Friday, October 27, 2006

Acceptance Redux

Something that sort of crept up on me over the past few days was sparked by one of Brother Maurice of Far Indianapolis about 'Love without Approval', which is somewhat confusingly called 'Acceptance'

The stumbling block, for this reader at least, is this passage:

It'’s harder to love those who have quirks, who are weird, or who aren't real likeable. It'’s a true test to love your enemies. Yet it is here that is the measure of our faith, of who and what we say we'’re about. Acceptance is tough. It is difficult to embrace everything as a gift. Actually, I think we confuse acceptance with a lot of things that it doesn't do. You can'’t reject someone (or an idea) and accept it at the same time. You'd think that would be an obvious thing to state, yet look at how '“hate the sin and love the sinner'” practically works itself out. Indifference, resignation, or partial/begruding acceptance is not acceptance. It might be 'not caring'” but that'’s not the same as acceptance. Nor is acceptance approval. I think that is a key hang up that people have. That if I 'accept'” a person or their worldview that'’s the same as (tacit) approval of it.

I agree with almost all of that passage, apart from the red bit. The problem is, at least for me, that acceptance with 'disapproval' isn't 'acceptance'. It's raking up one's own ego as a condition of 'acceptance'. Soon as the ego gets in there, both judgement, and an inherent idea of superiority, which may or may not be justified, turns up sere and pinched to dance a ghastly quadrille. Then you may as well just 'not care', in fact, to me, apathy is a far better alternative.

Was, 'Now go, and sin no more' a reproof, or a piece of advice? Who knows... the woman at the well appears to be a fragment of lost context, but looking at Jesus ministry, the people who were with him he seemed to take as he found, so it could well just have been a farewell 'Well, don't let me keep you, and don't do anything I wouldn't do'

I really don't see that 'acceptance' with any rider can be but judgement in a party frock. And what did the Son of Man have to say about judging folk?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Neil Douglas-Klotz

Dr Douglas-Klotz is a student of Aramaic and Sufi teacher. He's done several works on Christianity, looking specifically at the Peshetta Scriptures of the Coptic Church.

If I'd been introduced to his work before being introduced to the 'high' Christalogical nonsense they teach as 'fact' (virgin birth, moving stars, dumb moves for tax purposes, the physical resurrection, the Trinity... stuff I'd more or less fully rejected before the age of 7) I'd probably be a Christian today.

The shades of meaning in Aramaic, coupled with the insights that would have been alien to a Middle Eastern mind set of the first century, make a whole lot of sense. Much of what is now called Christian would be unrecognisable to a 1st century Jew, since it's mostly Greek thought on balance of opposites rather than the unity ideas espoused by the limits of the Aramaic language. There is no concept of internal and external, spirit and flesh being together...

Quite an eye opener on a nearly wholly alien mind set.