Perhaps that is how we should pray.
Why not quote the Bible?
This is not a blog. This is a hand out. Christianity is personal. Religion seems to think it owns Christianity. How could that be? Christianity is living in a way consistent with your relationship with Christ. It just seems that a lot of folks don't abide by a church's notion of Christianity. Well see if some of this rings true with you. Point blank fact: Most Christians do not attend "church" regularly. Or let me put it this way. Think of my example as a license for you to make your example of Christianity.
It just is not necessary to quote the Bible. When someone needs to quote the Bible to state their case it is not their case but the Bible's. Does that sound all wonky to you? Here is how it goes. You read the Bible and then the Bible is in you. Yes I believe in a Holy Spirit. And I believe it when we say it is in us. And I believe Jesus when he told the boys not to worry ahead of time what to say it will come.
Here are some examples that maybe you can relate to. God is Love. Love your neighbor as yourself. How easy to love those who show us love, the treasure is in loving the others. We all have thorns in our flesh, it helps keep us humble. If you ain't got no sin throw stones at sinners. Confessing our wrongs to ourselves and another is good stuff for our souls. Sitting quietly is good for you. What you eat may make your body sick, but what you say can make you really sick.
Now you know good and well I could look those up and quote them and cite them. What favor have I done myself and you by being a parrot? I have never been in a school where exactly repeating what was in the book got you an A on a test. Psychopaths can memorize and regurgitate.
Think of it this way. A wilderness guide teaches you how to follow a certain path. Does that mean you can go hiking all by yourself simply repeating what he told you when you are on your own path? Proper application of principles means getting the concept down not a formula.
My kind of hymn
Should we follow the road most taken?
Sorry about that vengeful stuff
I don't buy into it. I am a child of God. I would do nothing vengeful against my children. There has to be other reasonable explanations for why all that vengeful stuff is in the Bible. Rivers of hellfire and brimstone just make no sense being placed up against the clear teaching that if you know love you know God. So here is where that stuff fits for me. I believe in hell on earth. Of my own doing I have been there. A part of that hell never really leaves us completely, hence burn in hell for eternity. A wise man once said. Religion is for folks afraid of going to hell, a relationship with Christ is for those who have already been there.
I am a sinner. I am not going to some fiery place. Why? because I am loved by Christ. That is not at all convoluted. So why avoid sin and forgive those who do against you. Here is my answer; most people do not want to hurt other people. It is just the way 99% of us were made. It is not in our nature to want to sin.
Here is an easy one. Saul is persecuting Christians in horrible ways. He has an encounter with God. So he stops persecuting Christians. Was he bribed? Was he persuaded by outstanding arguments? Miracles do not persuade people much, they did not persuade the Jews not to kill Jesus. Promise of power. Trying to get back at the Jews? Nope to all of them. Deep inside he wanted to do good, when given a choice he took good over evil. If you were a psychopath and wanted to kill, the Bible would not change your mind. If you are already good the Bible does not make you better. But living in love does.
This is how someone thinks. Don't look at me to pass judgment. I enjoy diversity of faith.
Okay, I admit it, thoughts like these cross my mind.
Most of this can be laid at the feet of some council in Nicea. Well I also like the Nicene creed. I spent years studying it. Sects of Christians argue and change it around in order to fit theology of men. Consubstantial is a cool word. Separate yet the same. Wow that is a sack of lightning and thunder to get your head around. So I don't really go in for any group's interpretation. I know that we did not come from nothing, so there must be a God. I know that a man who was clearly God based on his love for us walked with us and taught us. And I know that sometimes I am filled with a spirit that just can't be anything but a loving God manifest in me. But they are all made up of Love.
Can it really be that simple? Why not and try it you might like it. But don't forget that great saying "a Holy Mystery", that is just a perfect way to explain greatness that we cannot explain. And man being loved by three in one is very great.
Yes I get the scientific explanation but not the awe.
A bit about the author if you are confused
I can say with no doubt that I have attended and worshiped over 100 times in each of these groups church services. Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Catholic. I have physically preached over 100 sermons. I have a degree in philosophy. I married a Buddhist now a Russian Orthodox Catholic. I grew up with Navajo and Hopi culture. And two of my siblings are atheists, two are nontheists and two Christians. All three of my adult children are non-church going Christians. I cannot remember ever not knowing I was loved by Jesus. And I was once a member of the Order of St. Luke and a member of Cursillo. I have never been paid for any of my involvement.
So that is it for now.
Perhaps if comments spark a reason I will write about more things like: Communion, Confession, Baptism or even best Bible quotes or about Paul and the whole "Pauline dislike". I would like to talk more about the Gnostic's and Agnostics And I just love comparative religion from the perspective of one love. Universal-ism is fascinating. And I love talking about things like "is it possible that when Jesus miraculously fed so many it was really just the miracle that people pulled out their hidden stashes and shared?"
So leave a comment. Normally we say not to leave a rude and nasty obnoxious comment but maybe you feel a need to. Maybe I offended you, sorry, let me know.
Let me end with a prayer. God let us know your love so well that we pass it on.