If you are going to be excluded, it will be your choice.
A fundamental image of God’s Kingdom on this earth is the boundaries of human cooperation. I keep harping on how we are wired to be tribal, that the family feel under Eastern feudalism is the very breath of holiness and shalom in this life. So we can’t easily describe the boundaries that will keep one person or another from feeling at home, but it will surely register in the convictions just how deeply you will want to be involved. Nor is it static, but a living thing where your sense of inclusion waxes and wanes. That’s all normal and right.
Kiln of the Soul is our parish, our close-knit virtual family in the Spirit. We share a lot of things that most readers can’t absorb easily. Indeed, if you could see over my shoulder and read some of the chatter behind the scenes, you would sense we are just a dozen or so at any given time who are actively involved. There are another dozen or so silent followers who genuinely love what we do, to the point they could support almost everything we promote.
But in a much broader sense, we try to publish our faith under the heading of Radix Fidem. You can embrace the principles of that little pamphlet and still not feel at home with our cozy Kiln parish. So you might feel you understand heart-led living but not find our specific choices easy to like. You can embrace Radix Fidem as an approach to forming your religion without sitting outside and conversing with trees and birds, but us Kiln parishioners all do that. It’s not a requirement; it’s more like a trademark. It’s the kind of thing we talk about often and take quite seriously. Radix Fidem doesn’t require that, only indicates it broadly.
So you can be totally cerebral and decide that Radix Fidem is right, but without that full heart-led awareness, the Kiln fellowship will be tough to handle. And hanging out with us here on this blog, as well as following the Kiln blog, is really your call. The active volunteers are trying to do several things at once. We are trying to maintain a close virtual communion with each other, and always eager for more folks who can handle it. We are also aware that what we do is not for everyone. And we know that established religion itself is quite a boondoggle, as it has been for each of us, but not everyone belongs to our little household of faith. Nor should they, so we try to offer some wider principles on how to approach religion.
Radix Fidem will help you discover the power of conviction in the heart, but it won’t give you much practical guidance in using it. That requires coming close to other folks who use it. You have to experience it with us to discover how it works for you. It’s caught, not taught.
So here’s a parable: Radix Fidem is the territory, the way you can find us. To actually live inside the walled city, you have to join the covenant family of Kiln. You can also camp outside as a welcome ally. The walls aren’t made of stone, but of experiential moral truth. They are not cerebral or conceptual. They are formed by our love for each other as tested and tried in the fire of human sorrow. We stand ready to walk with each other through our personal hells. I don’t stand in the center dispensing truth; I’ve been helped through my own internal vales of death. But I am the head of the household in the bonds of moral affinity. To really join Kiln requires that you embrace the discipline of moral duty to the covenant that holds us together. You have to find a way to lovingly embrace everyone already here. Meanwhile, nothing keeps you from forming your own household and walled city in the territory of Radix Fidem.
You can be as close to us as you like.