I realized something today. In bible study I said that in accepting a view of the church that is not very flattering, and realizing we are a long ways from where we should be, myself included, I have found more hope and joy than before. While this is true, it is not quite accurate. What has given me hope and joy is not so much looking at the church in a certain, as being free from the modernist obsession with resolving paradoxes. The law of non contradiction is still valid in my mind; two opposite things cannot be true at the same time. However, I think that sometimes we have, and again myself included (if I didn't do this then i wouldn't have had to be freed from it), taken tensions and nitpicked them down until we think we have proven them to be contradictions and then we must make a choice between one side or another. After doing this once, we somehow get to the point where tensions themselves are bad and need to be resolved. Like true peace of mind would come if only we could get rid of them. At the very least we would be comfortable, and that, I think, was the driving force. But we aren't supposed to be comfortable, its not supposed to be easy, and tensions are a fact of life. For example, the whole Free will or Sovereignty of God thing... for hundreds of years teh church held these things in tension, and then along comes the reformers and suddenly you can't have both. So Calvin writes institutes in which he claims that IF human's ever had free will, it was before the fall, and only then. On the other side, James Arminus comes along, and must redefine the sovereignty of God. I must admit I find what arminist's have done much more tasteful than what calvanist's have done, but thats not the point. Maybe there is supposed to be a tension there. So, I can have the tension of on one hand seeing the church's brokenness and failure, and on the other hand still see it as good. I can live with the tension of where I am and where I should be, knowing that i will never be where i should be, and i should never expect to be there, but that i can never be satisfied with where I am. I can be thankful for all the Lord has given me, for the distance he has brought me thus far, and still be seeking. This has been freeing, liberating in the best sense of the word. I know there are some tensions that shouldn't be there; like my desire to trust in Christ, and my desire to be financialy secure for example (not saying they are neccessarily mutually exclusive in reality, but I think they are in desire, at least in me). So, I have once again piled on more responsibility, as I now have to be responsible for critically deciding which tensions are good and which are bad, and like so many of the things we avoid, realized that maybe the point isn't being right, but being good; maybe it isn't about finding the right mehtod, or, as T.S. Elliot says, finding a system that is so perfect that I don't have to be good, but about taking responsibility and being Good, not on my own, or in a human sense, but filled with and dependant on the Holy Spirit, allowing God to play his full part, and me fulfilling my full part with Him.

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