Archive for April, 2016

A Real Way to Be Good

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

A clue to what being good is. Living as if the Gospel were true.

In the first Letter of Peter it says:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By
his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living
hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable,
undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”

I have long thought that the response to the Resurrection,
to our salvation through the Easter event, is to live into it. By this I mean just to live as if the Gospel were true. I think this is what the first generations of Christians did. I think it was this behavior that got them into such trouble. They were not fitting in. They didn’t fit into anybody’s categories. Most of all, they refused to worship the Emperor, their civic duty. Paul in one place says that we are citizens of heaven. Tell that to the tax authorities. They came across as resisters. The martyrs suffered such abuse and torture because they knew another world in which they had lived and would continue to live.

And what can we do to just live the gospel as if it were

Doubt and Faith

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

This morning at our bible study I hit a crux of doubtand faith. We
somehow got into talking about forced busing in schools. Several people had been school teachers and deplored the effects on their teaching. We marveled how an attempt to do good had backfired. I used to call this, The Helping Hand Strikes Again. Then we got into discussing life as Christians. We had a reading about our saint of the day, Henri Perrin, who had founded the Worker Priest movement. He was a priest and evangelist among factory workers. I pointed out that I work at a Kroger, so in a way I am a worker priest. I am not out of the closet as a priest but if I were, how could I evangelize.I suggested we are all worker Christians and our primary call in lay ministry was there. But I wondered how that would work in systems that prevented us from being as Christian as we could be, living as Jesus had lived. One of the others volunteered that we just had to be nice to people and they would get the picture. this raised some doubt in me that others would actually get it about the sources of our behavior. I thought it was utopian.

But another larger doubt struck me. What would Dorothy Day or William Stringfellow have said about just being nice. What about people whose work caught them in the toils of the principalities and powers? Don’t the things that dehumanize and disempower us need to be rebuked and resisted. The term “factory hand” has always struck me. Only a hand, not a whole person. And what about the pursuit of profit at the cost of other humans’ needs. How does just being nice work with those systems?

Advice to Early Christians

Monday, April 11th, 2016

I was reading Morning Prayer and this week the letters of Peter. I realized that these letters advise Christians on how to live peaceably inb the pagan Roman Empire, like accepting slavery etc.

But what have these to do with us? Well maybe we live in the empire of an oligarchy of unchristian behavior. How then shall we live in these our days?