Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Authority Part 1

Not a very creative title, I know.

Somewhere in what I just narrated, I realized I threw scriptures at situations based on my human insight of what was happening and according to an accepted interpretation of scripture. To use an analogy, it is a bit like an algebra student with a rudimentary mastery of the subject facing off with a word problem. Sorting through the words constructing the problem using faulty reading skills leads to a complete misinterpretation of what is needed in algebraic applications. Nonetheless, the student has no idea the problem is misread and plows ahead. Applying true algebra knowledge in his/her command, a wrong approach to writing a solution is selected. In the end, the student finishes believing a reasonable solution is achieved. When the work is evaluated by the instructor, the answer is wrong, but the instructor notes in the margin, "Even though you applied an incorrect algebraic principle which didn't fit the problem, your actual algebra was correct. Glad to know you have learned how to do that algebra function. Now work on better insight into the problem. Once that is mastered, we will move to more elegant solutions."

I realized I was that student as a Christian. I lived my walk of faith according to my human insight, which included my emotional baggage of the old nature, and the perspective inherent in my group's interpretation of the scriptures. Thus my reading of the scripture and understanding of its applications were continually slanted by other factors. I needed to address the cause of the slant before I would find the freedom in Christ the scripture described. I was waking up to how I relied on my religion about the Father, while not fulfilling His elegant solution to life--living it through His in-dwelling Spirit.

Yet, the story I just narrated of coming to faith in Christ and living within a body I labeled GCC is my common connection with others. Using our commonality is the basis for communication and understanding. What happened to me, is one little, little piece of a much larger picture. The story has no real importance or value except in its use to describe the bigger picture.

The bigger picture, His Story, is God's creation, the resulting rebellion against Him, and His answer to the rebellion. The story has pieces: our role in that rebellion, the force or authority supporting our rebellion, and the grace of God to fully overcome the rebellion and enter into His dominion under His authority. The part of the story my narrative illustrates is a set of solutions man has developed to achieve God's grace. Though well intentioned, this solution set is less than elegant. In fact, many current practices are often not even a correct application of principle though technically appearing correct.

Hence, I write this current series. I do not write to describe my solution. I seek to share my thoughts to develop and further an elegant and true solution which will be finally described in the putting together of our knowledge and love for the Father.

May the peace of His reign be yours.


craig v. said...

When you write the story has no real importance or value, I think I know what you mean (and would agree). I wonder though if there might not be a conceptual trap hidden in this. Theologically speaking it seems to me that both liberals and conservatives separate the story from the meaning of the story and then proclaim the meaning of the story to be the important thing. The difference is that liberals argue it's not important whether or not the stories took place. Is it possible both are wrong (like your algebra example)? Is it possible the story is more important than what we take to be the meaning? Why does God make so much use of stories rather than just giving us the meaning (like a theology text)?

ded said...

Great insight, Craig and I would agree. There is power in our stories. I am so sensitive that what I have written will be used incorrectly, either as fodder for laying blame on those who are the "antagonist" in the story or on me for laying out someone else's dirty laundry. I am probably working too hard to prevent those outcomes.

The story is not important as a vehicle for laying blame.

However, whether by narration or as a memoir, I chose to write the story to give real examples upon which to make a few points.

The power in the story is in building our sense of realtionship to characters and events, thereby, enabling our understanding to take on more meaning.

Last year, I attended a teaching workshop on strategies that are verified by research to cause greater brain stimulus in learners. One of the twenty strategies was story-telling.

Thanks for pointing out the power of a story! jimazing will appreciate your insight, as well, I suspect.

Carey said...

In response to "Authority Part 1" Yes! Well said, mi amigo.