Archive for January, 2009

Sameness

Posted in culture, personal development, theology on January 23, 2009 by velocityvortx

Acknowledging everyone is imago dei is a return to some observations about the garden.

The narrative pattern and rhythm of Gen 1-2 was God naming things, separating, and pronouncing them good.  There is one “not good” thing and that is that Adam is alone.  So God makes for Adam a mate.  Interesting in the narrative is God’s invitation to Adam to name and separate the animals.  The intimation seems to be that Adam is being invited into the very activities that had in the previous narrative been the domain of God alone.

One thing however Adam IS NOT invited to do and that is to pronounce things “good” or, for that matter, “not good.”  In fact God is so concerned that Adam and Eve NOT make such pronouncements that he tells them to do whatever they want in the garden, to eat at any restaurant and order off any menu, except one….the tree of knowledge of good and not good (evil). 

In other words God has reserved the pronouncement of good and not good, of judging between, of drawing boundary lines of in and out, the domain of God alone.  It is not something humanity has been invited to share. 

You know the story. Adam and Eve eat of the tree of good and not good and instantly become judgmental.  Their first post meal actions are to hide and cover their differences apparently judging them to be “not good”. 

From the garden forward in the narrative the story of humanity is the problems inherent in the drive to judge, exclude, divide, draw lines etc… The very next narrative is the Cain and Abel story debating whose sacrifice is good and whose is not good.  Death ensues when they can’t agree. 

The Old Testament is replete with stories laced by the judger propensity, as is the New.  The dominant issue Jesus takes on with the Pharisees is their almost pathological drive to judge, divide and draw boundary markers for who is in and who is out.  How much has the church really been cured of this deep infection?

This propensity to judge is precisely what puts us at odds with the world around us, and usually under the pretense of false holiness or DC (doctrinal correctness) Until we can return to the place where we see our commonality of being imago dei as far greater than our differences, we will always be barrier creating people.

Jesus prayed we would be one.  And since the doctrinal constructs we are so often hell bent on maintaining weren’t in Jesus mind, then it wasn’t doctrinal ones he was praying for.  I wonder if the oneness he was seeking had to do with the affirmations we could all make about are sameness.

 

 

Shifting Your (World)-View

Posted in culture, leadership, personal development, theology on January 11, 2009 by velocityvortx

How you experience the world may feel completely arbitrary.  You may say I experience the world this way because this is the way the world is.  We become attached to what we become convinced is true.

To a great extent it is these beliefs about the world that impact what we are capable of SEEING.  It is these beliefs that determine our perception of reality.

What our worldview doesn’t expand to see is quite literally out of our perception.  (You may remember an earlier post ASSIMILATION VS. ACCOMODATION).

When our view of the world shifts what we see shifts as well, even though it has been there all along.  I do believe this is what Jesus was doing with the kingdom of God. But I think there are even more day-to-day implications we often miss.

What does this mean to how we judge ourselves?  Our relationships?  The potentials we see in others and ourselves?

We all have these experiences where once it is in our worldview we say things like “that is so obvious how could I have missed that in the past”.  But it was worldview blindness.

We do the same with biblical passages or any major a-ha’s we experience.  Once it is in our worldview it is clear.

I think transformation is quite literally a change in the way you see the world, and therefore a shift in how you see yourself and make meaning in the world.

When you realize for instance of the first time that everyone at core is the same imago dei for instance, that is a massive shift that drops the judger from the dominant framework of how you view the world.  Everyone is just like you: the same at core, the same image of God, the same infection that clouds that image.  All judgment is based on the inability to see our sameness and not get past superficial difference.

Next post we will explore how this is dominantly the garden problem that permeates most of the biblical story.