Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Shack Ch 14, part 2

201 What is the difference between God and Jesus in their very nature?
A None, zero, zilch, nada
Explain Sarayu’s reaction to Mack’s question “what do you expect of me now?” Why could Sarayu not remain silent?
A Sarayu explains to Mack that humans had corrupted everything by making rules to replace relationship. God has NO expectations, just an expectancy of the joys of relationship. Even the 10 commandments were meant to show that man could not keep rules good enough to live in the relationship. Righteousness does not come by following rules but by living in Relationship with Papa. Sarayu had to speak up because expectations reflect rules instead of relationship.
202 IF rule keeping was what counted with God, what is the minimum standard to be accepted?
A Matt. 5: 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Since that standard is impossible we judge rules on a curve. The Roman Catholic Church does this really well with Venial and Mortal sins. Protestant churches have a looser sliding scale that is unpublished but everyone knows what their group’s is.

Are all rules equal in weight or is there a graduated system?
A Both. In common practice today Rules are all equal in that they are equally expected to be observed perfectly. Consequences for breaking a rule are varied from group to group and person to person. They can range from little more than a whisper of rebuke to loss of salvation with eternal damnation in hell.
What is the point of rules? Were they made just to be broken?
A Rules were meant to reveal what was already fundamentally broken…our relationship with God. The presence of the rule did not cause the break, only revealed it.
What did Sarayu mean when she asked “can you clean your face with the same mirror that shows you how dirty you are”?
A If rules reveal the problem, they are inherently incapable of fixing the problem.
How much mercy and grace exists in rules?
A About the same amount as food in Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard…NONE
203 What did Jesus do with rules?
A He fulfilled, completed, kept, accomplished, finished them all so we are no longer held responsible for keeping any rules. Jesus indwells us and satisfied the demands of the law for us. Rules have no punishment for failure to keep or promise for obedience. Jesus finished it for us. We however can still try it on our own if we so choose.
What did Jesus make Lawful?
A EVERYTHING. It is not about rules.
What does that mean?
A Points and penalties are not part of the process. Jesus scored all the points in life and paid for all the penalties in death. We can freely receive the benefit of both. If we CHOOSE to score our own points and pay our own penalties, we can, but we will lose. Like the computer told the kid in the movie War Games, “It doesn’t make sense to play a game you cannot win”.
Does it approve of sin or ignore it?
A Neither! The power of sin is broken on the cross, sin is not the subject or issue. Living loved is.
Who is afraid of freedom?
A People who refuse to trust God to literally live in and through them must obey rules to feel secure. Those who live loved live free to live life, unfettered by the fears that dominate those who live in and of themselves.
Are you a signer on “declaration of independence”?
A Some days, but less and less these days.
How’s that working for you? Feel better?
A Signing the declaration of independence is always an indication I am ready for a fight. I lose.
Why do people love the Law?
A Tons of reasons. Primarily I get to be GOD, I am judge and jury of all of life, including God. I am miserable but superior to you…and God himself for that matter. It gives me a false sense of control and security. My expectations of you put you in a subservient position to me. I choose the responsibilities I like and ignore or deny the rest.
How do we try to create certainty out of uncertainty?
A by assigning responsibility and expectations to everything and everyone. If everyone does as told, we have control. Of course it never works, but if we try a little harder, make a few more rules, adjust the bar just a little, we will get it right, won’t we?
Rules can do and cannot do what? Are there exceptions?
A Rules can only accuse, show where failure is, point blame, or wrongly anoint a good rule keeper as superior. Rules CANNOT bring freedom. There is NO escaping, no end of rules, no stopping point, no end zone, no finish line. They continue on into infinity for eternity. There are NO exceptions. They are like Tribbles on the old Star Trec…they are born pregnant. There is no such thing as one rule.
204 Discuss the difference of nouns and verbs according to Sarayu?
A As I AM, Papa is not a list in a book, but a dynamic, endless, infinite active being. He supersedes, precedes and exceeds all things static and rigid like rules that suck life out.
What is she saying Papa is offering?
A Life lived loved.
How do humans kill verbs? Give and example.
A They take something fresh and alive and try to protect it from possible excess or harm and control it for their own purpose. The idea of getting dressed for church could convey originality, style, color, taste, etc. But some worry about to much originality, style color or taste and the verb becomes a controlling noun, wear a dress! Of course one of predetermined style, color originality and length, top and bottom. It becomes compliance to a code, fitting in, keeping someone else happy about what they have forced you to do.
Would nouns still exist if there were no physical realities?
A Yes, Physical reality is not full reality. God is a noun and existed outside of physical reality until he created.
How can one move from death to life? How does that relate to dead verbs?
A Introduce something alive into the mix. The Law is dead in that it is static, rigid, fixed. Grace is alive, satisfying the law completely and eternally.
What is required for there to be any verbs?
A Grace, life
205 How did the words responsibility and expectancy change in meaning when they were removed from relationship?
A We respond to people, responsibility is assigned and solo. Expectancy of being together, living life becomes a performance in expectations .
What does religion use law for? Is that true of all religion?
A To empower itself and control people in order for the religion to survive as the leaders envision it.
Share an experience where you were expected to do something you could not do.
A As a pastor I have been attacked because I could not control the raging hormones of a teenage boy by laying down the law. I was berated for my inability to make the pain stop at the loss of a loved one. I have been expected to predict and control what other people did in my absence.
What is responsibility without ability?
A A prediction of failure.
Where does ability come from?
A God alone provides it, but he must be present and free to respond in the moment.
What happens when expectancy is changed to expectation?
A Expectations are to a relationship what lead weights are to a scuba diver. They will only help you go down. They are specific in the mind of the one with the expectations but the one who is responsible to carry them out is generally ignorant of them. Expectations Kill relationships, Expectancy is like deep sea fishing, excitement and a pleasant uncertainty over what might be caught next. Expectations carry a heavy threat of failure. Expectancy knows how to live life.
Which one do you enjoy and seek out more?
What is the difference at the end of a day of fishing and catching nothing when the day was started with expectancy? With expectation?
Where do you live? Wanna move?
206 Will the world fall apart without responsibility and expectation?
A Some things that are being done apart from relationship will stop, but what were they really accomplishing anyway?. Life may be a little lighter, freer, spontaneous. The things that are just a shell can be given a proper burial, what is truly important will live on in a totally different way. You will live purposefully, freely.
What is the basis of shame and guilt?
A They are the chief actors motivating most performance. Performance gives a false sense of security and identity. It is like a Las Vegas $1 slot machine. It requires a lot of input from other people for even a small pay off. It quickly returns to demanding more than it is willing or able to give to give. Everyone remembers and lives for the rare huge payout which will most likely just be feed into the machine again looking for another.
What part does shame and guilt play living in relationship with Papa?
A Papa does not use shame or guilt, he has NO expectations, only expectancy of a life lived in Love with him.
If you are plagued by shame and guilt, what does that say about your relationship with Papa?
A you are living with expectations that cannot be met, even by God.
How is it possible to disappoint Papa? Why?
A Disappointment would imply unmet expectations. Papa has no expectations, therefore no disappointment. He knows the future and lives in an eternal present taking all things into account.
What does resorting to expectations and responsibilities demonstrate?
A It is saying we neither know or trust God. It is an attempt to gain control of an uncertain future resulting in a life lived in fear, not love.
How is living with priorities different than living in relationships?
A Priorities necessitate a hierarchy, not a relationship. If God is an absolute priority, why ever move to #2. Life cannot be prioritized that way. Number two is always going to try to supplant #1 and #3 is going to be mad all the time.
207 How big a priority is God in your life? Is it enough? Why?
A Priority lists are like rules, they will suck the life out of everything. God is not a priority, he IS life. He indwells and participated in all that we do. We live free, love free.

Have you ever felt like you were just another item on someone’s to do list? How did that make you feel?
A Yes, and I hate it. I accept it sometimes as the best they can do at the moment, but it does not build relationships.
How special do you feel waiting in line for your turn?
A I avoid lines like superman avoided kryptonite. They have a very negative effect on me.
If Jesus is not first in your life, where does he want to be?
A Smack dab in the middle, not of a list, but of a life.
What is a ritual?
A Anything repeated for the sake of doing it rather for it’s intended purpose. To be edgy but definitive: The first time I kissed the woman who is now my wife, it was anything but ritual. It was incredible, electrical, emotional and really short. I don’t kiss her now (Forty years later) every time I enter or leave a room. That would be meaningless ritual. I do kiss her in our relationship, but it is not ritual and that is all I have to say on that subject.

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