How high are your castle walls?
When you find something that clears your muddy brain water, you do all you can to hold onto it. You find a truth so you protect the truth.
Soon the truth is a castle wall being surrounded by other “truths” that act like a moat. Now the truth inside can’t even be questioned without first crossing the moat.
This past year my moat was seriously breached by one particular topic, but now that I’m inside I’m examining the entire castle wall. It’s scary and exhilarating.
The topic was the church’s views towards sexual orientation. A view that took a handful of scriptures, unchallenged history, and scientific studies from the 1960’s about how people became gay, and built a moated castle.
That moat was drained when our bible believing loved-one – who was not abused, did not have a poor relationship with her parents, did not choose this path (and in fact fought against it for years) – came out. One beautiful person who we’d known since birth challenged all the teachings around the teaching. The moat of misinformation had served to protect not just the doctrine, but the questioning of the doctrine.
Maybe I will have more thoughts on the scripture, but currently it’s the moat of misinformation that concerns me most because it affects how the church treats gays in and out of the church. (Imagine the anxiety of realizing you’re different from the majority, and having that majority conclude that you chose this path and need to change.)
But this is one issue among many.
We might start with the easy-to-carry good news of who God is and how much He loves us, but over time it becomes a heavy load when we pile on church doctrine and community expectation. When it becomes an all-or-nothing package, the moat is wide and the barrier has been made bigger than it needs be. The perception of us vs. them increases, and it is a bigger leap for others to come in.
I’m looking outward to discern what other moats I’ve hidden behind. It’s vulnerable to be honest – to stand out in the sun with no moat and only half a wall, after years of fearing ‘the outside’.
But the air is fresh.
And I’m catching glimpses of the difference between doctrine and doctor, the Great Physician who is surrounding and healing me in the process. And with the walls down, I can see so many others who were nearby all along, ready to show and receive mercy with me.
I’m catching glimpses of the difference between doctrine and doctor