Swords or Plowshares?

by MW Cook

Good or bad, small or big, all depending on your point of view.
Or, perhaps more pointedly put, depending on your view of the point.
The point!
The point!
What is the point?
A statement usually uttered in the dark depths of despair, never really expecting an answer to reach that far down into Shadow’s lair.
But my cry is not hopeless or thoughtless or a cry for attention. I want the point, no matter it’s sharpness.
The greatest of men once called only a few things important, and maybe just one. So what is the one? What’s the point?
What is the true dogma?
What is the true doctrine?
Wherein lies that romantic orthodoxy?
Is it not to live life as Christ’s proxy?
Surely life as a proxy outweighs popular orthodoxy.

This insight just might tell me there’s no need to fight over who’s wrong or right in this plight.
For I say and confess that dogma is less than the over-all stress of Christ to clean the mess of this world and our souls.
So why should I complain when you say it is plain that Saviour’s campaign in his battle with pain was to sustain and maintain a healthy dogma?
For that’s a doctrine and my thoughts make another. And I’ve already established that doctrine is secondary.

Ah! But wait!
I suddenly fear a fight must ensue.
For your doctrine dictates your life.
And when your doctrine holds itself in its own high esteem the outcome borders obscene.
Ivory towers with puzzle doors, the residents within claiming to have food but will not open their gates except to those whose poor tongues can utter ‘Shibboleth’
Ivory towers stand in the land of famine, claiming to burst with true mana. But the gates are locked and the password is Shibboleth and most in that land cannot manage the post-alveolar fricative – SHHHHH.

When dogma preaches out that doctrine has the clout to show who is in or out of the kingdom of Christ, then your disciples will flout everyone who is without as they sit and tout their books and their preachings.
And those towers of ivory will forever be empty of everything good, except for the slaves and sermons and books and matrices.

So what do we do, who stand at the base of the beast and look within, after knowing that there is no food to be had?
We leave and find Him who feeds.
And what of the crowd, growing ever so loud, demanding to be let in so they can freely starve with the keyless gatekeepers? Must their lives become ash? Must the monks in the tower perish without the power they claim to wield over the elements?
Or must that tower be burned?

I have two objects before me. Both pregnant with power. In my one hand I have a plow, the likes of which can wound the earth so that it gives birth to those things that nourish and cure and enrich.
Shall I use it?
In my one hand I have a sword, which I may turn upon that tower, standing tall with all the pride and beauty of ancient Babel. This sword can chip and slash and bite and gnash away at the tower, so full of power, that mayhap it will crack and the monks will see the attack and realize they lack whatever it was they were searching for. And maybe they’d leave that tower of sin and begin to take part in the noble plowing.
A sword and a plow, which one ought I use now?
Can I hold them both here at once?