Greg: What I'm trying to say is there are other overtly religious answers. But they're either the kind of easy answer, fresh bread religion Jesus correctly wrote off... I mean I know he's right... I've experienced some of them... Or else, they're "John's Jesus equivalents." That is, they have different imagery and traditions but they seem to point to this same seeking somehow to commune with Ultimate Reality that I see Jesus talking about.
And there are other "non-religious" answers which either end up being a real effort at communion, or they're just "get rich" and "who has the most toys wins" kind of crap.
So to whom else can we go?
Jan: At the beginning of this conversation you seemed to be frustrated with not being able to makes sense of the Faith, and not able to see what it said to you as a Year 2000 Aussie Bloke. But what I've heard is your getting passionate and excited about a faith that has very few concrete answers in it. There's a kind of contradiction here. I mean you haven't said to me "Do it this way!" Instead, I could say you have less sense!
Greg: I guess that's the point. In the bit of John we talked about, I think concrete answers are ruled out. I can't have a concrete "this is what it all means" answer. They just don't exist. There is only a kind of dynamic answer... like you get the answers as you live. Communion with Jesus and Ultimate Reality means asking what he would do here in my shoes, and then doing it. It means going slow enough in the rat race, and being reflective enough, and self conscious enough, to become habitual in trying to live out Christian values of compassion and love and justice.
Jan: Some people would be suspicious that you are really saying, "If it feels good, do it."
Greg: "Bullshit! What that crowd wants is a formula so they don't have to think or be faithful! When we were kids the rules were
"Black- out! White- in!
"Homosexual- out! Hetero- in.
"Single- doubtful... Married- in!
"Catholic- out! Protestant- in."
That wasn't about faith, that was about social control and prejudice.
There are no soft options to the question "What would Jesus do?" I think it is faith in a big way, because I can't point to a nice easy rule (Law) I'm keeping. There isn't an easy answer. I have to live it out in faith that what I'm doing and how I'm living is worth it. It's not comfortable, and it's not easy. But it's the only way to be real.
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