Saturday, January 03, 2009


Feodor is lecturing me on what I should be doing and saying. I respond as follows:
I don't believe the word "should" applies to anyone, least of all me.

There is something fortuitous about this exchange. My wife and I were having a discussion about our faiths a couple days ago, and I said that I find myself drifting more and more toward a kind of mystical faith. I no longer believe there is any "must", "should", or any kind of imperative with God. When St. Paul writes that we are freed for freedom's sake, I take him at his word.

Before anyone starts huffing and puffing about anti-nomianism, though, I think it is important to say a couple things. First, my position does not entail any lack of moral clarity, or a refusal to take an ethical stance. Rather, I refuse to draw any necessary conclusions between certain factual matters and any particular moral position an individual, of necessity, must or should hold. To take an example from recent controversy, Rick Warren sees no moral difference between being a gay man and being a pedophile. I happen to think this belief is wrong, and that by expressing his belief, Rick Warren is nothing more or less than a garden variety bigot. I do not think that Rick Warren will be damned to hell for all eternity for his assertions; I do not believe that I am a far more moral and ethically upstanding individual than Rick Warren because I do not believe the way he does. I acknowledge our differences, and find his lacking. I would and will argue to my dying day that I believe mine is a far more acceptable moral position, because it recognizes the fundamental humanity and dignity of sexual minorities. What I would never do, however, is insist that everyone else hold the exact same position I do, or claim that my own position is reflective of some inner necessity stemming from God's law or anything else. I do not think it necessary to insist one's moral reasoning is based in anything transcendent for it to be any less worthy of consideration, or worth fighting for.

When someone insists that there is a necessity in argumentation, either logical (Neil) or moral (Feodor), I have to wonder. Are they so unsure of their own beliefs, do they think God so fundamentally weak, they insist that others are either theologically confused or morally degenerate because these others do not believe and act as they do?

God's freedom, granted in grace, is the freedom to be who we are before God and the rest of creation. It is a challenge lived out in faith and humility. I wouldn't surrender this freedom to any necessity whatsoever, including the necessity of human reason or moral clarity.

God offers us a more abundant life. I guess I just take God's Word on this issue.

Virtual Tin Cup

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