April 21-B, 2023

Rockport Harbor 02 10/03/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Penobscot Bay, Rockport Maine
Orthodox Christian Theology has been around
from well before the beginning
of this country.
"God" is assumed to be,
taken for granted as,
the background prop
holding things together.

"The Father Almighty."
"The Maker of Heaven and Earth."
"Garden of Eden,"
"Blah, Blah, Blah..."

All of it has been invented/inherited 
through the ages
as the way things are.

Sin was made up to explain the collapse
of The Chosen People,
their defeat by the Babylonians (609 BCE)
and the deportation of the upper levels
of society to Babylon until their release
and return (538 BCE).

"It is the punishment of God because we sinned!"

Heaven and hell developed over time
to explain the deaths of righteous people of God
in wars with pagan forces
as places where the good would be rewarded
and evil people punished.

All of theology has been created
to make us feel better about the way things are,
to help us reconcile ourselves
to the bitter contradictions
in our life experience
("Truth forever on the scaffold/
Wrong forever on the throne" --
James Russell Lowell).

Extending the time period in which Right
will be rewarded and Wrong will be punished,
manages the incongruities between
a loving God and the inequities of life.

We have been at it so long
that it has become the backdrop 
of the culture worldwide,
and we are not free to explore 
alternative possibilities
as the foundation for life
between the visible and invisible
"worlds" of our experience.

We are left with taking up the Quest
for making sense of the nonsense of life
on our own,
seeking ways to accommodate ourselves
to the dichotomies/polarities/contradictions
at work in our lives
and providing ourselves with a grounding
perspective for interpreting
the contraries and incompatibilities
of our umwelt,
maintaining our balance and harmony.
keeping ourselves on "The Path,"
and guiding ourselves along "the way."

Being conscious of the importance 
of this work,
and going about it in a deliberate/intentional way
keeps us centered and focused
on the task of mindfully adjusting
ourselves to the requirements
of here/now reality
throughout the days of our life.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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