Religious Thinking

Thursday 13 September 2007

I was thinking before about the name I chose for my blog. I love the word 'discombobulated' and feel it needs to be used much more in everyday conversation :) The dictionary definition of discombobulate is: 'to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate'. Now, it may not be a particularly positive kind of word to define your entire blog, but luckily I am not my blog. And anyway, who is to say that disconcertion is necessarily a bad thing? I find that growth entails doubt, because you are venturing into new, sometimes dark, territory. Our positive thinking, positive Christianity culture leaves a way lot to be desired. It is an unreality, and the only ones who don't realise that is ourselves, a lot of the time.

The outgrowth of being confused and disconcerted is greater faith, greater knowledge, greater love. It is always the way. So I'm not ashamed of my discombobulations anymore. I am always trying to see what lies just beyond my own horizons. That is always disconcerting.

Where did we get the idea that we had to have all of the answers? It surely never came from God.

I got to thinking about religious thinking (as you can see, I think an awful lot). I imagined someone thinking if they knew I was a discombobulated Christian that this must be an oxymoron, or that I must be doing something wrong. God, after all, is not the author of confusion (or insert whatever other bible verse you want to prooftext me over the head with). Therefore, it follows that if I am confused about things, then I must be doing things wrong.

I have a problem with that on a couple of points. Firstly, while God may not be the author of confusion, it doesn't necessarily follow that I will never be confused, he=God, me=nonGod and all that. But God won't lead us down dark paths, the reasoning says. Well, I'm sure from his vantage point no paths are dark. From my very limited vantage point of seeing through glasses darkly, I can say with confidence that a great many paths I travel that I sense God is telling me to travel feel terribly dark. Or deathly. Or financially unrewarding. Or whatever other unpalatable Christian truths you want to insert which, nevertheless, are a part of the Christian life. Jesus made that very clear, and we only need to look at our own stinkin' stuff to know that it is true. I refuse to live in a religious world anymore where I am not allowed to wonder, to wander, to fail, to fall down, to admit it. It's the land of human religious tradition, of shame. It stinks. It is the opposite of life in God. He is big enough that I can discombobulate safely without it causing him any undue displeasure or misery. He knows that he's got me safe. I'm starting to know it too. Maybe this is partly what all that strength in weakness stuff is about.

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