This is our truth, tell us yours
When Carter sent me the link to this piece I was expecting something slightly different. That God is in the darkness as well as the light is a huge issue for Christians, how to respond when things go wrong, in a society that sees God as a cross between a lottery win and Father Christmas is one of the questions agnostics, Christians and atheists all have to face.
However Fraser seemed not so much concerned about the fact there is darkness in the world but that there is darkness in his world. I suppose when you are white male cis middle class and privileged in just about every way possible the fact the world is not in your control is harder to contemplate, and may even be a topic you need to work through in therapy.
And the crucial point about God is that he is other. Not me. Thus Christianity is a sort of training in dependency. An acceptance that this mortal coil does not supply its own justification. Thus suicide is not just the “only serious philosophical problem”, as Camus maintained, it is the only serious theological one, too. To be or not to be is given existential torque by the sense that one’s life is suspended from an invisible thread that is fastened to a point beyond one’s comprehension or control. In other words, the centre of gravity in one’s life is seen to be outside of oneself. Hence the extreme vulnerability
Of course the black dog is no respecter of position, and Fraser’s struggles are important as the struggle of anyone is with depression. However his struggle with the idea that our lives our not in our control seems very odd for a Christian Minister. When Nietzsche criticized Christianity as the religion of slaves he saw a truth that seems to elude Fraser, although he deemed it a negative rather than a positive,
Now I of course am a submissive as well as a Christian, I understand the true freedom that comes from giving everything into the hands of another. When you indulge in things like breath play or other forms of what is termed edge play not only are you more alive, but you are freed of any concern beyond the moment. This is as much as liberation as the journey a Dom takes you on to discover who you are and what you really desire.
In faith there is a liberation too, the same freedom that I approach from another totally different aspect when I submit. Our lives do hang by a thread, are determined by something other and outside us. Accepting that, truly, does not as Neitzsche believed make us slaves but actually liberate us. Or as Christ said.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? Luke 12;24