Sometimes I struggle to find my own words. You’d think that this would not be the case after (mostly) ten years of blogging. Some days I wonder if I’ve said it all, some days I wonder if I haven’t said enough. Mostly, I try to be aware of the teachings – the words of others – and how I respond to them. Sometimes somebody says some really powerful words and I cannot help but want to see them take shape into action: “I have a dream” is one big example.
But In Christian theology, I struggle against a tide of words that threatens to overwhelm me. Some words I don’t understand as well as I should, hermeneutic, exegesis, eisegesis. Some words area curiosity from days long past, sabellism, montanism, nestorism. Some words are from popular televangelists, mega-church preachers, and famous Christian authors that are ubiquitous and hard to keep from absorbing. Some are buzzwords – intentional, purpose-driven, inspired.
When I started blogging, I was more of an echo, the words of my teachers were more prevalent than my own words. My own personal beliefs hadn’t yet formed. Over time, I learned to ask one of the most dangerous questions of all: Why? I began the process of seeking out answers. Reading more different interpretations, and searching for the words to articulate what it is that I believe.
The more I searched, the more hectic the rhetoric became – warnings about departing from truth, the nature of heresy, of wandering into the wilderness of disbelief. It reminded me of the scene in Labyrinth with the false warnings:
False Alarm 1: Don’t go on.
False Alarm 2: Go back while you still can.
False Alarm 3: This is not the way.
False Alarm 4: Take heed, and go no further.
False Alarm 5: Beware, beware.
False Alarm 6: Soon it will be too late.
Hoggle: (to Sarah) Don’t pay any attention to them. They’re just False Alarms. You get a lot of them in the Labyrinth, especially when you’re on the right track…
False Alarm 7: Oh, no you’re not.
Hoggle: Oh, shut up!
False Alarm 7: Sorry, just doing my job.
Hoggle: Well you don’t have to do it to us!
False Alarm 8: Beware, for the…
Hoggle: Just forget it!
False Alarm 8: Oh please, I haven’t said it for such a long time!
Hoggle: Oh, all right, but don’t expect a big reaction!
False Alarm 8: No no no, of course not! (clears throat) “For the path you will take will lead to certain destruction.” Thank you very much…
But do you know what I found? Not holding a majority view makes one unimportant. Anyone can agree with everyone else and receive affirmation. Anyone holding a minority view is a curiosity to be indulged, but ultimately ignored. They just remind you how right you are by the virtue of how wrong they are. While they are strolling into the wide and easy gate of ‘errant belief’ you and all who agree stand in line to get into the narrow gate. Or, perhaps, they are among the few who got it right, who heard Jesus’ call and found the narrow gate of ‘personal belief in Jesus’ and isn’t in the wide and easy gate of ‘majority belief’.
That’s why I keep on searching for more vocabulary, deeper understanding, and spiritual insight so that I will know that I am one of the few, that I have found the true gate, that it is not the wide guide that has been disguised as the narrow one, and that I’m welcome on the other side (for it’s easier to to disguise the wide gate as the narrow one than the narrow one as the wide one. Come to think of it there would be no no need for the narrow gate to disguise itself as the wide one.) Which is why I think I haven’t departed from the truth, no, I’ve found the way, the truth, and the life … and best of all, my very own words – beliefs.