“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5
“God is Christlike and in him there is no unchristlikeness at all” – Archbishop Michael Ramsey
Recently, as a result of some home renovations and a lengthy barbeque season, my wife and I noticed our garage becoming more and more cluttered with materials of a toxic variety.
In our town, there is a wonderful service called ‘Toxic Taxi’ which, upon request, will come and take away such toxic materials that the regular garbage pick-up will not dispose of.
Yesterday I happened to return home just as the ‘Toxic Taxi’ was loading up my empty paint cans and an old propane tank, I was taken aback in a moment of revelation—Jesus is My Toxic Taxi Driver.
For the better part of a two decades, since my days as a university student, a two year stint in South Korea teaching ESL, my time as a seminary student and into my first pastorate, where I can continue to serve to this day, I have been on a journey of faith both towards and with Jesus and many others whom have been fellow sojourners on the journey of life and faith.
As I look back and reflect upon my sojourn, I can sum it up as a journey towards a more Christlike God involving significant shifting in the areas of theology and practice. Moving in the direction of Christlike mercy has inevitably involved the ongoing detoxification process of purging unchristlike images and distorted interpretations of Scripture and life which inevitably compete with and fall short of the picture of God fully and perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ. (Heb. 1:1-3, Col. 1:19, 2:9)
This shifting has been analogous to a massive deconstruction and reconstruction project involving demolishing and removing toxic images of God and theological stances incompatible with the God of love revealed in life, death and resurrection of Jesus, followed by reconstructing everything in my theology and life viewed through the lens of the cross of Christ.