Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cardiac Lenses

Investigating Predisposition lens theory, Is it possible to erase all personal predisposition when studying scripture or modern thought or philosophy and the like? I imagine one would have to first admit one IS predisposed, or angled toward or against a given thought trajectory. So, OK, in my best dressed humility I admit some level of predisposition to Orthodox Christianity, in general (IE. Catholic, Orthodox and a fraction Episcopalian). When I read a given scripture passage, I must be adding an Orthodox advocacy to understanding the intent of the passage or thought. In the cerebral flow of words into comprehension, my precious Roman Catholic Identity strives to bond with the given reading. Here, lets take this on at extreme of predisposition.

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church..."
[Matthew 16:18]

This small part of one verse (and its mosaic parallel in Isaiah 22:22) created all of Apostolic Succession Doctrine, the Papacy, Hierarchical authority. That's a tangible lens with a Catholic/Orthodox predisposition. Most often, it is quoted and conveyed to be absorbed in a concrete and sequential way. The language appears physical and direct, a singular path of appointment for a tangible purpose...to build a Church.

Lets remove that lens, break it down a bit and see what else is there, without losing the literal Orthodox definition:

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter..."

Christ is communicating to Peter. He is facing Peter and showing trust in Peter. That is one essence of Christs Ministry, it is relational and trust giving. He is also exalting and honoring Peter in a singular and humanly understood way, by giving Peter revealing "Title". What does it say to Peter? I would be confident that Peter is saturated with the heartfelt relationship that this outward proclamation makes visible.

"...and upon this rock I will build my church..."

Christ repeats the Title in 2 ways, Peter (Cephas) and Rock, revealing his ability to not only have a personal relationship, but also to make a decision of responsibility placement, on Peters Heart. What do we imagine Peters comprehension was, at that exact time? Surely it was relational, and penetrating.

We know from further contextual reading that Peter built the Church, through the limited means available and the other Apostles. What drove Peter to carry it out to the ultimate Martyrdom? It had to be more than a simple concrete instruction. The relationship and mutual trust with Christ turned to Love, a Love not of this World. An unconditional Love. A Love of the Heart.

The challenge here is not only to study in a present day context of the writing, but also from the communicants perspective and their environment...inside the heart and mind and outside, and see where that Truth becomes the most real.


~Joseph the Worker said...

I really don't believe anyone can actually set aside all their predispositions and study the scripture. I think a lot of people have seriously tried and they all come to different conclusions. That is why Christ sent His Spirit to guide the Church into all Truth - so that doctrine would remain pure and the Church would serve as the proper interpreter of sacred scripture (which is pretty natural since they wrote it).