The need for certainty creates barriers to reality

Many people today need theological certainty
the hard edges of a bounded faith without ambiguity
the consolation of exclusive righteousness
for which to fight and maybe to die

It has always been so
always there has been the need for such unswerving faith
always examples of those who would die for their beliefs
unable to see beyond the carapace of their enclosure
to the wonder, yet uncertainty, of unbounded reality.

As past religious enthusiasm was stirred to fever pitch
for Crusaders, Dervishes, Reformers, and even Nazis;
so, today, our youth cries out in evangelical fervour,
or joins the Jihad of Islamic state.

All are blind.
Blinded by the barriers of certainty
Blinded by their need, not just for a firm foundation,
but for solid boundaries to their spiritual environment.
Yet it is on the shifting sands of non-conformity
that God leads us onward into that new life
where Jesus challenged his detractors.

We are called to seek and not to count the cost
to undermine the self-centred walls of organised religion
to topple the towers of established accepted truth
and find the way to God that Jesus pioneered
accepting that we, too, may be ambushed;
destroyed as he was in his prime.

For fuzzy edges do not conquer continents
nor uncertainty unravel the knots of fixed ideas.
In seeking truth beyond the walls of orthodoxy
the bars of conformity close behind us.
We are exposed and unprotected.

Safer indeed to burn, or hide, the holy books of heretics
to take up the gun in the holy wars of conquering truth;
with evangelical iconoclasts of given knowledge
to bloodily enforce conversions
to the God of love.


But is that really
a long-term solution?