Skip to comments.The Archbishop's Adolescent God
Posted on 03/04/2006 7:13:10 PM PST by sionnsar
Early adolescence is one of the toughest times to be human. Your body is awkwardly shaped and your social skills underdeveloped. You are terrified of and yet terribly interested in the opposite sex. You want to stand out and be yourself and fit into the right crowd, but all too often you collapse in a quivering mass of insecurity; petrified by the thought of social ostracization. Youre a walking bundle of contradictions.
But so is everyone else and theres safety in numbers. So you try desperately to fit in with a peer group. You dress the way they dress, talk the way they talk, act the way they act and if/when your parents object, you feel they're limiting your "self expression." You just gotta be you.
Now that we're light years from that mortifying stage of life, Anne and I enjoy perusing old pictures, laughing hysterically that I rolled my pant-legs and shirtsleeves so tight that they looked like giant billowing airbags, laughing at Annes enormous earrings and teased hair.
That was in the mid 80s. But its the same now. The styles have changed but walk the halls of any junior high school between classes and youll see whole gobs of young adolescents dressed alike in garish costumes.
Its natural, part of growing up. As time goes on you eventually learn that the best way to make real friends is to be yourself sans the garish makeup and put-on personality.
In fact, the only way to really establish a deep relationship with someone is to be wholly and completely yourself.
This is one of the things I love about the bible. While well never fully comprehend him, God does not hide. He is who he is and he reveals his personality in every passage.
We may not like it that God destroyed the ancient world with a flood or that he commanded Joshua to take the Promised Land by force of arms. We may think it unfair that God killed Nadab and Abihu for offering unauthorized fire before the Holy Place or that he struck Uzzah down for using his hands to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling off an oxcart. We may not like it one bit.
But God is who he is.
Likewise, we may not think it nice that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We may balk at the idea that there is no way to the Father except through him. But it is true and God has not held this hard truth back for fear of rejection. God is not an adolescent.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking at the World Council of Churches convention in Brazil is said to have made the following remarks as reported by Parker Williamson of the Layman Online:
Jesus was quite serious when he said that God was our father and that we belonged all to one family, because in this family all, not some, are insiders. None is an outsider Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, all belong, all are held in a divine embrace that will not let us go all, for God has no enemies I have said that God is not a Christian Some people chewed me up for saying that, but I believe it. Some like to think that we Christians have the duty of protecting God. But I wish these people could meet the Dalai Lama. He is a holy person, incredible. We are the ones who keep trying to put limits on God, but God gives the incredible gift of grace.
A reporter asked Tutu if there are any limits to plurality and diversity when seeking unity. "God is the God of all," replied Tutu. "We are too prone to excommunicate. God welcomes all of us.
The god ++Tutu describes is acceptable, appealing, and relevant. She molds herself to fit every crowd; walks like we walk, talks like we talk, acts like we act. She stuffs herself into our garish costumes to please as many of us as possible.
She fits in.
++Tutus god has no boundaries; no limits; no identity.
She is who we want her to be.
She is nothing.
And God Almighty is nothing like her.
God doesnt fit himself into the cracks between our longings. He wants real relationships, real love, real knowing and being known. He loves you and wants you to love him--the real Him--not just another you all dressed up like god.
Because he wants this--because he wants you--he reveals himself as he is: perfect, glorious, thrice holy, just, almighty, wrathful, loving. Through his Word he reveals himself, and through his Son, not as we want him to be in our blindness but as he is in Truth.
Some, most, will reject him. But God is not an adolescent.
He was and is willing to face the rejection of the entire world to find you.
A moving and, obviously, much needed essay.
A Kennedy in whom there is no guile!
This is indeed a good Kennedy!!
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