Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Closed Christianity

Illusions are dangerous.
They are dangerous because they delude us.
It is not that we make a mistake, and it's not that illusions only hide or conceal something; it's that illusions misdirect.

What is the Bible?

The bible is a library.
Contrary to popular opinion, the bible is not a book.
This is an illusion. The fact that these pages are bound - wrapped in a single cover - suggests that it is a single book. It is not. It is a library of books. This is a somewhat innocent illusion. However, a more sinister one awaits.

The question is whether it is an omnibus or not. ("The complete works of..."), and equally important, why would we believe it is?

Many Christians build their entire faith on the premise that the bible must be God's omnibus. (Complete and total and final works of...), and these are what constitutes a Closed Christianity.

But aside from wanting or hoping the bible to be God's omnibus, why would we believe this? Is it because it is 'Canon', or that its Table of Contents list its 66 books (73 in the Catholic bible)?

Ultimately, the bible's Table of Contents and it being 'Canon' are, for all intent and purposes, the same thing.
I am not questioning whether the books in the bible are divinely inspired or not. I am questioning whether its Table of Contents was divinely inspired  or not (and who was divinely inspired to write it)?

The bible's Table of Contents - the bible's Canonicity itself, was a man-sanctioned construct (and please note, I did not say man-made fabrication).

The problem with a Closed Christianity having built its faith on the assumption that the bible is God's omnibus is twofold. Firstly, it necessitates the exclusion of any and all other 'Holy Script' (The Qu'ran, the Tao Teh Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, the Nag Hammadi Library, the Apocryphal Books, etc.)
It puts a limiting man-made cap on God's ability to communicate.
It also makes God a bigot, judging people because of where they were born, their country and their culture. Favouring and discriminating for no reason.
A Closed Christianity reverts thousands of years of theological evolution and spiritual growth and returns God to that of a petty Tribal Deity.

And secondly, a Closed Christianity is an umbrella term encompassing a variety of denominations and views with a commonality not overtly obvious. That commonality is Bibliolatry. (The authenticity and centrality supersede even God).

I think many Christians fail to recognize that they themselves are part of a subculture. (Christianity itself can be a subculture and if they truly believe that their faith is the truth, then the truth should transcend culture and subcultures. (Although culture is the lens in which we view the truth through, Culture does not dictate what that truth is).

If we can understand and accept that a minority council of bishops 1400 years ago cannot limit God's ability to communicate or express Himself, then we can be free to treasure an Open, unbound, and 'coverless' bible. We can also be enriched to hear God's Sophia whispering her Wisdom down through the corridors of time, throughout many cultures and subcultures.

This is an Open Christianity. This is a truly wild and untamed God. Not only a God that cannot be conveniently defined and put into a box, but one that refuses! A 'God' that shares the same traits as the eternal Tao from the opening verse of the Tao Teh Ching.
The Tao that can be spoken of is not the eternal Tao.The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

(Continued on An Open Christianity)

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