one of those really weird conversations I sometimes have with the Lord, you know.  Not earth~shattering ~ or even important.  He just pointed out one or two things that had managed to escape my attention.

And He pointed out He's had to do quite a bit of doctrinal shifting right from the word go.  I sort of went, Huh? 'Cause I'm sometimes slow catching on, you know.

 There was Peter, you remember Peter?  Fisherman.  Big mouth.  I'm very fond of Peter.  I understand about opening your mouth before engaging the brain!  Peter was a Jew.  He had believed a certain way all his life.  He believed certain things about the Messiah.  Then along came Jesus....Yeah, he had a little trouble with that.

 Or John?  One half of the Sons of Thunder whose mother knew a good thing when she saw it & wasn't slow in trying to capitalize on it!  He knew God blessed his chosen ones & he wanted in! Man did he do a turn~around!  From angling for the best seat in the house & being known for his wild temper he wrote one gospel & 3 epistles on the subject of God's love!

And then there's Paul!  Oh, man!  He was one smart man.  Educated.  Righteous.  At least by his own lights.  A Jew.  A Roman citizen.  He had it made.  He knew the Torah like few others.  He was sure he was doing God a favour by cleansing the Temple & the synagogues of that heretical sect of Jesus followers.  The poor man didn't even know Jesus.  He got knocked of his horse on the road to Damascus & the Holy Spirit started dealing with him.  Talk about getting it wrong & having to eat humble pie.  And to really rub salt in his wounds no~one believed his change of heart.  Well, would you?

Doctrine.  I know when mine started changing.  I'm not sure how old I was but I was probably in the last year or so of high school & my mum's bible study was doing a study on Revelation.  I'd read Revelation & I can't say it had made a great deal of sense so I started reading the study.  I didn't get very far before I realised I had a problem.  I didn't believe it.  It was treating Revelation as Mythos.  Sorry.  I am, & was, a fantasy reader.  Mythos does not read like Revelation!

About then the Anglican Church & I parted theological company.  You see, someone who is writing fiction writes differently to someone who is relating fact. I realised then I had to keep a teachable spirit when it came to the things of God because no~one knows it all.  God mightn't change but our understanding of Him: who He is, what He does, how He behaves, does, as we get to know Him better because I gotta remember, most of the New Testament was written by a man who originally believed Jesus was not the messiah!  He believed it so adamantly he was prepared to kill over it.  His doctrine was wrong & his passion misspent, not because he did not know the word of God; he did!  Better than you or I, I'd warrant.  What he didn't know was how to interpret correctly all the information that he had.

Men get it wrong.  The Holy Spirit never does.  He's the one to check in with every time.  That may take some time.  The jury's still out on a number of issues over here, not because I don't know what most of the church teaches; not because I don't know what the bible is supposed to say on such matters but because even a preliminary word search indicates translation problems & thus interpretation problems, to say nothing of contradictory passages.  And so I have no opinion, not at the moment.  Don't ask.  What I do know is when the Holy Spirit lines up all my ducks in a row it will make sense.  Because it always has.

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