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Posts Tagged ‘Change’

A New Name

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment

It may seem a bit silly and even a bit moot, but I’ve decided to move my blog to be hosted under another name. There are several reasons for doing so, far to complicated to explain at the moment (as complicated as blogging really is…), so I’ll postpone that discussion.

However, I will say this. First impressions are unfortunately a big deal. Wish it wasn’t so, but too often we don’t give people a chance because our first impression was sour.

Needless to say, right now, at this point in my life, I need a description that’s a little more all encompassing. I’ve done a little tweaking in the past months to play with the name of my blog, but the url remains the same. So, I’m changing that, at least for the time being. For those of you who keep up semi-regularly, you can find the new blog by clicking here. You’ll notice the same look, just a different url and name. Hopefully it sparks interest and/or discussion. But as of right now, it is a much more fitting description of my character, passion and desires.

At the new place, I’ll probably be exploring a much more intentional, integrative, and holistic life with the divine and how I am learning to and hoping to live with a goal of sustainability and justice across the spectrum of life.

I hope you take the time to participate in the conversation, journey with me and enjoy what life has to offer!

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Truth and Anger

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m currently reading a thoughtfully provocative book.  There is so much in the book I find so interesting that I’m finding it difficult narrowing down any coherent thoughts.  Having said that, I found this quote to be particularly interesting.

Anger has always marked the religious establishment.  This is why so many Christian leaders historically have justified such things as the stifling of debate with ex cathedra pronouncements, the persecutions of dissenters, the excommunication of nonconformists, the execution of heretics, and the engagement in religious wars.  This is also why anger is just beneath the surface of organized religion in almost every one of its Western manifestations… Anger lies underneath the glee expressed by the preachers of Christian history when they assign unbelievers to hell.  Anger is the reason why many religious people act as if they will not enjoy the bliss of heaven if they are not simultaneously allowed to view those not so fortunate writhing before their eyes in the fires of hell.  Anger is the reason why the Church throughout its history kept writing creed after creed to clarify just who is in and who is out of this religious enterprise so that religious people who know who their enemies were and could act appropriately against them.

I find this particularly interesting because we can deny and justify anger all day long, but if we are to be people who honestly look in the mirror and see an accurate reflection of ourselves, we’ve got to realize this is so very true for many of us.  And not just the issue of anger that is boiling beneath the surface, but the deeper rooted problems it brings to the surface.

One of those issues being that anger seems more often than not to be the engine for our pride in which we claim to be right, holding onto absolute truth, yet refusing to allow that truth to hold it’s own in the public arena.  Yet when questions are raised concerning those things we have barricaded in as untouchables, we get defensive and often hostile.  And as much as I really dislike Freud, I agree with him when he said, “Real truth, does not need to be surrounded by such impenetrable barriers.  Truth in its objective form can win in debate in the public arena.”

Now, I’m not going to identify any of those truths, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.  But, I will offer this clue.  The truths most in need of discussion in the public debate are probably those that we religious folks hold onto most tightly.  Hold that thought up against the previous arguments about anger, and we start to see the relationship between the two.

My concluding thought then continues as follows: why do we insist on reacting to the changes and challenges of our world via an angry, hostile defensive posture?   Why must we claim absolute knowledge in certain subjects yet refuse to allow them to be brought into public discussion.  Why has the history of organized religion been based primarily on anger, fear and hostility to “get people to think like us?”

I’m not sure if I’m okay with that.  There seems to be a rather large chasm between our lifestyle and Jesus’.  Just something to think about.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , , , ,

A Letter

June 9, 2009 2 comments

Unfortunately, for the first time in my life, that I can remember, I’ve taken an opportunity to educate myself, though not very thoroughly, about the “other side of the issue.”  For far too long, people claiming to be followers of Christ, myself included, have been, for lack of a better term, slinging mud on anyone who is not “in” with Jesus.  I have little experience with debating, but I’m pretty sure that it is foolish to enter a debate without sufficient information from both sides of the issue.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about in a very narrow sense, the idea is such that, anyone outside the Churches of Christ is hell-bound, and in a broader scope, those without any kind of Christian affiliation suffer the same plight.  And those of us who are the religious elite, somewhere along the line, decided that the way of Christ is one in which we are obliged to sling mud at those who deny God completely, while at the same time firing religious, doctrinally charged bombs at anyone who doesn’t do the right things.

There have been two books that I’ve read in the past few weeks that had a massive impact on the very foundations of “how I’ve always done things.”  The first, A New Kind of Christian has affirmed the questions I’ve had for several years in that those of us who are seriously committed to following Christ must do things differently.  The old, established saying, “It’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t fly in my book.  At some point we’ve got to get our heads out of the sand and realize we are the ones standing in the way of people knowing  who the true Christ is.  His love hasn’t been able to break through our dogmas and piety.  Sam Harris’ book, Letter to a Christian Nation was a sobering read in that arena.

The summary:  I’m done slinging mud.  I think it’s a waste of time to drag other people, groups, religions, whatever you’d like to call it, just so I look a little bit better or gain some sort of higher ground.  I am a follower of Jesus Christ.  One of his central teachings is that he came to serve and not be served.  What that means for me; I will not longer bash my religious (any and all religious affiliations) brothers and sisters for the ways in which they’re wrong and I’m right.  I will also no longer bash my non-religious (agnostics, atheists, etc.) brothers and sisters for their denial of a being of whom I have no way of factually proving his existence.

Now, I move to the steps I will take in an effort to be an agent of change here and now.  With every fiber of my being, I desire to stand against injustice.  I will engage in relationship with all who are willing.  My goal is not to proselytize, rather, befriend.  I think a language we all can speak is one of friendship.  We all need good, authentic friends and that translates across all racial, economic, religious and non-religious boundaries.  I vow to be totally different.  I will continue to follow Christ in as best as this mortal body allows and I will not allow my “religious convictions” to be a conductor of human suffering.

This, is a conversation that will continue and I would love to begin to open up those lines as an agent of change, a new way of living, bringing a new and better life for everyone, not in the distant future, but right here, right now.