Lately I’ve been posting more at Personal Musings than here. This space is theological, pastoral, and iconogrpahic. The three most recent posts at Personal Musings almost fit in this space, yet I felt they were still too bound up in either too bound up in individual opinion, or still too unformed to for solid theological discourse..
What I post here I want to express what is more than just my opinion but is expressive of seeking to have the Mind of Christ. At the moment this search and desire is my best way to understand what it means to be the Church, the Body of Christ. My thoughts, emotions, opinions need to be brought into the realm of being part of the body of Christ of living into and growing into the reality of my baptism. There is much that can get in the way of this pursuit and reality.
In my three most recent posts at Personal Musings I’m exploring what can get in the way of being fully a member of the body of Christ, and how national identity and for the United States how Racism and slavery create huge obstacles for American Christianity to truly exhibit the Mind of Christ.
Today I posted my own discomfort with Patriotism, as well as my love for the U.S. but also its problems for my identity as a member of the Church the Body of Christ, and the affirmation that Jesus is Lord. In many ways we need to acknowledge as American Christians that we often attribute (whether Fundamentalists who say this is a Christian nation, or progressives who see our ideals as being exemplary for the world and adopted the world over) to the U.S. what actually is Christs and the body of Christ the Church. Much of American sense of its self and its mythology is attributing ecclesioligcal identity to the nation state of the U.S.A.
For American Christians for us to find our way to the mind of Christ we really need to understand how racist ideology that was bound to the justification of European enslavement of Africans is bound up in ecclesiolgical heresy of confusing European and American culture (or Whiteness) with being the Church, the body of Christ. European culture identified as Christian Culture and America as the City set on the hill, all while justifying enslavement of people deemed inferior because they weren’t European, White, is due to a heretical move. I begin this thought here with a reflection on attempting to limit American racism to the confederate battle flag and terrorists like Roof. Yet, policies of the United States government in its expansion into the North American continent was racist and based upon the displacement and genocide of native Americans all the while claiming an ecclesial identity in contradiction to the Mind of Christ.
Then there is the issue of do we obtain the Mind of Christ through Law or in Relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Yes, this is a recurring theme, and each time we think we have settled it Law raises its ugly head. I explore a certain pastors comments about imprecatory prayer and his praying against Caitlyn Jenner, in exposing how his teaching treats the psalms as giving us a law rather than as an example of being in relationship to God, and thus how this pastor railing against Jenner shows him to be the hypocrites that bring the woman caught in Adultery before Jesus, and that his commitment to Law and the Scriptures as Law, keeps him from hearing Christ’s words to the crowd and the woman, and thus shows him to be preaching without the Mind of Christ.
What I’m working out is how the current upheavals around the continued oppression of African Americans (specifically by law enforcement and in our legal system) and our conflicts around human sexuality marriage and gender, are also ecclesiolgical, and much of our confusion around this is that American Christianity hasn’t been the church nor exhibited the Mind of Christ for most if not all of its existence. There is some very deep repentance and renunciation that needs to take place in American Christianity if we are to find our way to being Church again. Posts I’ve been working on for this space are attempting some articulation of how this is and why. The three post mentioned above are the prolegomena to what I hope will appear here soon.