Pereginatio’s post on Stringfellow’s writing about Powers and Principalities has me thinking today. In my church experience, we usually name the beliefs and institutions of the “other” as powers or principalities. Stringfellow pointing out that the term should/does apply to our own institutions and systems as well could be seen as accusatory. I believe it is liberating.
I am part of so many religious conversations that become and remain focused on names. ‘Oh, you seem to be quoting from _____’ ‘I didn’t know you were part of the _____.’ ‘You are speaking like a ______.’
When we focus on the names of our groups and influences, it so often becomes part of the division and brokeness. Or, we focus on what name the ‘other’ uses for God. So often we have fallen back on, labeling others based on their calling God — Allah or Jehovah, Tao or Great Spirit, Shiva (different I know but fits the point) or Krishna, Unknowable or NonExistant. If all of the ones that identify us as _______s are grouped with the rest of the earthly powers, it frees me to ask different kinds of questions.
What name is God calling out to me? In this season of waiting, what name will God call when running down the road to welcome you? Those are holy names. peace