Earlier this week, I posted this economic thought for the day. But, in truth, I don’t agree with the statement. It is based on an assumption that humankind is basically evil, basically selfish. It assumes individuals will only take action if it benefits themselves. That is in invalid assumption. As humans, we have been created in the image of the Triune God. It is an image that has been corrupted, and throughout history we have done great damage to each other and to the Earth on which we live. But, I believe the core of who we are still carries that image. We were created in God’s image to take care of the Earth, and that desire is still within is. As we learn more about our impact on the Earth, I believe that image within us will show itself, and we will make the right decisions. I have hope, not solely in science or humankind’s rational thought, but in that image that is within us.
My economic thought for the day.
Climate change is clearly being caused by humankind burning more carbon based fuels than the Earth can properly handle. We are burning more carbon based fuels than non-carbon based energy sources because carbon based fuels are currently cheaper. In the long run, economics always prevail. So, if carbon based fuels become more expensive than the alternatives, they will be replaced. Hopefully, the crossover point will occur at a point that our planet can handle it. If it does not, our planet is screwed.
In my attempts to explain the Christian faith, I often focus on two relationships. First, I talk of the relationship between the Triune God and humankind. Second, I talk of the relationships between humans.
On transfiguration Sunday, I am reminded this is a simplification. Christianity is about the intersection of two Kingdoms, the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of This World. These are two kingdoms that are separate, yet intersect. The Kingdom of God is ever present in our world, in every moment of every day. Yet, the Kingdom of God is not physically in all things. At moments, such in the transfiguration story, we see clear glimpses of this mysterious intersection. In Baptism and in the Eucharist, we bear witness to this intersection. But, in the events of life, this intersection is not always clear. We question and we doubt. We ask “Is God really present?” . We ask “If God is present, why does evil exist in this world?”
This is the mystery, as the two kingdoms co-exist yet are separate.
The thoughts and the emotions of the modern world are led by reason. We expect evidence for all things. We base our lives on facts, not emotions. We are constantly taught that our thoughts come first, then our emotions follow.
In likewise manner, the concept of time in the modern world is very linear in terms of existence. What existed in the past no longer exists. What will exist in the future, does not exist now. We live in the here and now. All that matters is what exists at this moment.
This is why the book of Psalms has become one of the least read sections of the Bible. The raw emotion seems so out of place in the modern world. We look for reason, but we get emotion. We see a mysterious world where past, present, and future all co-exist. We see a world where God exists in one place, as well as everywhere. We get confused, and we push the Psalms into a world of long ago.
The Psalms show raw emotion in a world where time and space intertwine in mysterious ways that we do not understand. We experience anger, hurt, grief, and joy. We see a mysterious Triune God of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We see the Son in the past, the present, and the future. We see a kingdom that crosses time and space. We see a book for artists, not for those who use logic and reason.
This is a mystery, too deep to understand, but available for us to experience.
My heart has changed much over the years. Today, I celebrate with those whose same sex marriage will be recognized in Alabama. Thank you for showing us how to love.
This blog is not about number of readers or number of hits. My hit count is so low, I am not sure anyone reads it. This blog is about recording my thoughts as they change over the years. I hope one day to go back and read these thoughts in order to see how my thought patterns have changed over the years.
So, what do I believe today?
- As far as the relationship between God and human kind, I believe in the Christian tradition as recorded in the Bible and worked out during the first few hundred years after Christ. I believe in the agreements of the Ecumenical Councils, especially the Nicene Creed. I believe there is no reason to disagree with these councils or add to them.
- As far as ethics and morality, however, I believe all religions, including Christianity, struggle with defining these rules. Ethics and moral guidelines are constantly changing and are redefined as culture changes. I do not believe there is one solid list of right and wrong. In some ways, ethics and morality are improving as civilization is progressing. In other ways, ethics and morality may be getting worse. Also, ethics and morality are not unique to Christianity. Most all religions (even atheism) are actually as good as, or even better than, Christianity on ethics and morality. We have a lot to learn from each other.
What are my interests today?
- I am fascinated by the intersection between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Earth. I am especially fascinated by the concept of time and space. Long before 20th century Physicists discovered the relativity of time, I believe the ancients were provided mysterious insight into this intersection. As I read the Psalms, I repeatedly see this mystery. To say Christ came in the past, is present now, and is coming in the future are all true statements. To say Christ was present in the fiery furnace, Christ was present on the cross, Christ was present in the Temple, Christ is present in me, and Christ will return in the future are all true statements. The intersection between the two Kingdoms is mysterious and reflects itself in both time and space.
“Is there life after death?” seems to have a simple answer, yes or no. But the mystery of the Christian tradition is so much more. The problem is not the answer, but the question. The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Earth intersect in a mysterious way that we do not understand. This mysterious intersection confuses our concept of both space and time.
The question assumes that time is linear, and that at death we pass from the Kingdom of Earth to the Kingdom of God. But, in the mysterious intersection, time is not linear. The Kingdom of God is in the past, in the present, and in the future. The Kingdom of God is just as real now as it will be at our death. Instead of passing from one to another, we are in both at the same time.
My answer to the question is to suggest a clarification of how we think. The Kingdom of God is real and exists in the here and now, just as much as it real at the moment of our earthly death. This is how we are to live our lives, as though we are living in the Kingdom of God now.