Richard Rohr urges that until the false assumptions of Western individualism are clearly faced and experienced by religious believers (and they are the only ones fully prepared to face it), there will be no real breakthroughs for Christianity. This is why it is important to live from the incarnation and not from religious externalities or other things that insulate us from God. Incarnated with God we are in perpetual encounter which means we are not only one with Godliness in person but being nurtured and tutored into our real selves.
LIFE OR DEATH
The attempt to find the validation of the self leads to the destruction of the self and ultimately to the destruction of the earth. This is the underlying engine of climate change and the reason that so many are multiplying death rather than life.
We are who we are in relation to Christ. We say a lot about identity because it is the key issue of existence. The dysfunction of the fall is sourced in the questioning of Father’s identity and our own. The insinuation was that you are not who you say you are. However the truth is that we are who we are in Christ.
Keep in mind what Francois Du Toit teaches: ‘To see Jesus is to see yourself’. This is the meaning of the vicarious humanity of Christ. He is who we are and who we are becoming.
The discipline of Christian living is living from who we are in Jesus rather than who we appear to be in the hurly burly of everyday activity. We have to fight for our identity. Our salvation and inheritance is to radical that much of it is counter-intuitive. Thus we must contend for what is real.
“While the secular world pushes woman to find her identity in herself as a sex object, the popular teachings in the Church, equally mistaken, encourage woman to find her identity in her roles as wife and mother rather than in her status as a person in Christ, a daughter complete in Him.” (1)
This applies to men in various ways. Women and men can find themselves robbed of femininity and masculinity and robbed of their personhood because they have defined themselves as a worker and that’s all the life and sense of person they have. Not that working well is not honourable. But you are more than your job. Primarily you are you.
In Western society we are not peasants. But due to the pervasiveness of materialism we need to know that we are more than our possessions, our address and our profession. We are more than the stuff we hang off ourselves with prestige fashion labels.
There is a false self and a real self. Who we are is found in Jesus and after that our genuine self who makes our way into what we do.
Jesus came as a person and not as an abstraction or a bunch of laws because ‘personhood’ is what distinguishes God and God’s daughters and sons from objects and things.