I love words…they are so powerful, so magical.
They are alive, they pulse and glow and they do things and go places that you might not mean for them to do and go…and this is especially the case when we use them carelessly and just spew them out because we can.
The biggest problem we face with words is that we forget that they mean something…and when we do that, we set them free to impose a meaning in a situation that controls and distorts reality from what is consciously heard on the surface of the words.
For instance: saying “everything is red” is a meaningless statement, by definition. “Everything” means all conceivable existing things without exclusion”…and thus, red would not exist, because how could there be any state of being or place of perception that was other than red and thus giving meaning to red as something distinct and identifiable?
We only know red in contrast to other colors…thus, it is impossible for “everything” to be red. The more accurate statement would be “It was red as far as the eye could see” or some variant on that approach.
Recently, I heard someone posing a so-called logical argument that “All means all”, and thus there was no need to delineate who is included in “all”…imprecise shortcut thinking that ultimately is lazy and sloppy given this society we live in where “all” has meant white anglo saxon and protestant for about 300 years.
“All” needs some defining additions, some inclusive categories, because in America (alas) we have lived in blatant contradiction to our incredible founding documents…and in the church we have followed the way of the culture and turned out the poor, the needy, the wrong colored wrong gendered wrong orientated…
So what does All mean?
Let’s define it with something that says “included in our list, but not limited to just this list”…yeah, intentionally worded in an awkward way, because there are some really beautiful crafted statements extant that can be adopted…such as the great ELCA “Reconciling In Christ” statement…it gives specificity and depth to the platitude “All means all”.
As to the fears of “being branded?”
I think it would be pretty cool to be branded with the ideals of RIC to the point that when people saw me coming they said “Omg here comes that Charissa…she is branded with the Reconciling in Christ position that all are welcome to come to Jesus!”