Thursday, August 11

The seeker vs. The Christian

Yesterday I mentioned the "seeker", which for consistency sake I will now define as "someone who is actively striving to find truth and fulfillment in their lives. Either hedonistically, intellectually, or existentially." The seeker, by definition, is in a state of "ignorance" (as Socrates would say) or "untruth". He never claims to be right or authoritative on any issue, and this disturbs him to the point that the whole of his mental energy is spent trying to correct it.

Jesus came for the seekers, in Mark 2:16-17 Jesus made his intentions clear. The Pharisees could learn nothing from him, since they already thought of themselves as holy and righteous. The followers of Christ were what Jesus called "sick", which could easily be interpreted to mean the seeker (since the seeker considers his current state with pessimism). Jesus also promised rest to those who were 'heavy laden', promising that if we earnestly seek God we will find him ( Matthew 7:7 and Matthew 5:6 ). Accordingly, no one came at the receiving end of Jesus rebuke more than the Pharisees. One of the reasons for this, I believe, was the arrogance they possessed for believing that they were right and everyone else was wrong.

The parallels to today's age is a strong one. Although all Christians are ready to admit that they were once 'a lost sinner', they honestly believe that now that they have gotten saved (which apparently happens instantaneously) they have arrived at the full truth. All that is left to do for them is memorize the dogma and doctrine of the church, and then they are free to revel in their 'enlightened' state. Christianity today is fundamentally against the 'seekers'. The church throughout history invented the "infallibility of the bible" and "infallibility of the church/pope" as a means to skirt their responsibilities as human beings. They associated the words "questioning", "doubting", and "struggling" with ones like "backsliding", "falling", and "heresy". Seekers were either persecuted heavily or killed by both the Catholics and protestants, using the word "heretic" as some kind of accuse for their bloodlust.

Underneath it all there is also a misunderstanding that comfortable Christians have as to why people need to seek at all. The prevalent belief is that the truth is very easily attainable, you just have to find the appropiate verse and your all set. Any challenge to that is taken to mean a challenge to their "truth" itself, which is why they often get hostile and start labeling people heretics. They really do not want to be shaken out of their intellectual and spiritual ignorance.

However, there is also no glory in being a seeker. Although doubt is a necessary precusor to Christianity, there is no virtue in staying in that stage for more than is needed. I am prepared to admit I am yet to move beyond being a seeker, and will most likely never move beyond it. But grace, I think, is as abundant for the lowly "seeker" than for the knight of faith.


Anonymous eddie said...

So true Tim.

Jesus took the Pharisee's to task, not because they called themselves righteous, but because they peddled their own understanding of the standard as the only measuring stick for the rest of society - thus becoming hypocrites in the process.

I think we remain "seekers" in a sense until we leave this earth. Every day is a new exploration of finding the Life of Christ within as the answer to demands of the life we should be living, and simply for what challenges just being alive presents.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart.

grace and peace

3:05 PM  
Blogger BruceA said...

I'm not convinced that this is an either/or situation. I think God expects some of us to keep asking the hard questions, living in tension between doubt and faith.

I think Job could probably be called the first seeker. He did not accept the conventional wisdom of his friends. The friends accepted the theological orthodoxy of the day, but Job was the righteous one. And yet, he had no relief until the very end of the story, and then only after God reminded him of how insignificant Job was within the big picture.

I agree with you that there is no glory in being a seeker, but I'm so sure this is something we are expected to move beyond, either.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

I think you guys are closer to the truth in that regard (remaining a seeker). I just didn't like the idea that i'll be stuck like this forever.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that no one seeks God, in the sense that they are not able to find him.

God is the one who enables us to seek him, for are we not dead in our sins, and requiring of his grace?

This blog is very encouraging, nonetheless, and you are going through many of the same questions i went/am going through.

I am in a tension between doubt and faith. I think prayer might be an answer.

"Never doubt in the darkness what was told to you in the light."

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