Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thoughts on a conversation between family and friends on love and belief from a Christian perspective, A discourse on Dogma


There are many difficult conversations during the holiday season.  Different believes, ways of living and loving; forms of grace and mercy, which reveal the uneasy tension of God’s diverse humanity.  Family and friends whose minds, as they identify, open or closed identify as conservative, liberal, progressive, radical; identifications throughout the spectrum of human personality and thought.    This post emerges out of this family holiday experience. 
After an uneasy conversation with family and friends I found myself at the local Star Bucks Coffee Shop for, hmm, let’s say coffee therapy.  Not having a lot of money this is the closest I can come to therapy at times beyond my Veteran’s Administration therapy.  As I sat at the table drinking a Caramel Macchiato, with soy and extra caramel I began to reflect on the conversations I have had with my sister, son, mother, ex-wife and associates.  I ask myself why do I even talk to them, why do I engage them.   They say loudly through words and actions, “I don’t approve of your lifestyle.”  As if I needed or longed for their approval.  I tell them that I don’t need or want their approval but I do call out of love and the fact that I still like them.  My life and journey, and the faith that empowers what I believe compel me to love, even like, in the midst of differences and contradictions, the paradox of life.  This call of faith has definitely had its difficult and challenging consequences.

In the midst of these consequences, i.e. gains, losses, the forfeiture of worldly desires I long for a fashion of love that reflects some sort of unity between people who profess a belief in God and God’s divine love with God’s embodied differences.  So much time spent protecting the unconscious, the ignorance as matters of integrity of believe and not love or being.  Oh how I long for a unity between love and modes Christian belief.  Is this wrong, is this not right?  I wonder is what we believe more important, even more significant that our love for our sister or brother of difference?  Clearly what we believe in may or may not reflect God’s call for us to love.  Beloved we must sit with this.  Is it more important to protect what we believe, i.e. the dogma than to love or even, if possible, to like our sister or brother of difference?

So, this comes down to a discussion on dogma, i.e. rules and regulations that supposedly embody God and love and (from my perspective) not genuine authentic love or a desire to like members of your family, or friends or even community.  Hard core stuff which has caused serious splits in the Christian community.  There are times when I think the greatest most effective tool of Satan or for some the devil, is dogma.  It becomes a means to disempower the Church ensuring that the power of the Church even Jesus is muted and the soul torn asunder for the sake of the integrity of limited human understanding.

I think the hope of this holiday season is to take off the dogma and just love God's difference in your family, friends, and associates.  Yea, get beyond the dogma into God's great and sincere love.  Yes beloved pull off the dogma and know the liberation you and the Church.

The passing of Nelson Mandela becomes a point of access to assess where I am on activism. Is activism as I live it out actually impacting hearts and minds? Am I, a Black transgender women, who identifies gender queer, raising a different consciousness, a different imagination among the people I meet on the street, at work, in school and in my family and my church. Are my life experiences and education actually having an impact? Lord knows I spent/owe enough money. Nelson Mandela's life compels me to reflect on the struggle of who I am, of defining and embracing my identity, irrespective of social and cultural identity concerns, choices made for the sake of my soul. And for me this is the legacy that Mandela, like other great leaders before him have left, that the one supreme message of life, is that of freedom, liberation and most of all justice.