14.9.04

Here is a question for you, or me. How much of my belef's are motivated by my comfort and desires? My prejudices and all that?

I have seen King Arthur twice now. I liked it, as an action movie I thought it was pretty good. But both times I saw it I got thinking about the same thing.

Two parts of the movie stand out; the mention, and description of Pelagius, and the priests in the town in Northern Britian who are killing heretics. Historically, Pelagius and Augustine argued about some stuff, and Augustine won, Pelagius was declared a heretic. The term Pelagianism is used to describe (I think) the idea of us saving ourselves by our good works. You can look any of this stuff up online if you want to, I am not going to go into detail with it. The point that I started thinking about is this: In the movie, Pelagius is represented as fighting for freedom, and the other people (mostly left unnamed in the movie) are fighting for the idea that some people are born, or predestined, into slavery. I wonder if that actually played a part in the early arguements over free will and predestination? Was part of the arguement really about keeping slaves? As for the whole killing the heretic to free his soul, I think that is, historically, an idea developed later, but still, it was a theology developed out of fear and hatred, in order to maintain power and such.

And what about the theological arguements later advanced in defense of slavery; they were accepted for a long time before people started thinking differently. The same could be said about racism. On the other side of things, a doctrine we still hold to, some people suggest that Luther came up with the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers in order to give German royalty an excuse to stop listening to the pope. Regardless of wether or not this is true, or wether or not any of the people throughout history argued the way they did with the conscious objective of furthering their own ends (i.e. defending slavery to make more money, etc.) it seems pretty obvious that much of our theology comes from motivation which is essentially selfish, fearful, unloving, and so on. Another example is Celibacy, which some people say came about to prevent priests from passing on the churches land to their children (and presumably having bad untrained priests, due to passing on the position instead of training/recieving a calling for it), in the process helping to make the church itself the largest landowner and most powerful organization for hundreds of years. Again, regardless of wether or not its true, I have to wonder.

Obviously everyone's beliefs are affected by selfishness, motivated by preserving whatever we are interested in preserving, but as Christians should we not be continually cutting away ourselves, especially from the truth? Are we not called to know ourselves deeply enough that we can catch ourselves when we are thinking something in order to stay secure, or because it is easier than changing out thoughts? Are we not called to continually open ourselves to God, so He may search us and know us, and allow us to see how dark, and twisted we really are? how much we really do obscure the truth with our own selves? Yet, more often than not, in myself, and other places, I see that we defend everything, always assuming since we are Christians following the true God that our beliefs must be right, and true. For some reason admitting doubt, allowing searching, and all of the activities that go with an honest, open-ended, never ending spiral towards truth, are considered out of bounds and lack of faith.

I have to wonder what, of what i think, will be considered foolish, or evil, by the next generation.

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