As adults we often don’t realize just how many of our decisions are based on similar attempts at fitting in, at defining our identity, at finding our role within our social context. Did I come to this church because it provides the best theological teaching, or because it offers the best programs, or the best adult groups? Did I take this job because I love doing it, or because this type of job pays more money than one that I love to do – and by extrapolation, more money will allow me to get what I really crave?
So, to me, for someone to say that they are “spiritual, but not religious,” means that they are saying something to the effect of “I’m a human being.”
Of course, I’m being deliberately obtuse with my own question, because what people generally want to convey with that statement is that they simply do not subscribe to any form of organized religion, and prefer to find their own method of making sense of the world; that they do not find any meaning in the structures others have created, but prefer to create their own order within the chaos.
It is entirely possible to do the will of the Father without being moved by what we are doing. We can follow all the requirements of a good and just society, without caring about the interests of others. We can do all of these things, but care only about looking good, which is precisely the opposite of what Paul was asking of the believers in Philippi.
Instead of responding to their question, Jesus begins to write in the dirt, and finally says, “Let anyone of you here who is without sin, throw the first stone at her.” And then he keeps writing.
Slowly, one by one, from the oldest first to the younger, all begin to walk away.
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are notRead More…
There can never be a beloved community – a community that includes all God’s children regardless of any self-imposed differences to keep ourselves apart – there can be no peace, no living together in harmony, unless there is forgiveness and understanding.
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed toRead More…
hat’s more, Paul goes on to say, in the freedom that Christ’s death and resurrection had brought to them, upholding the rules and regulations really meant nothing. In Christ, the only thing that mattered was “faith working through love.” Paul then goes on in the next several verses to explain that the only real thing that matters is fulfilling the law by Loving your neighbor as yourself.
“Thoughts and prayers.” If ever there was a heaping up of empty phrases, these three words after every major mass shooting in this country would win the prize for most overused phrase with the most under-whelming effect. “Thoughts and prayers” mean nothing when they do not move people to affect real and lasting change.
Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, will you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman andRead More…