Friday, March 02, 2012

I don't want to be right

So, a while back (see here) I reviewed comments made by the Archbishop of York on changes in marriage law. I didn't agree with him. I didn't just review him here, I actually emailed him, and I received a very generous email back from his chaplain, Richard.

We got into an email conversation, and today we met up at Bishopthorpe, the Archbishop of York's palace (which really is a place - see picture). Richard is a very thoughtful, kind bloke, and I enjoyed our conversation around the issues involved. As I am preparing to get back to work, it was good to get out & see how fit I was to drive & simulate being a normal person again.

Richard started our hour together by showing me around Bishopthorpe, and as we started the tour we bumped into a short man with an unforgettable smile. "Good morning," I said; "Good morning," replied Archbishop John Sentamu.

Our conversation was wide-ranging and thought-provoking. I am reminded of a question Berkeley asked me: is my current position one I have always held? No is the answer to that.

In Christian life, I hope we all walk with Jesus. That walk is full of life and surprises and thought and change. I would worry if my theology was identical now to the 21 year old version of me. Or the 32 year old version of me. We should grow. We should develop, not because the Bible changes but because we do - because we grow, because we have more of Jesus in our lives and in our experience.

This allows for mistakes.

Mistakes in our past. In our present. In our future. We will never be perfect, but if there is life in our spiritual life, if there is room for room-for-growth, then I think we have the Holy Spirit and the chance to be molded more into the image of Christ. Here's what's wrong with me - I don't want to be right: I want to be righteous - in relationship with Jesus come what may.  


the_exile said...

Good to see you back on your feet.

I like your "I don't want to be right: I want to be righteous." I'll file it with The Cobalt Season, "You are going to change your mind someday so just let go of all your thoughts on tomorrow...and I will yell to those behind me, "Careful not to draw your maps in pen and ink!"

Marcus Green said...

Thanks! I'm glad you get what I am saying.
I had another Facebook conversation about this, just asking for a clarification, which I'm going to reprint here for those who don't get that stream.

Richard: Glad you had a healthy experience of getting out and about - and a gracious welcome.
Righteous over right. I agree when they are mutually exclusive. And when they are not, we should seek the former and find the latter arrive with us. But might it ever be that to find righteousness we need to follow a moral 'rightness'? A question, not a statement!
Marcus: I guess I'm pointing out the problems that exist over issues where right & wrong are tough calls, and where the generally accepted answers may not be the ones we should settle for. We may look as if we're wrong (whilst being nothing of the sort) but this doesn't matter - our motivation isn't an exam-passing score or popularity with the current in-crowd; it's a relationship with Jesus and to love what and whomever he loves. Hence righteousness over right-ness.