Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What is a Mystic Believer Priest?

It can be you. He or she can be you. Or me. Or anyone. It’s like grace. It belongs to all of us. This role. This function. This way of being with God. This way of being with other mystic believer priests. Other humans who believe. Other humans who don’t.

And this is called for. Called forth in us. This being in us is called forth by God to be with him. In him. Through what he’s placed in us. To join with him. Directly with him and one another. Eye to eye, hand to hand, and heart to heart.

This freedom. This frightening, exciting nakedness before him. In him. Around him. This dancingness in his presence.

And dancing here. There. All around. I don’t want him removed. Obscured. I don’t want someone telling me that I can’t dance. That I can’t dance naked in his presence. I don’t want someone turning off the music. I don’t want someone trying to talk over the music. I don’t want someone trying to tell me to sit down please and let me tell you what God is all about.

And so I’m tired. I’m tired of ministers and pastors and priests. Aren’t you?

And with them, I’m tired of bishops and archbishops. Tired of theologians and biblical scholars. Tired of people who like to act like they know what they’re talking about when they talk about God. But clearly have only something. Not the everything that they think they have. And certainly not God himself. Whole. Enormous. God-sized God. But clearly do have something of him. Just not the everything they claim. Or want to claim.

I’m tired of priestly or pastoral or ministerial people who want to convince me to believe one way. People who believe I’m not believing the right way. Who would like to cast me into outer darkness. Who would like me to know that I’m an idiot. Or who think that I merely and kindly need to be corrected. That I am merely and kindly misguided or rebellious or immature or poorly mentored or something.

I’m tired of Christian writers giving me quizzes or inventories or checklists or things to do. I’m tired of Christian writers who want me to improve myself. I’m tired of Christian writers who discover things about themselves that they’d like us to believe are shocking, or revelatory, or profound, when they are obvious and trivial. I’m tired of Christian writers who continuously manufacture some garbage to write about so that they can get us to buy their books.

I’m tired of people quoting the pope or Rick Warren or somebody by the name of Graham or somebody who is supposed to have a direct line to God, unlike the rest of us. The rest of us who are not quotable. Who are a bunch of nobodies. Whose thoughts and whose lives count for something that is very very close to nothing. Who are supposedly a bunch of idiots when it comes to God.

I’m tired of going to church and hearing somebody tell me for twenty or thirty or forty minutes what God is all about. I’m tired of hearing somebody tell me about how important and full of lessons their own particular life is so that the rest of us normal people can understand God better.

I’m tired of ministers and pastors and priests acting like I’m depending on them to interpret God for me. To understand God for me. I’m tired of the specialists. I’m tired of the ordained. I’m tired of the selectively called. I’m tired of the orthodox. I’m tired of the righteous. I’m tired of the anointed.

I’m tired of new movements and denominations. I’m tired of divisions and revisions and reformations. I’m tired of theologically endowed people parading their endowments around. I’m tired of new theologies. I’m tired of theological marketing gimmicks. I’m tired of denominational distinctives. I’m tired of differentiated theological products.

I’m tired of pastoral compassion. I’m tired of pastoral judgment. I’m tired of pastoral posturing. I’m tired of pastoral journeys.

I’m tired of. Well. Everything pastoral or priestly or ministerial. I’m tired of people inserting themselves between me and God. And I bet they are too. I bet somewhere in them something hates this about themselves.

I don’t trust them, see? Do you trust them? Why should you? Why would you? Don’t you read the news? Haven’t you read any church history? Don’t you understand? Don’t you want the real thing? Aren't you that afraid you might be missing out on the most exciting adventure the universe offers?

Here’s the deal, real quick. The deal is. It’s really all up to us. God has really left it all up to us. The unwashed. The ignorant. The nobodies. The uncalled. The unanointed. The unordained. The sinners. The dime-a-dozen. The morons. The children. The defectives. The custodians of the dirt.

He really has. Left it all up to us to come to him and dance naked. Loin-clothed if you prefer. Left it all up to us to choose him. To dance with him.

And the others? Yes, the others. The ministers and the pastors and the priests. They may also dance with him. They may also join us on the dance floor and dance with us and dance with him. They may also come down to us from their high stages and lecterns and pulpits and platforms and high moral standing and high-sounding talk and learn how to dance here with us. And him. Learn how to live their lives again down from the stage. Down here with us. In the dirt. In the street. In the offices. On the commons. In the green grasses of the earth.

Nothing special. Nothing more special than you and me. Just several among us. Simpler now among us. Easier now among us, I think.

The believer priests. All of us believer priests just dancing with God out here. The mystic silent dance with God out here where every possible music is. Where everyone needs to be if he claims to be with us and God.

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