Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lex Vivendi

I dreamt last night that I spoke with Life. He (yes, Life was male, which seems somehow nontraditional to me...) told me I was not for Life, but for Peace. I asked him if this meant I would die for Peace. He told me there would be no other way to die. I asked him if I could live for Peace. He said a life would be lived, yes.

The vagueness of this dream startled me. It also startled me that Life took the form of a good friend, Ryan. I think this may have been for two reasons. 1) I saw Ryan yesterday, 2) Because if there is one thing in the world that Ryan seeks to give it is unending life to all who seek it (not salvifically, but physically).

This dream was similar to one I had before I went to Simpson in which I dreamt that I was in class there, being challenged by a tall dark haired professor. He was asking any of us to challenge his thesis on women in the church, in which he argued that women should not speak or pray in front of men. We were all certain that he didn't believe his own thesis, but we knew he wanted us to prove his seeming infallible theology wrong. After the many failed attempts of my classmates, I raised my hand. I quoted Job to him, "Do you have an arm like God's? Can your voice thunder like His?" Another professor, small and white haired, had entered the room as I said this. The tall professor asked, "Are you prophecy?" I replied, "I am discernment, but I will prophecy." The small professor rejoiced, "Praise God, the spirit of Jessica Koltun has returned."
For clarification, Jessica Koltun is my sister-in-law (

To this day I do not know clearly the significance of that dream, though I remember it well, and it was the event that propelled me to Simpson, rather than back to Multnomah. I have a feeling I will never know what is that I am "for peace" and not "for life" either. After all, it was just a dream.

Regardless, this got me to thinking. The axiom I have branded into my arm, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi has been added to in recent years. Lex Vivendi now follows, making the phrase say something like "As we pray is as we believe is as we live". This seems obvious: What we pray is what we believe and both of these are how we live. We all know that this should be true. We all know that for most of us it is not. What I know, is that for me it is so true, in such an odd way, that I get myself in trouble all too often. Doubt pervades me, but this I find is what brings me true faith. I doubt often the power of prayer, the purpose, the reason, the necessity... and as such, I do not believe in the necessity of certain outward actions for faith (for religion most certainly, but for faith, no). However, if we add the idea of Life to this dialogue about prayer and belief, suddenly the outward becomes necessary, and religion steps in to dance with faith. This is where I fall in love again with it all, for obedience begins again to woo me. Faith in Christ, apart from all of the extra and superfluous issues, is where I sit and drink tea my Lord. The extra and superfluous is where I join the community of the Church (broad, beautiful, varying, divided, and broken Church(es)). I will practice your theology with you, smiling and loving how you strive to see God, because in your searching I see God. In you I find Peace... and therefore Life.

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