November 22nd, 2009

iconoclast

the what isn't important, it's the why that matters.

Last night I had a short conversation with someone of the conservative Christian persuasion. Being a queer polyamorous pagan who is friends with Jesus and has read the Bible cover to cover several times, I rather enjoy discussing theology with those who think as I once thought. I tend to speak as though Christianity is my only point of reference when speaking to someone who only has that point of reference, to make it easier to relate (so, ze's not being rude by assuming that I agree with all of the church's doctrine).

At one point I expressed that my own method of interpreting everything is, "the what isn't important, it's the why that matters." Ze digested this for a minute and then said, "but if the 'what' is something that the Bible has clearly stated 'no' to, that's pretty cut and dry." Knowing that ze has very firm opinions about the 'cut and dry' part of the bible that is most often taken out of context, I chose an example that would be more likely to provoke self-reflection (and might inspire further thought) than self-righteousness (which never inspires questioning). I said, "for instance, 'do not lie' is pretty clear, but if one simply follows it without thinking about it, one misses the point, and usually acts badly. If one does not think about the 'why,' one might interpret this to mean 'do not speak untruth' and end up with a life full of unspoken lies. If one does consider the 'why,' one might realize that the point of not lying is to have no barriers between you and other people, to be able to trust fully and love utterly. At that point, not lying becomes something one does because it brings the most joy, not just because someone at some point declared it a 'law.'"

What I didn't think about at the time Collapse )