I am in total agreement with you, although I am not familiar with
Leonardo Boff's works. Religion is meant to liberate, not to
subjugate. The Bible is meant to illumine our individual paths, not
to be bashed over other people's heads. Church is meant to create a
community of faith, love, understanding and outreach, not become a
pulpit for a narrow political agenda.
I liked your quote from Leonardo Boff. You may also enjoy this
similar quote from Mary Baker Eddy:
"The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we
love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old
selfishness, satisfied that we have prayed for something better,
though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living
consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to
kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless them
that curse us; but we shall never meet this great duty simply by
asking that it may be done. There is a cross to be taken up before we
can enjoy the fruition of our hope and faith." (Science and Health p.
In regard to your clipping from the Associated Press, you may find
the following recent news from my neck of the woods (Toronto)
encouraging as well. A month or two ago a gay high school student
from a Catholic (private religious) School took his school board to
court because they refused him to bring his boyfriend to the High
School Prom. The Prom was just yesterday, Friday. The judge issued a
temporary restraining order yesterday against the board which
effectively allowed this person to bring his boyfriend to the dance.
I think this was a great victory for human rights. Although I don't
agree with the homosexual lifestyle, I don't think anyone has the
right to dictate what other people do with their private lives,
unless it is something criminal. There is nothing criminal with being
gay. As Rousseau or Voltaire ? said, I disagree with your viewpoint,
but I will defend to the death your right to exercise it.
To be a liberal Christian is to understand and practice what Paul
meant when he said, 'Work out your own salvation with fear and
trembling' . This has been modified over time to become the present
saying 'Live, and let live'. I think too many self proclaimed
'Christians' feel they have the moral authority to dictate how other
people should act. Christ said, when confronted by the pharisees as
he dined with the publicans and sinners, 'They that be whole need not
a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that
meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to
call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.' (Matt (12,13).
And of course, your reference to Micah 6:8 is a wonderful instruction.
I would say to those Christians who feel besieged and threatened by
'liberal' ideology, to let go of any resentment, animosity or ill
will and 'rather, let it be healed'. God cares for all His creation
and you can trust God to fully care for each of His individual
children. He will do it and it is not your responsibility or right to
impose your conception of God's will on other people. Look after your
own house, and see that it is in order, and don't be so quick to
judge, for 'he that judgeth, himself also will be judged'. In other
words, Let God be God, He is in charge and He will bring all His
children back into the fold through His son, Christ Jesus. Christ is
the shepherd, not you. Let him lead his flock, and he will seek out
all that are lost and bring them back into the fold in due time. Our
individual duty as Christians and followers of Christ, is to 'work
out our own salvation', to be a light and example unto those who we
would want to save also, by saving ourselves!
All you are doing by moralising and condemning others is hindering
Christs' true mission (and your own as his disciple) to 'have mercy,
and not sacrifice', because you are seeking sacrifice, not mercy.
OK, that's my piece for now.
On Fri, 10 May 2002 15:34:02 John W Burgeson wrote: > >I heard Rush Limbaugh the other day tell his audience what a "liberal" >was. > >I did not recognize myself, or anyone I know, in his rantings. > >What do YOU think a liberal thinks? Narrow it down -- a liberal >Christian. > >I'll give you a start. Micah 6:8 is pretty important. Madison's "Memorial >and Remonstrance" is pretty important. The Bill of Rights, particularly >Amendment #1. > >In no particular order: > >Free speech >Religion free from government interference, either positive or negative. >Against any law that inserts a grim faced man in a blue suit with a large >gun into a doctor's office. In other words, pro-choice -- but NOT >pro-abortion. >Anti-racist in a wide meaning of that term. See all humanity as equal >before God. > People of color have equal standing > Women have equal standing > People with different sexual preferences have equal standing >See diversity as a "good thing." >Honor those of a different religious persuasion. >Honor those with no religious persuasion. >See Christianity as primarily a confessional, not a prescriptive >religion. >Subscribe, to a more or less extent, to Leonardo Boff's observation: > >One of Boff's most powerful books is Way of the Cross -- Way of Justice >(Orbis, 1980) Written in blank verse, it is a series of meditations on >the stations of the cross, a traditional exercise of individualistic >Catholic piety that Boff transforms into a communal exercise as well. He >effects this transformation by offering meditations on each of the >"stations" of Jesus' original journey along the Via Dolorosa, all of >which are followed by second meditations reflecting on the meaning of the >station for Jesus followers in today's world. The practice exemplifies >Boff's conviction that theology must have "two eyes," one looking to the >past "where salvation broke in" and the other looking toward the present >"where salvation becomes a reality here and now." The "way of the cross" >focuses on the historical Jesus, but the "way of justice" focuses "on the >Christ of faith who continues his passion today in his brothers and >sisters who are being condemned, tortured and killed for the cause of >justice" (p. viii) The parallels between what Jesus suffered then and >what his followers suffer today are acute and heartrending. The book has >intense power, and will surely become one of the spiritual classics of >our time. Boff writes: > >"The eternal destiny of human beings will be measured by how much or how >little solidarity we have displayed with the hungry, the thirsty, the >naked and the oppressed. In the end, we will be judged in terms of love." > >This liberal has that motto taped to his PC monitor. > >Finally, the following good news came to me today from a fellow liberal: > >> Dallas City Council Approves Anti-Discrimination Ordinance >> The Associated Press, May 8, 2002 >> DALLAS - The Dallas City Council on Wednesday adopted an ordinance >> that prohibits discrimination against gays and lesbians in employment, >> housing and in public places such as hotels and restaurants. >> The council voted 13-2 for the measure, which was pledged on the >> campaign trail by new Mayor Laura Miller. Violation of the ordinance >> will result in fines up to $500. >> "Let us walk out of the shadow of intolerance and bigotry and into the >> sunshine of human rights," Councilman John Loza said. >> The two councilmen who opposed the ordinance, Alan Walne and Mitchell >> Rasansky, said it would be too expensive for the city to enforce in an >> already tight budget year. Resansky also said the measure could be too >> expensive for small businesses. >> The ordinance exempts employers with less than 15 workers, and >> proponents said it would cost only $15,000 in money that's not already >> budgeted. >> American Airlines executive Donald J. Carty spoke in favor of the >> ordinance and said the Fort Worth-based carrier has adopted a similar >> policy for its workers. >> "The true strength of our city lies in our diversity," he said. >> The Rev. Flip Benham, director of the Dallas-based anti-abortion group >> Operation Save America, spoke against the measure. >> "It's a travesty that breaks my heart," he said. "The city hall has >> declared itself as God. It's a direct attack on the word of God." >> >This person sees no attack on the word of God. Except, perhaps, by Flip >Benham. > >Your mileage may differ. > >John Burgeson (Burgy) > >http://www.burgy.50megs.com > (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics, > humor, cars, philosophy and much more) > >
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