Icy Comet NEAT

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Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations

Seven Underlying Themes of Richard Rohr's Teachings

Fourth Theme: Everything belongs and no one needs to be scapegoated or excluded. Evil and illusion only need to be named and exposed truthfully, and they die in exposure to the light (Ecumenism).

Sunday, June 16, 2013
Father's Day

“New Fundamentals” Are a
Contradiction in Terms

Meditation 12 of 52

In recent years and elections one would have thought that homosexuality and abortion were the new litmus tests of authentic Christianity. Where did this come from? They never were the criteria of proper membership for the first 2000 years, but reflect very recent culture wars instead. And largely from people who think of themselves as “traditionalists”! (The fundamentals were already resolved in the early Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. Note that none of the core beliefs are about morality at all. The Creeds are more mystical, cosmological, and about aligning our lives inside of a huge sacred story.) When you lose the great mystical level of religion, you always become moralistic about this or that as a cheap substitute. It gives you a false sense of being on higher spiritual ground than others.

Jesus is clearly much more concerned about issues of pride, injustice, hypocrisy, blindness, and what I have often called “The Three Ps” of power, prestige, and possessions, which are probably 95 percent of Jesus’ written teaching. We conveniently ignore this 95 percent to concentrate on a morality that usually has to do with human embodiment. That’s where people get righteous, judgmental, and upset, for some reason. The body seems to be where we carry our sense of shame and inferiority, and early-stage religion has never gotten much beyond these “pelvic” issues. As Jesus put it, “You ignore the weightier matters of the law—justice, mercy, and good faith . . . and instead you strain out gnats and swallow camels” (Matthew 23:23-24). We worry about what people are doing in bed much more than making sure everybody has a bed to begin with. There certainly is a need for a life-giving sexual morality, and true pro-life morality, but one could sincerely question whether Christian nations and people have found it yet.

Christianity will regain its moral authority when it starts emphasizing social sin in equal measure with individual (read “body-based”) sin and weave them both into a seamless garment of love and truth.

Adapted from Spiral of Violence: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil
(CD, MP3)

 

Transforming the World through Contemplative Prayer -- Richard Rohr & Laurence Freeman offer wisdom for a world in crisis -- 7 hour audio teaching available as mp3 or CD -- Click here to order

A New Teaching from Rohr and Freeman:

Transforming the World
through Contemplative Prayer

These two spiritual friends offer practical guidance for the challenges of our time, a path toward lasting change and a more just and loving humanity.

“The work of religion is to make you aware that something is already happening and you’re a part of it! What we call ‘sins’ are simply obstacles to that knowing, experiencing, participating.”
— Richard Rohr

Listen to a brief excerpt, “Turning toward Participation,” at our online bookstore: cac.org/store.

CD set and MP3 download available from CAC.

 

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