Saturday, May 19, 2007

New Thoughts on Old Theology: Deep Church

I have recently found a new blog, Deep Church, that is based on a new book by the same name. It explores the layers of what we know as Church and the new, refreshing theology that surrounds it.

Now, I have only read the blog, not the book as yet. It is always great to come across new and spiritually deep titles. I believe that Jesus calls us--modern Christians--to remember that He brought about a deeper church in His own day, or at least the beginning of it. We have been told by Paul that the "old shall be come new" and it has, much to the chargin of some and the delight of others. When Jesus says that "today this Scripture has been fulfilled", He meant it all, not just the part He had read on that particular Shabot. Christ became and IS the fulfillment of the Law, a deeper and more meaning fulfillment than the Old Testament writers and believers of extreme fundamentalism believed then and now. It is His grace and pure goodness that should make us look at His commandments in a new light. Loving our neighbor is a hard thing to do, especially in the old-fashioned sense of the phrase. Loving your neighbor used to mean you'd wave hello, cut exactly your strip of grass and not theirs, keep your yard nice so you don't spoil the neighborhood...basically keeping up with the Joneses and let nothing stir the waters. the putting on of socially accepted "airs".

Jesus meant for us to do far more than the basically accepted limits of the command. It means now for those who are as progressive as He was and is, that you radically love you neighbor, that EVERYONE is your neighbor regardless if they live next door or one country over. It means that their sex life has nothing to do with who they really are. Sexuality is such a tiny part of the moral fiber of a person. So many more important qualities are the things that really count in a person. I know how it was when the first Hispanic family moved into the house diagonally from ours. The neighbors were less than welcoming and whispered in little groups on the street corners and pointed...they had the audacity to point! I'm not a pointer. I'm a doer, as in pick some flowers and go say "Hola'!"

We now treat sexuality as we did racism--negatively--but in my neighborhood, our gay folk keep to themselves unless you know from walking your dog everyday and meeting your neighbors in their yard that R and her partner J live in the same house, or T and his partner S, who live in the little over-garage apartment on the other side of the block, are part of the gay community. Or the single gal who has a discreet rainbow sticker on her car but talks about her girlfriend in that giddy sort of way that tells you someone feels very blessed.

Our gay brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, are people like us; paying taxes, making car payments, going to their children's school events, meeting friends on the golf course, making the mortgage payment, going to church on Sunday and helping on committees to make their communities better places for EVERYONE. They are the same element as the rest of humanity: Hu-8 [I'd make the 8 an exponent like its supposed to be but Blogger won't let me!].

So I would like to invite and encourage you to visit Deep Church and maybe even buy the book [we would check it out at the local library in my county except they are all closed due to a lack of funding...sigh]. Take part in the discussions and comments, civilly of course. I am big on courtesy these days for reasons known to me and my readers a few posts ago.

Jesus was a radical, good people. He turned the Old Testament world on its head. We should live by His example in all aspects of our lives. So, go love your neighbor, and no, you don't have to get all touchy-feelly; they would probably prefer that you NOT. But remember that the world is your neighborhood and only we can show the all encompassing love of Christ so desperately needed in this world, the example of His love and grace.




Connie+ said...

Namaste' Catherine+. Great post and thank you for the tip on the Deep Church blog - that is where I'm trying to go with the new church.

Catherine + said...

Connie+, I know in my heart and spirit that you will lead your church in the things that are truly great about the Church, and I mean the things that really make a church great: faith, hope, charity, loving your neighbor and most of all, truly and honestly loving God. The hallmarks of truly great churches everywhere.

Peace to you, my sister. Namaste'.