Very wise. The only caveat I would put on Point 6 is this: I am absolutely certain that I am loved by a personal, loving, passionate God. I have no doubt about any of that. What that means in all the chaos of my life and world I'm learning little by little.
The above quote from the scholars explains why so many people don't worship a living God, but a straw man, a limited God, a set of characteristics or rules or ideas which can be easily manipulated and controlled. We cannot control God. To the extent that we think we can, what we are controlling can't be God.
But the history of religion is of the offer of freedom and love being turned into Law, Rules, Philosophy, Ideology, you name it. We are more comfortable with those things. They fit our expectations, rest easily in our little boxes and don't challenge our categories. But the real Yahweh . . .!
"The Spirit blows whither S/He will . . . "
And who was it in the Bible who said "It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!"?
I don't think there is anything wrong with having rules and order in our lives, or in our beliefs. What is perhaps a shade wrong is to think that God is constrained by our rules, and has to answer to them. We all begin by creating God in our own image. Some of us move on from that, some few of us don't.
St Anselm said, 'God is that, greater than which we cannot conceive.' If, for example, our notional God hates, say, thieves, but we can conceive of a God who can understand why some people are driven to steal, even if he does not actually condone theft, then our notional God is not big enough. We must revise our interpretation of God to fit our understanding of acceptance.
Similarly, if our notional God 'hates' a particular lifestyle, but we have met someone who is not only tolerant of people living that lifestyle, but values them as essential members of our society, then our notional God is again too small.
In other words, man cannot outdo God in morality. If even one of us can tolerate, love, accept and embrace our fallen brothers and sisters with our mercy and compassion, then so does God. St Isaac of Syria said that God does not hate anyone; never has, and never will. The moment God hated any one of us; that same moment we would cease to exist, forever. God is love, mercy and compassion. The challenge to us is to find out exactly how much love, mercy and compassion is involved. If we live to be a thousand years old, we will not even begin to come close to knowing the answer to that one.
Edited by Anglocatholic, 02 December 2009 - 07:28 AM.