I have been ever so reflective now for the past few days. If I carry on I will either need to repent of this trend, accept I am maturing at a rate that could frighten me, or simply take a break so as I do not over-exhaust myself.
I am no expert on the Enneagram, I have belligerently sat through a most-beneficial course, never read a book on it from cover to cover, secretly find enough in there to be very helpful, but can still maneuver enough to keep it at bay. Personality types! Some people benefit from certain contexts, certain expressions of Christianity. It is not simply ‘heaven came’ and the rest is history. We connect with God through who we are, and we connect with ‘our’ God through who we are. Both the real God and the God I believe in comes to us in that way. For the Anabaptist the Gospels are the key hermeneutic to the Scriptures, for Jesus is the image of the invisible God. So that settles things… but those who hold that Jesus will return as ‘the ultimate Slayer’ also maintain that Jesus is the lens through which we know God. For them the Gospels simply reflect a portion of who Jesus is, hence God is love, but he is also wrathful etc., and will return to slaughter all enemies. We have our perspectives because of what we have been taught, what we read and consider for ourselves, and without doubt because of our personalities.
I like to find what I can object to. I value all the material on how conversations can be hosted. Pick up an object to contribute, listen when the person is contributing. Been there. Does not work for me. Surface reason? It is presented as a tool to facilitate conversation. I want them to say ‘we are doing this to control the situation’. Just be honest, I say on the inside. Just say ‘because we have people like Martin here we have to put some levels of control in as he can be a pain in these situations’. Now I am happy as we have set up an oppositional setting. At the surface level I claim it is now operating at an honest level so I affirm I am happy. At a deeper level it is not really revealing the issue with the object to be picked up, but as to what is going on inside. I still have not resolved that kind of situation. Not sure either that I want to. After all maybe it is controlling. Personality types.
I did OK in the charismatic context. Increasingly though I found there were some things that worked for me but I became less convinced they were working. Prophesying over individuals while we were together, picking people out who were under the anointing. A huge blessing to many, but I all-but stopped doing that as it became in danger of people more desiring another word than hearing God speak, of certain people receiving and others not. Is there a place for personal prophecy? A huge place. But how it is done can have a down-side.
Travelling to conferences, bringing in a ‘moving on word’ – worked for me. Eventually I found that I had choices. Be commodified or be true to oneself. The incompatibilities came when there were ‘green rooms’ and undue preferential treatment. Message – the release of the body, all are servants, there is no centre. Yet the symbolism was not always consistent with the message. There are always practical issues that surround conferences and the like, but there comes a line that we have to know is a line for us. My message meant I had to move away from the majority of conference scenes. Not because they are bad they simply became a not for me scenario. Exile is only exile if one has a promised land perspective.
I am incompatible with a number of church situations. They are too healthy for me and my presence will make them unhealthy. My agenda is not for them, so why should I try and make it important for them? For this reason I do not look for invites. God has connections for all of us, and we have to discover who we are to be the connection to in order that those people truly benefit from what God has placed in our lives.
I think as another number will quickly be attached to my age I will leave all this self-reflection on one side.