“Not the Dogmatic Kind”

Constance, I just read this lil comment elsewhere…and the writer exhorted the reader to have faith, and then added parenthetically “not the dogmatic kind”.

Full Stop.

I knew what the writer meant…they were trying to distinguish between the kind of attitude that presses forward with courage and hope stronger than wistful wishing, and that sort of blind jaw clenching bull headed obdurateness that has come to be called faith in our times.

It is tragic that the word “faith” has come to feel like a dirty word in the modern mouth to the point that the need to make such a distinction is felt…and even the more so, because it is an inaccurate understanding of what faith truly is!

Listen…if there are dogmatic claws and paws on your faith, then you do not have faith…you have belief, and belief all by itself is just like gasoline, an accelerant and fuel source…a potential energy put in service of a higher purpose to accomplish that purpose.  Right?  The old saying tells us “even demons believe and tremble”.

Belief can be the jaw-clench, lip curl, chin raised, nose-pinched blind and maddening mindset that we have all bashed against like waves on rocks…the dangerous powerful set of blinders that can potentially narrow the field to the goal and just the goal…which might empower the beginnings of faith, and might empower the beginnings of hate.

Faith on the other hand…ahhhh…faith is a state of being!  A living and active thing!  By definition, faith precludes dogma!  What is the old and tried and true definition of faith?

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

The substance of things hoped for…
things hoped for…
substance…
evidence of things not seen…
evidence of…
things not seen…

Oh my…now we see jaws unclench!  Eyes open!  Dogma flee, and wonder flood over souls!  Suddenly the throne is empty and there is a possibility of turning one’s heart and will outward, to consider Hope…and to place that hope in things worthy of hoping in…

Used in the context of faith, substance derives from a Greek word which essentially denotes “that thing placed under”, or “foundation” or “substructure”.  Very simple, and when combined with various connotations such as

“that which has foundation,”
“is firm”,
“that which has actual existence”
“the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing”
“steadfastness of mind”,
“firmness, courage, resolution”
“confidence, firm trust, assurance”

Clearly, faith depends on a previous encounter with that in which you are placing it in.  Boards, stone, cement, and blueprints all combine to give builders the (insert any of the above connotations here) to continue to build, and then confidently construct the rest of the structure….

…confidently construct…

Sorta like saying “hoping for”, no?  Hoped for…this is rooted in that Greek word which conveys this:

“to wait for salvation in joyous full confidence”.

Ima stop there, Constance…but the many-faceted wonder of the place of faith…the state of being…well, clearly there is no room for something that is “not-faith”…such as dogmatic jaw clenching!  That is just flat out stubbornness.

Now…here is the pay-off pitch, and the reason ‘Rissa decided to get out her harp and strum some strings:

In what do you place your faith (which would be the foundation of that state of being you inhabit without thought each day)?
In whom do you put your faith?
Is a what more appropriate to put faith into than a whom?
What is the track record of that in which you place faith?

All questions that are like can-openers, and boy are there some cans that need to be opened, cleaned out and disposed of, given some of the whats that have snatched preeminence from the whom…and some of the whoms who have masqueraded as the Whom, and made Them out to look small and mean, and miserly and cruel…or worse, as buffoonish backwards senile old uncles who need to be shoved out onto the back porch and eventually left behind in favour of…

Let me make a bold statement, okay?

If there is anything here, at Grace Notes…ever…that you like…
If there is anything here ever that is beautiful, or true…
If you find here joy, or wonder, or splendour spoken of…
If you find here consolation and comfort, encouragement and exhortation…
If you find here compassion, kindness…

If you find here grace…

That is all…all…due to They in whom I have placed my trust and belief, and it is the life lived fueled by that trust which has resulted in my entering into a state of being which is this:  I have placed my confidence in Them, and yielded to Their living and active Presence within me…and all the things you may find here that stir you and make you hungry and feed you all at the same time…it is Them.

They are graceful enough to lift me up out of death…so if They will do it for me, I am confident They will do it for
whosoever will…

With jaw gloriously unclenched, and dogma sleeping in the “dogma house”…

Charissa Gracetumblr_mcmgm1XVQf1r147gno1_500 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s