Hearty Heresy


Discussing God Is Not the Best Use of Our Energy
February 22, 2007, 11:31 am
Filed under: Christianity, Heresy, Jesus, Religion, Spirituality, Theology

But it sure can be fun. Endlessly fascinating, actually. I mean, we’re talking about the ultimate reality here, the “ground of being,” to use one influential 20th century theologian‘s terminology. Why shouldn’t we discuss God. No reason, really. But when Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that “discussing God is not the best use of our energy” in his classic book Living Buddha, Living Christ, he gets to the heart of something I believe: It’s one thing to talk about God; it’s another thing to live a life grounded in the, er, ground of being.

And here’s where I get just a little bit tetchy about Brand Xianity. By elevating the living Jesus into part the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), they’ve turned any discussion about Jesus (be it a dicussion about his life, his teachings, or his nature) into a discussion about God. And discussing God is not the best use of our energy. Living this life to its fullest is a much better use of our energy. That’s certainly what I think Jesus did. It’s what Thich Nhat Hanh does. And it’s something I want to do. Spending time worrying about the next life only distracts us from appreciating just how amazing this one really is.

As a heretic I believe that too much talk about things like the Incarnation, Atonement, and Resurrection of the Christ just gets in the way of understanding the life and teachings of the living Jesus. Which is why I’m happy to live in a time and place where I can freely practice my faith in a way that helps me feel more and more at home in the universe. Sure, we can discuss God until the cows come home (or until the Rapture), but living life to it’s fullest with simplicity and compassion is a much better use of my energy. That’s what hearty heresy is all about!

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4 Comments so far
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Goodmorning. Life is to be lived to its fullest and many Christians have screwed this one up. Resurrection through Jesus Christ was never intended to turn life into a Southern Gospel lament about how hard everything is. Resurrection is the great hope of the Jesus-follower This hope is our encouragement to continue to live this side of life to its fullest even when it seems senseless to keep doing so.

Comment by j4jesus

We all screw that up, don’t we. And I’m all for as many folks living life to the fullest as possible, whatever their inspiration may be. I do think the life of Jesus is a wonderful example of what that means. If God-talk about Jesus can lead someone to follow his example, fine with me. By their fruits, right?

Comment by heartyheretic

I agree with it all. I like the blog. I’ll be stopping by a lot. Good luck with the Mennotarian thing! I personally can’t quite convince myself to be a Unitarian, but I’ll try to suppress the urge to burn you at the stake! Keep writing.

Comment by ganes

Thanks for the support! I really started thinking about this heresy business when Mrs. Heretic and I had Hearty, Jr. dedicated in an extremely liberal Mennonite church. I had to promise to raise him “in the way of Jesus,” and I’m taking that seriously. Thank goodness Mennonites are Anabaptists–Hearty, Jr. can decide for himself whether or not he wants to be baptized when he’s older.

Comment by heartyheretic




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