Monday, July 17, 2006

Is God an idealist?

OK kind of sounds a stupid question, of course God is an idealist and Christians should be idealists. I am inclined that way myself too! But recently I keep hearing things that make me ask the question with more seriousness. Firstly someone who had written a book on Israel and its troubled history, for her the idealists were the problem, the people sure they were right and prepared to fight for their truth. I heard and understood, but? More recently a discussion on Nazi Germany, if I remember the quote, but this is pretty close if not bang on, 'the vast majority of people who commited these atrocities were not bad people, they believed what they were doing was good, but they where convinced by ideology and this is what enables good people to do evil things'. This by the way was a commentary on Shakespeare plays, and a profound one. The moral? It was the pragmatists who if you like held the moral heigh ground. The ones who valued community, the brining on of all people over the ideology of a certain group.

as an Anglican priest this has a lot of resonances with the current issues that threaten separation in the world wide Anglican communion. But then the issue cuts in all directions, we aren't just talking about those idealist, we are talking about ours. I am talking about my ideals which I hope are drawn out of God, but may in truth be a part of the idol we all build and call God. Can pragmatism in this sense be a means of a divine discovery, of God beyond our own construction of God?

mm. Perhaps the issue is what ideology? If it is to grow the church, to bring people to Christ, to help this nation to be Christian, perhaps then and in so many other ways, all we do is mold the gospel to our likekness. perahaps God does have an ideaology, but one that wants everyone in, that is not interested in preserving this or that doctirine (look at the way the prophets spoke of isreal's worship or how jesus acted toward it). perhaps 'compromise' may hold the deepest value of all, that which is seeking the kingdom of God above my ideaology, which will bear with others seeking that kingdom, beacause it is a kingdom for all.

there is a mission lesson here i think. the mission of God is about reconcillaiation not exclusion, to many ideologies want to exclude and not to reconcile. OK reconsilalitation at any price? well God gave his life for it, what price will we pay? what price am i prepared to pay?