Monday, January 4, 2010
Who Am I as an MCC PAD?" by Rev. Dr. William Knight
The power of definition lies in its ability to prescribe and describe
parameters that are identifiable and understandable. The danger of
definition lies in limitation and restriction. Any attempt to define
carries with it the implicit assumption that the definition tells the
whole story. Of course, this is an impossibility. There are an
infinite number of definitions that apply to the infinite number of
individuals being defined. Since the question was asked of me, I can
only respond from the reality of my experience and my understanding.
My reality is shaped and given expression by my faith in God and also
by the human vessel that has discovered and embraced that faith. The
facts of my maleness and my Blackness are both central to my being and
non-negotiable. My identity, however, must recognize, honor, include
and then transcend those descriptions.
While I have had the experience of growing up in a nation that has
historically imposed unreasonable, unloving and unhealthy restrictions
upon those of African descent, especially those who express as males, I
cannot and must not allow myself to be defined by anything less than
the Word of God.
The Word of God says that I am and all of my brothers and sisters are
made in the image and after the likeness of God. This is the core of
who I am as a member of MCC. This absolute foundation of oneness with
all of God's children demands that I celebrate the God presence within
the incredible variety and complexity of God's people. It demands that
I acknowledge the indisputable truth that while there are diverse and
vastly different paths that lead to God, there is but one God.
That God, for me, is Omnipresence - Everywhere, evenly, equally
present: Omnipotence - All of the power in the Universe: Omniscience
- All of the knowledge, wisdom and understanding including that which
is yet to be discovered and/or revealed in the future. This is the God
of Christ Jesus who gave us the Great Commandment that we must love God
with all of our hearts, minds and strength and the second that we must
love our neighbor as ourselves.
As an MCC PAD I cannot and must not give in to the temptation to engage
in exclusion or exclusivity based on my personal experience or my
personal comfort zone. If I am to be known as a disciple of Christ
Jesus I am required to love all of God's children without exception.
This love cannot flow from an external demand but from an understanding
heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for all that God has
given each of us. This love has been called "radically inclusive"
because it represents a call for change - change in the way that we
think about ourselves and others; change in the way that we speak about
ourselves and others; change in the way that we feel about ourselves
and others; change in the way that we act and react both internally
and in the world.
As an MCC PAD I am called to model, demonstrate and teach a practical
approach to God that embraces and celebrates all those seeking to know,
understand and experience God's radically inclusive love.
Rev. Dr. William Knight