(Cf. James 2:19)
I believe in one God, but I seek my own will.
I know that He is the Father Almighty, but I willfully obscure his Fatherhood. It is so much easier to liberate oneself from an impersonal Parent.
I know that He is the Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, but I obscure His creation behind a willful blindness to the witness of the natural world. I am much less obligated that way.
And I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, but I seek my own will.
I know that He is the Son of God, the Only-Begotten, I well realize that He is Begotten of the Father before all worlds, and I know that He is Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, but I willfully obscure these claims by turning them into metaphors. The mental math is so much easier that way, and makes academic the question of His Personhood. And if I can in any way diminish His Personhood, I can much more easily seek my own will.
I, of course, know full well that He is of one essence with the Father, and that by [Him] all things were made, but if I can attribute the origin of the universe to the material causes I can see around me, I don’t really owe Him any allegiance.
I know that it is said of Jesus that it is He Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man, but if I can wave aside His Deity, I can well manipulate the history of his humanity. Besides, I don’t want to be saved from my own will.
I know that He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and I really don’t have any arguments against that. His death makes Him a hero and a great moral and political leader. And anyway, a hero and exemplar suits me much better than a God.
I also know that the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, so the Scriptures and I will just have to agree to disagree here. A dead hero is much more suited to my tastes. (See above.)
I know that He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father and that He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead, Whose Kingdom shall have no end, but I obscure the reality of the afterlife with an amorphous, metaphorical heaven to which anyone who thinks themselves decent enough can go. I don’t want to go to hell, of course, so I prefer to remain in-between, seeking my bliss in the here and now.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, but I seek my own will.
I know that the Holy Spirit is the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, but I willfully obscure his Personhood through theological disputes. He is easier to ignore that way.
I know that it is He Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the prophets, but all I have to do is call my own inner thoughts and feelings His leading. It is so much easier to authenticate my own will.
And I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, but I seek my own will. I don’t need the Church; I can seek God on my own. I don’t need the Church; I can interpret the Bible for myself. I don’t need the Church; I can create my own sacraments of feeling, spirituality, food, affirmation, health, sex, and liberation.
I don’t really acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, because after all, I’ve created a church in my own image in which I need only feeling and spirituality.
Nor do I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the world to come. Given all the above, why would I?
(© 2004 Clifton D. Healy)