experience and observation has taught me most christians are likely to be like the rich man in the temple saying thank you G-d that i am not a sinner like this man
So true. It's how some make themselves feel better about their own sin. They can say - I may have lied today, cheated on my tax returns and acted rudely to every sales clerk I can across, but at least I'm not a homeless drug addict, prostitute, homosexual or other abhorrent person, so I must be doing pretty good, right? It's a horrible attitude for sure.
@ Peter -- In the E. Orthodox tradition (of which I'm now a part), the prayer of the "publican" in the Temple *drenches* the Liturgy: "Have mercy on me a sinner ... Lord have mercy ... sinners, of which I am first [this last one said by everyone in unison just before Eucharist]" etc. I agree with your observation, and find *some* "solace" -- if that's the word -- that my tradition struggles hard against the presumptions of the rich man. Of course, what goes on inside each of us ...well, dunno that one.
Are we not the rich man? After all, most Americans (myself among them) are richer than 97% of the rest of the world.
Perhaps at our best, this is true. Would that we were at our best more often.
I think Stephen Colbert aptly put, "“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.”
I wonder if we have to remind ourselves what terrible sinners we are all the time....
sin is not the beginning or the end of the story :)
I use the prayer; Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, a sinner, saved by grace.
It really inspires me to look at all people with that grace and mercy...yet sometimes I find myself thinking 'thank God, I'm not like the rich man' then remember, oh, I am!
...Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a....
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." ~ Ghandi
I'm trying, brother. I'm trying.
I grew up in Europe in an agnostic home, became a Christian later due to a spiritual experiene with Jesus when a was a child. I "looked into" several religions for many years, my husband and I are also confirmed Baha'is (a religion I was somewhat exposed to as a child). We are also members of a "progressive" Christian Church (United Church of Christ). So as an "Interfaith person" who grew up in a different country than the US, I'd like to share my observation: Many "progressive" Christians are extremely judgemental (yes, what happens to tolerance?) of their Christian "conservative" brothers and sisters. I think it is a shame for both sides to judge each other so harshly. I don't think Christ is thrilled with either the "right" or the "left" being on each other's throat (metaphorically speaking). Having had some exposure to the Moslem, Hindu and Jewish culture/religion, I think that ALL religions have fallen short of their founder's calling though some maybe more than others. Let's not forget that when it comes to feeding and helping the hungry and needy here in he US and abroad there are many fundamentalist churches doing what Christ called us to do. Actually the fact is that most charities are faith based AND please check this out: The majority of world wide charities are NOT by "liberal/progressive" Christians. We are good at lip service but have not been doing a whole lot more than the "fundamentalist" Christians. Actually world wide including in South America and Africa etc, "born again" Christians are the most dedicated groups of people to the poor and homeless. Open your mind and check out that fact. I personally DO NOT believe in the conservative "salvation through Jesus only" doctrines, to the contrary, I am probably more inter faith minded than most Christians on "the left". But lets not think of ourselves as "superior" or make condescending remarks about our fellow human beings. Constructive and challenging criticism done in love is always a good thing, especially if we are also receptive to it ourselves. Many people have not yet managed to evolve in their thinking past what they have been taught by their culture or religion, notwithstanding many of them have caring and compassionate hearts. God judges our hearts, even if "intellectually we don't get it" or falsely buy into deceptions and lies so freely provided for in our cultures, politics and places of worship. When I was younger I was helped and loved by extreme fundamentalists (United Pentecostal), I was being stalked by a man and in a very dangerous situation. My room mate was a member of this church had me meet her pastor who arranged for a family in San Diego to take me and my little boy into their home until I was able to resettle. Their love and care was admirable even though I never dressed like or conformed to their ways.There are good and caring souls on both sides of the spectrum between the "right" and the "left".
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