How are you doing? Are you still fighting the good fight?
There has been a long standing discussion in the Christian community about dualism. Richard Rohr argues that a dualistic view of the Christian faith is imported from the Greek philosophers who populated the world from Plato and Aristotle and dominated much of European theology for centuries. There were many early Church Fathers and mystics such as St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Ávila, St. John of the Cross and the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing who challenged this dualistic view of the Christian faith.
St. Paul expressed this non-dualistic way of approaching our faith in this way:
“…you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (I Corinthians 3:23).
Earlier in this letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul wrote, “…you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God….” (I Corinthians 1:30).
So what? It makes all the difference in how we view ourselves. There is no room for ego or perfectionism in a non-dualistic view of the faith. There is no room for the proud man who stood at the alter who prayed, “'God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector’” (Luke 18:11). When we recognize our oneness in God, we can join the prayer of the other man praying at that alter: “‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner’” (Luke 18:13).
In a world that judges value by one’s behavior, Jesus turns the tables upside down. The way down is really the way up. This is good news for all those who are sick and tired of being good enough.
Ronald Friesen © 2015