Posts by doshoe

I am a Minnesota born, resident Georgian who works as a Priest in the Diocese of Georgia.

Toward an Evolutionary Christian Marriage

In discussing the issue of same sex unions (henceforth SSU) we find ourselves coming to the question of marriage – the holy union. Now when it comes to the legalities of marriage vs. civil unions vs. domestic partnerships/registered partnerships we enter into different realms of liberty. The rights of same sex couples through registrations like Civil Unions (recognized in Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey) or domestic partnerships (California, DC, Connecticut, Washington) or registered partnerships (the remaining US) legitimize some (and sometimes all) privileges awarded to married couples. Civil unions grant generally all the rights of marriage save marriage itself. Domestic partnerships grant contractual similarities to marriage and some representative similarities. Registered partnerships essentially allow for a name change and a shared mortgage.

Obviously the discussion in the church has little to do with rights, in a sense of legality, concerning SSU but raises the issue of equality and spirituality. In my opinion, this discussion is for the church not the secular world. Christians attempting to determine proper societal structures through legislation is a slap in the face to our US constitution. Taking the moral objectives of christian theology, tying an argument about the ‘definition of marriage’ to it and attempting to package the entire thought as a moral dilemma is convoluted. I do believe that faith should be a part of politics – our ethics should prepare us to deal with social situations. I do not believe our religion should be legislating arguments, our beliefs about issues (rather than god) should not be held as candid consideration for a common view. As christians we hold our faith in god, not perceived righteousness.

This discussion has breached the frustrating phrase, “the question of biblical marriage”. Now ADJ, you may have been correct citing these practices in marriage relationships throughout the origins of the Christian Tradition as a thought provoking act but I believe you fail to grasp the point. The reason these practices seem odd is because they have changed. Unfortunately no one actually means ‘biblical marriage’ when they say ‘biblical marriage’. This is mostly because the adjective “biblical” really doesn’t mean anything outside of worldview*. Thus we enter into the (more appropriate) territory of Christian Marriage – a marriage considering god, the church and the effervescent relationship between these and the two marrying. Is this concept (christian marriage) stagnant? Have Christians from the first century and onward considered marriage as we do now? How is marriage as an institution good and pleasing in the eyes of the creator?

We must begin by admitting, the joining of two persons of the same sex in holy matrimony was not practiced in early christianity. We should also admit, marriages between differing races, namely Jew and Gentile, was also considered unacceptable; remarriage after divorce was grounds for excommunication; Roman Catholics did not accept ‘mixed marriages’ in their churches until the Council of Trent. In these arenas an evolution of ‘belief’ has taken place. Though the practice of polygamy has dwindled in most forms since our hebraic heritage (save some more primal eccentricities) it would be fair to say marriage has evolved throughout Christendom.

Roman Catholics have made a few developments in their theology of marriage concerning its faculty. Before vatican two (henceforth V2) the primary function of marriage was procreation, after V2 marriage was the expression of love, for “the good of the spouses”.
In the Encyclical “Humanae Vitae” by Paul VI. They write,

Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realize that it takes its origin from God, who “is love,” the Father “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”

Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.

they go on,

The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, “noble and worthy.” It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when, for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile. For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse.

Admittedly no consideration in these dialogues took credence to SSUs but the essence of the change, marriage as the expression of love, pertains to the gay couple.

Along with the See of the 1960s, I align this evolution with the developing view of equality women have had inside the church. They exist for more than just child bearing – women are now able to communicate fully their confessions of faith, even teach men these confessions. In Protestantism further steps have been taken, churches allow Christians to marry non-christians without fuss*, a couple that desires to marry, though previously wed, may do so with the consent of a minister. These rights were not afforded to christians in the earlier church. An evolution of belief – of marriage – has taken place.

Why then do Christians hold to a ‘traditional view’ of marriage if the ground for such an argument is so shaky? The Archbishop, Rowan Williams made this statement in his treatises for gay christianity, “The Body’s Grace

In fact, of course, in a church which accepts the legitimacy of contraception, the absolute condemnation of same-sex relations of intimacy must rely either on an abstract fundamentalist deployment of a number of very ambiguous texts, or on a problematic and non-scriptural theory about natural complementarity, applied narrowly and crudely to physical differentiation without regard to psychological structures.

Is such a view characterized by the life produced from heterosexual marriages? Is it the propensity to produce life an argument for what makes a marriage valid, even right? Such a clear distinction is lacking in the scriptures. If one were to apply a basic hermeneutic to passages relating to relationship, take a recently used passage in Matthew 19. One can clearly see the point of the passage in context: we were made to commune – to love one another. “Therefore what god has joined together, let man not separate!”

Let me attempt to argue for the gay christian marriage. Take two individuals, both male. Let us attest these men to separately being christ-followers. They live confessing, worshipping and communing as faithful church attendees. The two meet, fall in love and develop a desire to consummate their union with the blessing of the church. What the two lived out separately, they will continue to live out together. This is the model of the Christian marriage. Their love for one another is god’s doing. I write again, “Therefore what god has joined together, let man not separate”.

Again, this is less about legalization than it is about civil rights and equality. If only one goal is reached it should be the protection of the gay christian as a valid member of the communion. If indeed it is sin, let us fight for the sinner, that grace may convict him. If indeed it is not, let us pray that same grace convict us. If we fight against injustices done against him, we have stepped into an all together holier ground.

*In saying “worldview” I hold regard to communities who practice exegetical methods of biblical interpretation as well as those who fly liberally and conservatively on a whim of cultural normativity**. Thus biblical means ‘correct’ or ‘accepted’, as scripture is inevitably interpreted through the lens of partiality.
**Yes, Jeremy there are cultural norms.
*Though already permitted the in the Pauline corpus this was later outlawed in early practice.


Soliloquy: Fear and Friendship

What is it to love another? To give, devoid of obligation? To harness a sinking capstone? I do not know it. I am obliged, my footing is weak.

Steps, cautious, lead my person to the bluff ahead. I tremor.

And what of love’s impression? A selfish and relentless impulse, it drives me away from rationality – forces my hand. Love’s chemist is a barbarian. Deep admiration is not the great act of the ages. When is love of pure motive, no motive?

Shaking now, I reach the crest.

My barrier to this is selfishness. I am misconceived in believing I should feel good by love. To love another is beyond assumption, achievement. My preservation takes an illicit first priority: a sycophantic pedestal of insecurity.

I lay down the stones of fear, I summon him through sobs of loathing.
Upon my altar of selfish motivation I call forth pain.
He rises from below, a freezing river.

My sickness lies: pain and love are the same. Emotion and logic rob me, as they are being robbed from me. I am stealing from myself to feed a liar.

Seizing now, I am awake and asleep.
This is the drowning nightmare. Skin becomes scale.

Pain is introduced, an inevitable acquaintance, I expect him to grasp me. I expect him to drown me. I expect him to spirit me away. The sea draws near, it calls to me: existence is pain; a destruction of ebbing tides.

A beam of heat.

The river stops, frothing at the mouth of the sea. Existence has an adversary. Pain has a healer. The warmth dries up the river, it sets me on the bottom of the dry channel.

I am still now. I slumber, a good death.
In my slumber I recall those altars upon which I warm:
a youth group …
a greek lab …
a small classroom …

Love is Immortality, a fire that tears off scales – revealing wings.

I dawn my cape

Epistemology: A Thought on Method (Part Ib)


Part Ia: Introduction Part Ib: What is Epistemology

Part II: Pre-Modernism (coming soon)

Part III: Modernism (coming soon)

Part IV: Post-Modernism (coming soon)

Part V: Epistemology in a Post-Christian World (coming soon)

What is Epistemology?

The word epistemology is derived from the words episteme “knowledge, acquaintance with knowledge” and logos “study, word or message”. The study seeks to determine how knowledge is perceived as well as assessing what knowledge is.

Know(ledge) Knowledge (as well as knowing) is a conclusion reached by the know-er. Through the complex interaction between the one knowing and the information gathered, knowledge is synthesized.

How do we know?

The “How” of knowledge is a process concerning the interaction of outside stimulus and our complicated person.

We are very complex individuals. Each of us perceives the world through the unique number of variables that differentiate us. Our experiences lead us to develop unique perspectives on information that may or may not be inherent to information itself.
Truth is a piece of information standing separately from perception. Though it is nearly impossible to qualify completely (as deconstructionism may lead us away from such a certain identification), truth is best defined as unsullied fact.

Two Variables

Through perception of truth, one knows.

Consider the phrase: Olaf has black fur.
I am deciding, through perception of truth: Olaf’s (my dog) fur is the color black. To come to this conclusion one must see, hear, or sense the dog Olaf and likewise perceive that he has fur and it is indeed a black hue.
-But– n63803456_30830029_8864
We have a problem, I cannot perceive and decide Olaf, fur and black without gathering prior information. What information do I need to know to come to this conclusion? First I need to know who Olaf is (further what a dog is), what fur is, and what black is. Thus, we add the variable of belief.

3. Beliefs
Through experience we conclude, there are constants. A man is (usually) a being with two eyes, two legs, two arms and some sort of face. I know this through ‘perceiving’ this ‘truth’ and thus developing an understanding for what man is. Likewise I develop beliefs based on perceivable truths.

Three Variables

Through perception of truth, relating to belief, one knows.

I decide through belief and perception of truth: Olaf’s fur is black. To come to this conclusion my belief of black, Olaf (dog) and fur must match up with my perception of truth.
We have a problem, in order to perceive black, fur and Olaf against my belief of black, fur and Olaf I must understand black, fur and Olaf against perception and belief. In other words Olaf’s fur might be a different shade of black, his fur might be a different texture of fur, Olaf might have grown – so I cannot recognize him as the same Olaf. My brain must understand to its capacity the evidence presented before me. Maybe I looked once, or heard of Olaf’s fur color once but I needed to see or hear again. The evidence presented needs to ‘click’. Thus we add understanding.

4. Understanding
In lieu of our complex person, information must be gathered to a point of cognition. It is here perception and belief are added into an equation and brought out the other end into knowledge. To use an idiom, ‘you gotta put two and two together’.

Four Variables

Through understood perception of truth, relating to belief, one knows.

I decide through my understanding of my perception of truth, as they relate to my beliefs: Olaf’s fur is black. I understand black, fur and Olaf do indeed relate to my beliefs of black, fur and Olaf as I perceive black, fur and Olaf.
-But- (and this is as far as I’ll take it)
How can I believe something, or understand my belief of something unless I have prior experience of it. Belief requires some sort of judgment based on the sensory data given, through experiences not directly relating to this current experience. Thus, we realize the value of preconception.

5. Preconception
Past experiences allow individuals to judge information, affording them belief . Emotions, experiences and understanding of past experiences alter how we conceptualize input.

Five Variables

Through understood perception of truth, relating to preconceived belief, one knows.

All of this information allows for one to ‘know’ something. By the time one goes through the process of ‘knowing’ Olaf has black fur, an overwhelming series of associations and judgments take place. Perhaps an individual grew up in a dog loving household, maybe someone is allergic to dog fur, possibly another holds black as a bad omen.

Mrs. Flood and Maw Maw
At the age of fourteen I spent my first thanksgiving away from home. I went with a friend and their family to Missoula, Montana. That week we stayed in my friend’s aunt’s home. I was excited upon arrival, as the house was incredibly beautiful. The landscape stretched out for miles, no sight of airplanes, tall buildings or water treatment plants. Despite all of these great things there was a problem, the aunt in whose house we were staying was in the middle of radiation therapy for cancer. On the way to the home my friend reminded me several times the aunt was bald. I was warned not to seem too shocked if she came down with a shiny head, so her feelings would not be hurt.

We get to the home, unpack our things and hear the door upstairs slam. The aunt had just arrived home from another errand. As we continue packing downstairs she bounds down the wooden steps to greet us. I was shocked! A woman, bald from radiation therapy could walk!

I know this sounds a bit stupid now. I know now going through radiation treatment does not render one unable to walk, nor does being bald for that matter. Two years prior to this event, my grandmother (Maw Maw) was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. After six months of treatment, family reconciliation and heartache, she died. My grandmother also received radiation therapy and was bald. But due to the severity of her condition Maw Maw was constrained (in body not soul) to a wheelchair.

My knowledge of radiation therapy, cancer and hair-loss were constrained by my previous personal experience. I did not even cognitively realize the wrongful association of immobility until new knowledge presented itself to me. What I knew was confronted by new information.

The How interacts with the What

The process by which we come to know truth is fantastically complicated. The ‘how we know’ question only becomes more complicated as it relates with the “what” of knowledge. Now, knowledge and truth are not the same, as I have shown above. Knowledge is what we decide (cognitively or not). The question “what is knowledge?” adds a great deal of complication to the matter. Further, the validity of knowledge comes into question. In the case of the grandmother, was my previous knowledge of cancer and radiation therapy ‘correct’? These get town to the issue of truth. Are truths universal, objective, outside of perception? Do truths rely on others to be true, are they subjective and are they local? Is unrealized knowledge valid to one ignorant of said knowledge?

These questions may seem odd but they are the crux of epistemological discussions. In concurrent posts I will discuss how these arguments are realized and how they relate with forms of thinking through time.

Epistemology: A Thought on Method – Part Ia


Part Ia: Introduction Part Ib: What is Epistemology

Part II: Pre-Modernism (coming soon)

Part III: Modernism (coming soon)

Part IV: Post-Modernism (coming soon)

Part V: Epistemology in a Post-Christian World (coming soon)

I: Introduction

In writing my last post, I was mulling over a series of questions I have been asking myself as I realize major philosophical differences between my predecessors (from what I can perceive) and myself. A few years ago I took part in a theology class where a professor detailed several differences in the way people ‘know’. This subject (epistemology) has continued to fascinate me. I believe the major differences in political and religious thinking to be highly motivated by one’s own epistemology. As I continued in my fascination, the relative ignorance to other forms of thought became more frustrating to me. In our meetings, we often find ourselves reducing our arguments to epistemology or semantics (usually when we’re tired or inebriated). Though arguments can be good or bad whether it agrees with another’s epistemology, the way one views a subject is vital to reception. Considering this, I figured it was high time one of us put together a little essay on the topic.

As a religious thinker, I believe the point of studying this subject affects our perspective on two very crucial points. Initially, the question of ‘truth’ becomes the overwhelming fascination. What is truth? How does truth function? istock_000005659812xsmallIs truth subjective (depending on perception), objective (existing outside of perception) or both? Epistemology is not locked in religious study either. Studies of history, economics, philosophy, psychology and physics all depend on a subset of rules that differ depending on the way the observer “observes” and “analyzes” the issues of their field. Further, the question of social institution becomes interesting. Are we individual thinkers (perceivers) or limited to our social perceptions? If one were born in a different location, how would their epistemology differ?

In our group we have a lot of differences in background. Between the four of us Theophiliacs:
one was born to a Muslim father spguys001
two are pastor’s kids
one has divorced parents
two have grown in the suburbs
two have grown in a rural setting
three are Caucasian
one is of Persian descent
three are married
four of us own and smoke tobacco pipes (yay Jeremy!)

… considering all these things, not to mention all of our similarities, we all think very differently. The way we ‘know’ is part of what makes us individuals.

As each of these methods is introduced, I intend to provoke a few questions within you, the reader.
– Which of these epistemologies seems closest to yours?
– How does your epistemology differ?
– Why do you think this way?
– Why do others think this way?

I would like to immediately convey the way I will be systematizing epistemologies, as it has an inherent strength and weakness. In addressing each form of knowing, I will be categorizing these methods in terms of the three major philosophical epochs: premodernism, modernism and postmodernism. This will allow me to categorize in a historical method how each of these movements relate to one another. Using philosophical epochs may allow one to realize better which method they belong to and why. Admittedly this form of description is incredibly problematic – an individual cannot really be placed completely into one epistemology (unless they founded the method), nor do sociological and philosophical studies agree. In both regards, individual preference and academic study overlap in indeterminate places. grampsandbaby So, when I write ‘logical positivism is a trend in modernist thought’ I mean to leave out the fact not all modernists adhere to logical positivism and not all logical positivists are also modernists. Please accept such overlaps in sociological-philosophical systemization as hypothesis, not conclusion.

It is worth saying, no epistemology is ‘wrong’. Some epistemologies are heavily dependent upon logic/empiricism/analysis while others are based in experience/belief. I will confess my dislike for logical positivism (logical empiricism), as it is a movement incredibly contrary to my bias. However, I must admit my debt to the method, as it has laid groundwork for much of academia, as well as it being the method of many of my mentors.

I hope this short series will be as enjoyable for you to read, as it will be for me to write.

It’s the End of the Church as We Know It – and I Feel Fine


A 2nd Reformation Post

My fellow Theophiliacs have entered some fantastic posts on our second reformation of the Christian church. These writings should not be misconstrued as rebellious rants by prideful know it alls, but a desperate plea to grasp hold of the fantastic entity that we love, the church. I believe the church is the first and last great hope of the world. Posts written against the church establishment should be considered as loving critiques of what I know as my true family – an eternal family. As I write, I wonder how the greater audience of the faith would receive these posts. Are we family still, in mind as in spirit? I hope to provoke reaction through my writing, reaction toward a forward movement; that we might meet somewhere in the middle of what is and what (I believe) should be.

Gilligan’s Island vs. Lost

I have had the pleasure of singing the tune “the Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle” while working the past few days and found myself thinking upon the show’s curiously comical portrayal of catastrophic events. The story is comprised of ridiculous characters whom undergo unlucky events, leading them to live in seclusion on a luscious island in relative peace until they are rescued. Contrast this with the show Lost: a larger group of people undergoes comically unfortunate events and is massacred to near extinction with no hope of peaceful rescue.

Now, Gilligan’s Island is meant to be a comedy show, maintaining individuals who are thriving in their makeshift community through succession of leadership, sexual tension and charisma. As conflict arises, the perky crowd finds a way to survive their formidable odds while melodramatizing each of their character’s idiosyncratic niches. The show was famous when it came out in the late 60s, then became all the more popular as it was thrown in the netherworld of syndication. What I find so fascinating about the show is how unappealing it is to me. These characters undergo struggle but struggle that never confronts the character’s ego itself (ego in the fullest sense: of person, not pride). Thus, a relatively shallow but fun series of plotlines flow variably unnoticed as the lore of the Island goes on nearly the same as it began. Episodes act relatively separate from one another, not affecting each plotline as the next episode airs.

Lost is a world of conflict and chaos. Though I hate the show for its endless rollercoaster ride, I am completely captivated by the intensity of the concurrent episodes as they all build to a never-ending climax of nail biting conflict. Characters grow increasingly complex, being thrown apart from their stereotypes and either progress through complete change in intent and goal or regress back into their despairing stereotype as their personal conflict eats them alive. Episodes cannot be missed. One episode drastically affects the lore of the following. Characters constantly die, are reborn, appear as ghosts, or are discovered (yes on a desolate island).

A Sign of the Times
Though the plot of Gilligan’s Island is far more plausible than that of Lost, the characters and their conflict are far less realistic in their journey. In Lost, realistic characters have realistic reactions to unrealistic scientific and phenomenal occurrences. Amazing how pop-culture has changed! The happy-go-lucky attitude of the Brady’s, The Gilligan Island crew and the Partridge Family is not popular in my generation of Heroes, Lost and 24. Reality strikes as oddly important, even in unrealistic situations.

Here’s the point: The church attempts to thrive in a Bradyesque façade. A mentality of ‘passing the peace’ and pasting on a smile for skin-deep reflection is not connecting with incoming generations of people. So I have scripted an unrealistic scene to aggravate a realistic response:

-scene- preacher
(Pastor gets up)
Pastor Reverend Guy: “Good morning everybody. Before you take your seats please take a moment to tell the person to your right what went wrong with you this week, don’t hold back. And when you receive this unfortunate news, person on the left, make plans to assist the person on your right in attending to this conflict before the week ends. Oh, and if you don’t, please don’t come back.”
(congregation pulls out their phones)


I believe this type of interaction gets down to the “nitty gritty” of what the church is about – people. The church is not about checkbooks, mission trips, the building fund (and the building itself) or the sermon. Church is the raw interactions of people. We share in the phenomenal story of a god-man and must begin to unfold in this rising storyline.

Institution vs. Community

I have only been part of a few churches consistently through my life. In my experiences, most of the energy and upkeep of the church has been spent in the organizing of pastoral funds, building maintenance, decorations, entertainment and the upkeep of the political structure of the church/pastoral staff. A very small amount of time is spent in the actual ‘doing’ and ‘being’ of the community. I went to church and heard a sermon, I went to church and played piano (poorly), I went to church and sang songs. The number of times I suffered, rejoiced or actually communed with people was vastly outweighed by the time spent unrolling cords, planning lessons, listening to ‘grow your ministry seminars’ and the rest.

I would like to contrast this with my relationship with my fellow Theophiliacs. I love each of these men like a brother. I know, right now, what they are doing, what they have been doing, what we are suffering through together. I devote time and money, showing my love and admiration for each one of them in expressions of that love. In our meeting and corresponding we have been what true church is, a church I have rarely known. Moreover we have made it our point to be just that: not seeking some political esteem, not spending endless hours on entertainment, but together worshipping in our truest form of the body of Christ.

When I say ‘raw’ interactions, I am not attempting to construe each moment spent within a church community as a crying, jumping or slain-in-the-spirit occurrence. The point is, the bridal of pretense needs to be thrown away. To be in a community we must ‘be’, castigating image and superiority.

Red Rocks AmpitheatreThe Rockstar & The Fans
The church institution has lost sight of community. We have become so thoroughly dependent upon the ‘rockstar on stage’ we have become the audience. This attention off of the community and on to a single person seems to pull us even further off the path to being together. So I throw out a question to you, dear reader, as I have to my friends and family. Why do we need a pastor? When I write ‘pastor’ I mean the word defined in the modern American sense – a man paid a salary to work in a church writing sermons, counseling people and administrating the goings on of the church. The reason I ask the question is two fold: 1. I believe the community suffers in this setup 2. I believe the individual acting as pastor suffers in this setup. First a congregation is providing the finances for an individual to do what a counselor, a professor and a rockstar can all do better (and often for less money). Second, Pastors become burned out performing the jobs needing to be practiced by the community as a whole. Why does a ‘Pastor’ do all the pastoral work? The church should accomplish the work of the church. Pastors spend their 40 hours in a church building, around people who are ‘not’ swearing, drinking, fornicating, stealing, or dumping their horrible mess-of-a-life all over each other. An individual who does not relate with their social setting leads the community. Is it any wonder why ministers advertise a ‘relevant’ church? If the church were relevant, it wouldn’t need to be advertised. Reality is, people do swear, steal, fornicate, drink and dump their horrible lives all over each other – let us do it openly, the pretense of holiness is falsity.

Universal Soldier
The church is the salvation of the world. Our enormous monetary capacity should be a means of spreading the good news. We have a mortgage crisis. If the church were to take part in paying for the mortgages of the church, how would that affect the mortgage crisis? Would the church need to advertise to seek attendees? Would single mothers have to worry about paying for an education, for childcare, if the church paid it for them?

Months ago, we discussed the Assemblies of God and their current struggle in maintaining doctrinal distinctive and social construct in lieu of a younger generation that distanced themselves from these conflicts. I raise the question to us a the church, is the community we serve less valuable than the systems we put in place? Are we so infallible we will die on a superior hill? Humility and openness is a much more loving message than tolerance and superiority.

People of the Book vs. People of God

I have struggled with idolatry since my acceptance of Jesus as my Lord. The worst of my idols was not money, women or a muscular physique (no surprise there) but the bible. In my time as a Jesus-follower I have spent less time praying, worshipping and ‘being’ with my creator and Lord than I have attempting to excavate my bible. With all the polemics to be argued, predestination vs. free will, once saved always saved, initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, exorcisms, homosexuality, feminism, et al. I continue to forget the whole point – our Lord.

I believe this all stems from a problematic symptom of logical positivism (which I will discuss in a later post) in philosophy and religion; all which have been the response of the western church to the enlightenment. We seek out bibles, squirming for answers to problems, when we need to go to our creator with our problems. Our bible has become our western god – perfect, faultless, without blame or error, never deceiving but giving us complete and absolute truth. The mechanics of this problem are for another time, but the reality of this problem has everything to do with our lack of faith in the redeemer-god and our all-consuming pride.

A person of god doesn’t need to know the answers or scour the bible to find their Lord. It is about time churches wrote on their marquees “A God-Believing Church”, or Doctrinal Statements begin with belief in the creator, rather than the evidentiary recitation of the book from which cookie cutter answers come from. Fides Quaerens Intellectum can only be begin when Fides Est Prima.

The act of being is pathetic, fragile and painful. This is the reality of our human existence. So let us strive to be people of god. Let our aim be communing with our creator as well as one another.

Humanity struggles with its individual verses communal capacities. In this sense, the golden rule stands out as the qualitative mandate for relinquishing ourselves from our social inferiority. When a community attempts to act separate from its culture, it cannot be the church. A church must entrench itself deep within people, revealing the dirt and grime of humanity in our path of salvation.