Monday, November 14, 2011

But what about Jesus??

Having spent all my life within the Christo-centric paradigm -- from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism to Christian Universalism -- this question is invariably going to come up, especially from those who have known me personally.

All faiths have their own set of rationalizations, and mine is no different. So, here's how I see it:

Jesus said that no one comes to the Father (God) except through him (John 14:6). We enter into the Most Holy Place by a new and living way that was opened for us through the "curtain", Jesus' body (Hebrews 10:19). Jesus refers to himself as the "door", or "gate", through which we come (John 10:7). So, essentially, Scripture depicts Jesus as a portal through which we come to God. He's the bridge from here to there. That being the case, I think it's safe to say that, for 40+ years, I have been crossing that bridge and/or passing through that door. I would have a very hard time saying that I didn't get to where I am now without having gone "through Jesus" in just about every sense of the term there is.

But unless passing through the door/curtain is the end in and of itself, there must be something beyond that stage, no? Does a person, upon reaching the doorway, just stand in the doorway and go no further? When crossing a bridge, does a person cross halfway and then just plop down in the middle, not proceeding another step towards the other side?

There is a subset of Christianity which believes that Jesus is not God incarnate, to the utter consternation of those Christians that do believe it. Not to get into the details of that debate (I'm at the point where that's "their issue" which they need to work out among themselves, as I no longer consider myself strictly Christian). But for the sake of this post, perhaps those parts of Scripture that do seem to make the distinction between Jesus and God are indicating that Jesus is the means and God is the End. Much like my post about continuing to gaze at a map after one has arrived at the destination to which it led, perhaps Jesus's role is that of a conduit, a channel from here to God. Perhaps it wasn't intended that we stop at Jesus (the door) and not continue on through that door to the Father.

So that's where I'm at now. I have passed through the Garden Gate (Jesus) and into the Garden (God's Presence), where He speaks to me in a language He knows I'll understand best.

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