Sunday, July 1, 2007

Why Theology Can't Save Us

Theology can't save us because faith is not about figuring out what true belief is, faith is about entering into and nurturing a relationship with God.

This is why exegetical arguments about what the Bible does or does not say about homosexuality are pointless. Exegetical arguments do not help gay and lesbian Christians. I believe that ultimately they serve only to make us more insecure and spiritually dependent on others we have no business being dependent on. Gay-friendly exegesis is tempting because it feels affirming to us. It soothes the soul, especially after we have been exposed to so much hateful, anti-gay exegesis. But when we accept it, we enter into a trap. We begin to feel we need to justify ourselves based on someone's interpretation of a text. In my experience, justifying myself based on an interpretation of a text only made me hungry to try to convince everybody else to see things my way, and made me frustrated when they didn't. That fed my anger, not a productive emotion when it comes to nurturing the life of the spirit. But even if I and others could persuade every single person in the world of our interpretation of the Bible, would that, in itself, make it true?

Ah, there's the rub! What a miserable accomplishment it would be to convince the entire world of a false interpretation!

What can save us? Not exegesis. Revelation. And I do not mean revelation in the sense of asking for new scripture. I mean revelation in the sense of coming to know the living God. There is no substitute for getting on my knees every day, and asking God to reveal himself to me. God is hungry for us to turn to him. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."

1 comment:

Beck said...

That is why personal revelation is so essential. It isn't necessarily the interpretation of a scripture that leads one to know God, as it is that totally undeniable personal witness within our individual selves that confirms for us in a unique and personal way that He is real and His love for us is unconditional, and that we are part of a plan that is bigger and wiser than our theological understanding.

Without the spirit, confirming and teaching us in these personal ways, the written words and interpretations thereof are that - just words!