"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Do You "Get it"

Shortly after we started down this spiritual journey, about 3 or 4 years ago, we started to meet with a group of friends who had similar questions. I think it was Brian McLaren who used the term "Recovering Evangelicals" in one of his books, and we would sometimes refer to ourselves by that moniker.

In the early days, one of our group told us a story. 

Despite the fact that she was still attending an evangelical church on Sunday mornings, she would sometimes sneak away in the evening to attend a church of a different persuasion. I don't remember if it was during an evening service or some other event, but they had brought in a magician who was entertaining the congregation with some of his tricks. I don't think there was a particularly spiritual point to it all, it was just entertainment. Our friend happened to be sitting beside the priest during this performance, when she temporarily fell off the wagon of "Recovering Evangelicalism", and asked the priest if the magician was a Christian. After pausing for a moment, the priest replied, "Yah, I think he gets it".

Now, I have often in the past, and still do, wonder what it is that clicks with a person and changes their point of view from something like evangelicalism, to something that is more open, more accepting. A view that embraces the freedom and spirit of the Gospel, the way it was originally intended. A view that is ready to interact with the world and show them in actions and deeds what the Gospel really means. A view that would make them "get it". 

Apparently Brennan Manning has said, "You either get it, or you don't".

When I've used the term "Get it" in the past, that's the way I meant it. But lately I've started to wonder if "Getting it" isn't bigger than all that.

Let's assume for a moment that my recent universalist leanings are in fact true. And, let's boil them down to the most basic statement; everyone goes to heaven. If that's true, that everyone goes to heaven, what's the difference between a "non-christian" and a "christian"? What's the point of being a christian, of going to church, of reading the bible, of trying to learn to be the best christian you can be, of praying? Why not just carry on our merry way, doing our occasional good deed, screwing up every now and them, but basically being good, law abiding, citizens. 

Maybe, the difference is between those that get it and those that don't. Maybe there are those that go through life being basically good people, and then there are those who take it to the next level, or at least spend their life trying to. Those that realize that Jesus came to show the way to be fully human. To show the way to self-sacrificing love, even it it means going to the cross.To show the way that God had been trying to instil into the Israelites for millennia. To show the way that Adam and Eve were supposed to live originally. To show the way of the Sermon on the Mount. 

Maybe that's why Christianity was originally called "The Way".

Now I'm not for a moment trying to suggest that those who are following The Way are perfect, but maybe they get it, and the others don't. And, although they aren't perfect, I'm pretty sure they are better people than if they weren't following The Way, at least they should be, because if they aren't, they really don't get it, even if they say they do.

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