In the past couple of years I’ve been referring to myself in a cheeky-but-earnest way as an “opti-mystic friend of Jesus.” It’s my Religious Views affiliation on my Facebook and the tagline on this here blog. Every now and then I get people who ask me just what on earth this means (and they’re always Calvinists who ask, God love ’em). Sometimes the question is loaded with hostility, other times curiosity. Either way, here’s my response:
It’s a Christian…maybe. Or maybe that monicker has worn too deeply into our mental categories so that it’s shorthand for something meaningless to faithful and infidel alike.
The first being optimistic as opposed to pessimistic; to me the glass of God’s grace is overflowing. Rooted in resurrection and fulfilled eschatological hope.
mystic being (for my purposes) one who lives by the life of Another; animated by Holy Spirit and a God who is within, around, and permeating all existence.
friend listener, loyal, confidant. Willing to throw ones lot in with. Not a servant, but not someone who disregards service either.
of Jesus What is there to say about this man, this anointed one? Palestinian revolutionary peasant. Harbinger of God’s Renewed Order. Emmanuel–God with us, the government resting upon his shoulders. State-sponsored torture victim. Second person of the Trinity. Nonviolent victor over the Powers that Be. Bearer of Father’s true disposition for humanity and the cosmos.