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Monday, May 15, 2017

Wrestling With Marcus Borg

In recent weeks I have "finished" reading two books by Borg plus one he co-authored. I find his ideas transformative, enlightening, mind-stretching, etc. in many cases. However, some of his ideas I have not taken to as fully, some doubt.

His idea about reading the Bible as metaphor and parable I find powerful and along the lines I have come to understand. I am fascinated by his idea about historical vs parabolic described as whether or not the story told could be videotaped if there had have been cameras then = a public or private experience. A vision, private experience, is not the same thing as a hallucination. I like his idea that a person can set aside the unprovable argument about whether or not an event was historical, and look into what it means. The meaning is the jewel. The empty tomb, for example, by itself is a historical oddity. The post-Easter experiences of people that continue to this day are dripping with meaning. The life changes that happen in people who become Christ mystics, followers of The Way, are incredible.

On the other hand, Borg stresses his idea that God's passion is justice for all, and this is a major part of the pre-Easter Jesus' passion and teaching. Jesus' Kingdom of God is of an earth that would reflect God's passion here. Everyone is treated with equal justice. Everyone has enough. Everyone is good and kind, etc. It is a lovely utopia.

However, if that is actually God's passion, and then Jesus' passion, what happened? That is not the world as it is or as it has ever been. If Borg's hypothesis is true, then that makes God ineffective and Jesus mistaken. There is little justice here on earth now or at any known time.

It looks to me that history repeats and replicates itself over and over. Perhaps it is human nature, I'm not sure. I know far too many people who say they are Christian, but they are unforgiving, harsh, judgmental and very unlike Jesus. They are close-minded and sometimes cruel. They are not striving to participate in creating The Kingdom of God here and now. I must say I also know some very wonderful people who are kind and good-hearted and sincerely walking The Path. Sadly, as I look at the world, I have to conclude these wonderful ones are in a distinct minority and rarely in the lead.

For much of the time of humanity upon this earth and for most of those who have walked here, there has been strife and unGodly life. Psychological hang ups are legion. People see the world through their own distorted lens. People are ego driven. We are far, far away from utopia.

I'm not sure what to do with this. Is it possible for a majority to be lifted above the fray and desire to participate in living as God's passion? Is it possible for a majority to even want to grow into spiritual beings who shine God's Light and Love powerfully enough to lift the consciousness of humanity?

Or perhaps, is earth a remedial planet for souls who need the lessons here? Is that why The Kingdom of God has not come to earth? Is that why so many stand stubbornly to stop it and keep it as it has always been? Or is the attempt, the striving, the work we do, done in order to develop our souls. Is that the point of it all? Just maybe the problems here are there for us individually to grow and expand and awaken in God?

It seems to me, since this has come to our awareness, it may be that we are being called to something greater. Are we being called to stand up and do all in our power to bring God's passion to earth? Or are we just witnesses? Or are we to co-create with God so that our lives are shining lights drawing to us all who would awaken?

I listen Lord. What would you have me do?

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