grease (not the musical)

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cac.org

“If we would imitate Jesus in very practical ways, the Christian religion would be made-to-order to grease the wheels of human consciousness toward love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity, and care for creation.”  Richard Rohr

Is your particular denomination, sect, or theology greasing the wheels of human consciousness?  Does your particular denomination, sect, or theology emulate the love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity and care for creation which all of your scriptures attribute to Jesus?  No?  Then how dare you affirm your interpretation of your holy writings as the inerrant and infallible word of God?

I have never been one of those “in your face” promoters of any particular faith walk.  You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?  Someone in your church, in your neighborhood, on your media screen?  My way is the only way, my way is Biblical, my way is God’s truth.  Maybe I’m describing you.

Again I say, “If your faith does not affirm Jesus (or any of the other of God’s messengers who brought us the same message) as a reservoir of love and compassion, then perhaps that faith which demands blind obedience to creeds and tenets is not genuinely Godly.  No, I’m not “in your face”, I’m simply posing a question

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

matthew 10:34

That sword of which Jesus spoke could be a reference for the need then to excise the law-ridden, hypocritical theology of the Jews.  We have the same scenario today.  Religionists who have abdicated their moral authority to celebrate equality and justice for all of God’s humanity regardless of  faith tradition, politicians who have bedded down with those religionists to rein in a sizeable voting bloc, and voters who have transgressed their profession of morality to gain political favor by electing a man who has shown absolutely no moral fiber or integrity….all are destined to fall to the sword Jesus carried into the theology foray.

No, I’m not here to be “in your face”.  Having suffered a torturous and humbling journey through the jungles of “Christian fundamentalism” and having survived that journey with a deeper and more sustaining faith than ever in my personal quest, I am here merely to ask questions.  Does your church/denomination grease the wheels of human consciousness toward love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity, and care for the creation?

rainbow-solidarity

the Sword vs ego

Jesus of Nazareth was a man depicted by the early writers of Christian scripture as peaceful, compassionate, yet revolutionary.  His followers, calling themselves “the Way”, lived communally, healed the sick, and preached love.  In today’s society they would be  labeled a band of misfits and rabble-rousers, a gang of runaways and losers.  They did not fit into the religiosity of the Jews nor the submissiveness demanded by the Romans.

The book of Matthew attributes the following words to Jesus:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace , but a sword.”  Matthew 10:34

Those who translate the Bible literally as the inerrant and infallible word of God have great difficulty explaining this “violent” Jesus who is described in other verses as “the Prince of Peace.”

We can, however, better understand this verse when studied in the context of Jesus the spiritual essence of God rather than Jesus the man.  The stories, the parables, attributed to Jesus convey a veiled spiritual axiom which is the intended message to his followers.  Others, the Romans and the Jewish elite, could not grasp the meaning because they did not see this simple, Jewish peasant as a messenger of God .  This verse of Matthew in terms of the mystic’s experience does not propose a sword to inflict physical wrath but rather a figurative sword to slash away the restraints placed by human ego upon the brotherly love and compassion inherent in the Spirit.  It is a sword of soul liberation.

Also to be considered are the meanings lost or misinterpreted  in translations.  Consider the following:

The Book of Kells, a Celtic illuminated manuscript copy of the Gospels, uses the word gaudium, meaning joy rather than gladium which means sword, rendering the verse in translation: “I came not [only] to bring peace, but joy”.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_peace,_but_a_sword