I posted a question on my facebook page asking what does it mean to be truly human…this is not some sort of metaphoric exercise for me, it is a valid and pertinent question for my life.
The answers were fine, all shades from analytic to mystic, honestly my quest was a bit unfair in that it was like wanting something for dinner but not knowing what, just knowing what you did not want.
I suppose the monkey wrench in the whole equation is sin…sin seems to be the corrupting influence that distorts our true nature, and without even trying, our answers to the question of being fully human incorporate the fallout of living in the shadow-lands, the very fact that I have to ask this question is proof enough of sins influence…so what would humanity look like without sin?
And that leads to the bigger part of my question, I believe the cross eliminates the sin issue, cancels it out like common denominators in a math equation, but it does not solve the equation, it simply gets us back to zero…if sin is no longer powerful enough to color the question, what would I be doing today? What would my humanity look like?
God is not focused on sin, we are…His last word on it was “It is finished” and frankly He never really seems to want to talk about it with me, I’m the one obsessing over it not Him, which at times kind of freaks me out.
How would I be fully human if I had never seen or been a part of my own fallen nature…who would I look like?
Yes, Jesus…so now we have to determine if he was significantly human enough to be the standard for the rest of us…taking into consideration the virgin birth, him being a unique “only begotten” son of God…is it fair to use him as an example of humanity for the rest of us since he was not (according to orthodox theology and my own belief) born with a a fallen sin nature?…that was the entire point of the virgin birth, his paternity was not Adam.
It’s safe to assume that God understood what He was doing when he sent Jesus…and since He is perfectly just, it is also safe to assume that whatever standard Jesus sets is a fair one…but this sort of thinking presupposes that sending Jesus was about setting standards and I am beginning to entertain the notion that it never was.
Jesus came to re-establish what being fully human looks like, and by his death and resurrection he re-establishes the ability to become all we were meant to become.
My primary conclusion (which is setting the tone for my own devotional life at this point) is that being fully human means being completely free, which is something a lot of religious systems do NOT offer.
You are free just so long as you support the system, tithes, offerings, attendance, vision, whatever, as long as you fit into the machine the way others want you to, then you are a good christian and “Free to run” as the Newsboys would sing during worship time…
But I suspect this is not “human free” it is simply a substitute that feeds off your real need for identity and freedom.
The other extreme is not freedom either, to be truly free means your freedom empowers you and does not dis-empower others…to be truly human should not dehumanize others in the process…
So how much of what Jesus did was him, and how much was “other”?
Here’s a startling thought, Jesus told his disciples that if they have seen him, then they have seen the Father…that means the Father is incredibly human…and now we have waded into deep theological waters without a life jacket.
Someone posted on facebook in response that to be human was to be divine…maybe this is more accurate than we know since the Father must have very deep human characteristics…
But its not helpful.
Sorry. It just does not help me be human…at least not today.
Knowing the Father is human helps me approach Him, but it does not help me approach me…
So what does it mean to be human at this moment in the skin?
And what kind of world would it have been without Adams sin? Without my own sin?
Not looking for regrets…I’m looking for grace among the stones…
And that is another part of the question for me, “Then what?”
Suppose you get the Kingdom to show up, everyone gets healed, everyone gets restored relationally, emotionally, financially, justice is done, the land is healed…then what?
A party? Fine we have a big party as humanity…then what?
Because once the dust settles…the past is dealt with, lives are back on track, the Kingdom comes, etc…the next thing should be a revelation of what it means to be truly human…
So far no one has come close to answering this…
So what doe’s it mean to be truly human?