Thursday, December 28, 2006
Who owns faith?
Who owns faith? It is my understanding that Jesus wrenched ownership of faith away from the priests and handed it over to whoever has ears to hear. In other words, he restored it to its rightful owners. But it didn't take long for the 'organization' of Christianity to take root and again the priests hijacked back the faith that Jesus gave us. Sometimes I think theology is the art of wrenching faith from individual minds in order to claim ownership so as to organize and tidy up all that which is outside the domain of science and to institutionalize it, and in the process marginalizing those individuals that have active and questing minds, the former owners of faith. And for some who are fortunate enough to live in a time and place when and where the priests are weak, individuals can reclaim ownership of faith without fear of stakes and flames. Faith is not science, faith is not the provable, faith is what prevents us from becoming immobile, for some it is merely that which allows them to cross a street with confidence that some driver will not run them down. For others it is something never thought about, for them life is but a sequence of events which they merely move from one to the other in the most pleasant manner possible. But for me faith is the freedom to discern all thoughts, to seek the much better way, even when living in a changing world that promises nothing. So in the end the Bible is a book that one should be able to rip the pages from to start a campfire to cook the next meal, for only then does the Bible transform from a noun, a handful of paper and ink that one clings to, to a verb, to a life lived sacredly.