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Archive for October, 2009

A helpful quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together, especially after just relocating and seeking new friendships…

Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification.  It is a gift of God which we cannot claim.  Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification.  What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God.  Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature.  The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grown from day to day as God pleases.

Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.  The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ alone, the more serenely shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it. (p. 31)

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Horsetooth,

Remember our motto here: “Redemption is virtuous, but never anything more serious than that.” The word redemption, if it holds no greater meaning than it describes what happens in stories on Oprah, is empowered by measly creatures. We have done a good work in their minds having them think that redemption, salvation, and faith are nothing more than “good” virtues and not things that determine where they will spend time without end. The word reality is key here- the literality of Christ’s claims, his life, death and resurrection are allowed to be preached but only as religious ideas, symbols, or myths.

I have often said the scriptures merely symbolize an abstract and more profound significance. A significance that can positively impact humanity and work towards social justice. They do not think those good things are byproducts of something greater than themselves, but rather the means to an end: the ultimate. They are adequately tickled when they see success in our (their) world. When their “religious” models and concepts create change socially and politically, be it about gender, race or class, this pleases them. Keep them happy. Triumph in our world brings denunciation in the real one.

On a different, but equally important note: religious concepts must remain estranged from actual time and actual place. The contemplation of the actual, rough, splintery cross being stained with Christ’s dripping blood, are thoughts I never have to labor to dismiss thanks to my effort. I have never had a member of the church I have been assigned to venture to the Holy Land, because it has no meaning to them. The marvel and terror that can seize strong varmints as they speculate about which hill where Christ was crucified is something I never have to agonize about. When the historicity and authenticity of those events, that in fact happened, is denied, the guts are sucked right out of the words redemption and salvation. Better yet, the implications of the reality of the words are a non-issue in their eyes.

In our circle we have come to use the phrase “religious other,” in referring to the place these quasi-truths or philosophies are categorized in people’s minds. Our nemesis, propositional truths, we must insist belong another religious sect- a wing that is close-minded, conservative, judgmental and unloving. They think absolutes are harsh and unloving. As iron sharpens iron, playdough keeps playdough soft. Essentially they have created an idol, a cast of a god who has no wrath, only mercy, who strikes no fear, only loves, who does not condemn, only accepts.

We have said, “There is such a thing as truth, but it is relative and depends on preferences; it changes to fit the contour of each iniquitous individual.” An all-loving god is an all-condoning god. Cheer on their egocentricity. For example, remind them of what they believe: more important than learning God’s precepts and conforming to them is God wanting them to be happy with whatever they choose, not any different than a lax grandfather.

Their “truths” consist of a “combination of mood and moment, a vague, meaningless, existential experience” (Schaeffer). Seeking exotic experiences, which is what they call “truth,” through meditation is sufficient food for their emaciated souls, so do not be stingy when divvying out such occurrences.

We don’t need to stray far from the blueprint: our father first tempted them to resort to their own understanding, which leads them right to us. Teaching someone to depend on their feelings and preferences for corresponding facts, which they base their beliefs on, is key. They must continue to trust their feelings and thoughts and have confidence in their emotional responses. (This is because we control their feelings, thoughts and emotions!) As expected, their beliefs never disagree with their personal preferences- and, they mostly conflict with the Enemy’s principles.

We know, weather or not anyone acknowledges the truth, the truth does not care- it can not cease to exist. This relativism can lead to the flattery of their brothers in sin, rather than rebuking him. I love to watch this. This delight hinges on the belief that, although there all many incongruent interpretations of the scriptures, all of them are equally correct. Now this depends on the individualistic method of understanding the Enemy and his words- as if he changes to suit each person. These philosophies are as weightless as our kingdom. Unlike the true varmints who are unified by very stringent and particular doctrines, my congregation has no statements of faith, no creeds, nothing on record that holds them together, moreover, no propositional truths to hang their hats on.

Lastly, these liberal “Christians” don’t need to look to the enemy to revive them if they think the inner man does not require an alteration to be “good” enough. By consequence, they mock the atonement; the ultimate act of love. Which, ironically, is what they say they want most. They deify kindness, equality and love and, at the same time, are utterly incapable of all of them. In essence, they think filth can achieve the highest level of goodness and godliness. Advance an optimistic view in the future of mankind. The measure of how much they love becomes the standard. They put the bar as low as they need to make it over. They would never guess such a valiant effort will collapse and crush them. It will crush them as the Christ was, yet they will have no faultless life to fall back on.

Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Kindred Spirits, Devil’s Brush

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