Burke: Well, and a lot of times, I notice, that myself. others, you know we focus out on future, or heaven, or what's next, and we really can miss the kingdom here and now.
Kind: Which is the only moment we have. The present moment is the only thing that's real. If you talk about the past, it's no longer here; the future is no longer something we need to be obsessed with to the demise of the present moment, because the present moment sets that trajectory for the future. And so, if you're consumed in the present with the future that 's not a reality, what are you doing with the reality that is? You're just wasting it away.
What we have to do is reframe who the true self is. If we really get down to it, then we can say 'Wait a minute, our stories, our belief systems, at best are pointers, they're not our identity. And so all of these identity conflicts I think could go away, if we could take on more of a persona of saying 'Look, since our belief systems are merely pointers to that which is beyond and unnamable and unknowable, let's meet beyond our belief systems, in this area of mystery and humility. And I think if the world started coming together, and the world religions started coming together, to celebrate the dignities of each sacred narrative, all meeting beyond our belief systems, at the feet of mystery, then I think you've got phenomenal potential to real begin to create this tipping point toward celebration instead of doomsday.
When I was doing this transcription, I noticed King's phrase "to celebrate the dignities of each sacred narrative, all meeting beyond our belief systems, at the feet of mystery" (emphasis mine). It put me in mind of this passage from Revelation (again, emphasis mine)...
3Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5This title was written on her forehead:
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
Is drawing the line between King's statement and this verse fair? Well, consider what King is advocating. The world religions coming together to celebrate at the feet of mystery, or dare we capitalize it as Mystery. What could such a compromise be but prostitution and abomination? For two thousand years, Christians have gone to those who do believe, and told them the Gospel, or were Christians in their own homeplaces. They were often not welcomed, many were persecuted, harmed, and killed, often in truly horrible ways. These two, with their call to "celebrate at the feet of mystery", simply spit on those martyrs' graves, saying thier sacrifices were meaningless, useless, not necessary, that rather then trying to convert people to faith in the living God, they should have gone to the unbelievers to celebrate them, to be converted by them.
I have no patience with these smarter-than-God types, they sicken me to no end. About all I feel is a kind of pity for them. But if the woes Jesus pronounced on the Pharisees, that all their converts were simply more the children of Hell than they were before, how can I not think the same thing for these false teachers? I can only hope and pray that they are not completely hopeless.
Burke: Now the criticism always is: Oh, wait a minute, then I have to check everything at the door. We have this dualism like, it's all or nothing, you know. But you're not necessarily saying that. I mean, just as Merton would say Hey, I can be fully Catholic, fully Christian, and involved with Sufis and with Buddhist's traditions and not let go of who he is, but not necessarily trying to just convert other people, engage.
King: Exactly, and you use a key word there when you say 'convert'. If we could just embrace our sacred narrative--for me, my primal narrative is the Jesus story, that's what resonates with me at the deepest parts of my being. So while I'm not going to forfeit that, but I don't have to forfeit that story to contribute to the lives of others. Now if I feel like have to have a conversion mentality, now all of a sudden there's no chance for peace, none, because if I feel like I have to convert you, I've just drawn a line between us, and implicitly said "You're on the wrong side of that line". And the only way we can have fellowship, let alone celebration, is if you come on my side of the line. But when I'm secure in the fact that I'm not my belief system, I'm beyond that. Then I can celebrate the dignities of the Jesus story, the dignities of the Sufi or whatever relgion, you know, the person we're dealing with is, we can celebrate those things together, because ultimately again at best, they are just pointers to the reality that is, to the presence, to the unnamable, which has to dwell in mystery beyond us, and that's where we can come together, and meet at those crossroads, and have incredible fellowship and understanding.
It's always a bit surprising when someone claims to be into the "Jesus narrative" or some such thing, and then condemns something that Jesus Himself said would be true. This whole video is about the end times, and how these two think the biblical doomsday scenario (which isn't doomsday at all, but rather our blessed hope of Christ's return) needs to be discarded for, well, something more cheery. So, Jesus' words about how things will be are immediately discarded, if that tells you how much they "love" Jesus. Or how much the Jesus of their "Jesus narrative" departs from the Jesus of the Bible.
But consider these two statements, one from King in the paragraph above...
Now if I feel like have to have a conversion mentality, now all of a sudden there's no chance for peace, none, because if I feel like I have to convert you, I've just drawn a line between us, and implicitly said "You're on the wrong side of that line". And the only way we can have fellowship, let alone celebration, is if you come on my side of the line.
And this of Jesus'...
34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'[e]
37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
King is right, though he rejects the thing that is right. If we seek to convert, as Jesus commands, there will not be peace. But we seek peace with God, not necessarily with men.
Perhaps this is a humorous and pointed way of comparing their "Jesus narrative" Jesus with the real biblical Jesus.
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