I think that the longer I go without making a blog post, the more afraid I become of making one. I don’t know why I should be afraid…no one reads it anyway. I do know the reason for the fear however…it is because I am watching my mind change almost minute to minute and to try and capture one of those minutes of thought and stake a claim on it as being “what I think” seems ridiculous right now. That is what seminary has done for me so far.
Initially I wanted to gush about how wonderful seminary is, and how great my classmates and instructors are, and how euphoric and transformed I felt, and blah and blah and blah again. That was week one. By week two however, I was depressed, miserable, feeling alone and lonely, and wondering what the hell I was doing in seminary in the first place. During week three I learned where the eye of the storm was located and was content to hang out there. I am hoping to be able to stay there, but knowing me, it is not bloody likely.
I really didn’t think that I was going into seminary with preconceived ideas. I honestly did not think that I had any illusions to smash since I had not been a Christian for nearly 30 years. I thought that “embedded theologies” were something that everyone else might be carrying around…but certainly not me. Maybe to a certain extent much of that was true…but what I had not really considered was that maybe “embedded theologies” were what drove me away from Christianity in the first place, and now I was coming back to face my demons.
I think that there are theologies about Christians that are culturally embedded in the mass consciousness that define more than anything what is expected of a Christian. Straying outside of these boundaries makes you either a bad Christian or a hypocrite. It does not matter whether or not your accuser knows anything about Christianity or not; all that matters is that you do not look like the agreed upon Christian template. I was able to locate and identify many “hypocrites” in my Christian-hating days. If I knew that someone was a Christian I placed them under immediate scrutiny and the most minor infraction added to my growing pile of evidence that all Christians were hypocrites and liars.
Well I suppose somewhere along the way I realized that I was being ridiculous since I did return to Christianity…but that realization did not erase my deeply embedded concepts…and I wonder how many theologians are subject still to the mass consciousness of reason.
For me, most of my life I really did not have much faith in anything at all. I had faith in something, but I really did not know what or how or why. Then there came a day when I was so depleted that I turned back to God and asked for help. I opened my heart and my mind to God, and I was filled with the grace and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I know for sure and for certain that when I turned to God, God was there to receive me in an open and loving embrace. My faith went from a dying ember to a raging inferno…I had no choice but to enter seminary and gain some understanding of my faith. It was almost like a wizard with newly discovered powers needing some understanding of how to use those powers.
Seminary is about examining what we think, why we think it, and examining those thoughts in relation to what others think, why they think it, and how it all goes together. If anyone does not see how that can totally exhaust a person, then I invite you to try it for yourself.
I guess this means that when I post something it will be what I think right here right now and it is not only subject to change, but in all likelihood will change. Maybe that is the beauty of the whole thing. Nothing in nature stays the same…