We do not believe, “to the right,” or “left,” “in front of, “behind,” or “around.” We believe “in.” John 14:10-28 says: “Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” In John 14, Jesus, tells us that when we Believe in God, we do more than believe of God. God joins in us and we in him. We become one and dance in the greater light, the Body of Christ. We believe in God, becoming one with him, living and acting by him through him and in him.
A secular mystic and philosopher named Ludwig Wittgenstein once began his Doctoral Thesis, the Tractatus, “The world is all; that is the case.” He ends his work with the words, “My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it. He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
The essence of Wittgenstein’s work is this; If God is transcendent, he transcends language. If he transcends language, he transcends all that we can say about him. When talk about God, we come into contradictions. The Jewish community says God is One, yet he is Thirteen. This comes from Exodus 34:6-7. The Muslim community says God is One, yet he is Ninety-nine. As Christians, we believe God is One, yet he is three, the Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit.
Does this mean any of these definitions is wrong? No! It means we have transcended language. Are we wrong to transcend language? No! We are a Christian Community and as Christian Community, we must talk about the transcendent to be a community and to pass on our heritage to the next generation. Still, as we transgress the laws of language, we need to be mindful of the fact that we are doing so.
Wittgenstein tells the story of sitting in a car at sunset with his girlfriend and looking at that sunset. His girlfriend proceeded to tell him how the various kinds of dirt in the air caused the various colors in the sky. Wittgenstein replied, “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” Experiencing God is like that. Experience with the heart, and not with the mind.
True religion means passing on our heritage, which includes our understanding of the transcendent God. More important, true religion is taking time to experience that transcendent God who is far greater than our language. We experience him, not in our minds but in our hearts, and in the way we experience his presence in our everyday lives.