A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Pope John Paul II has just passed away this afternoon. The work he did for reconciliation of the world religions including his visit to the wailing wall and a mosque represents a model for the whole church. And his calls for peace and non violence is a model for the world. But he was not a man without contradictions, as he narrowed the realm of theological debate within the church. Hans Kung who was silenced by the Vatican wrote a piece on how those contradictions affect the future of the church.

5 Comments:

At 3:45 AM , Blogger Kirk said...

Dwight,

Do you have any pointers on handling people like this?

http://stophatred.blogspot.com/2005/04/serenity-through-hope-ministries.html

Er, I'd advise against you commenting on their site since I'd feel bad if they got mad and came looking for you.

See, I'm an atheist and I have no idea how people can claim to be Christians and extol these views. I point out that Jesus promoted love and nonviolence and point them to New Testament, but all I get is something along the lines of "just another non-believer that thinks he knows the Bible."

But, I think I do know New Testament sans Revelations. It's been a long time, but I was raised semi-Catholic.

I am right about Jesus, right? No where in New Testament did he say it was okay to go off and kill people of other religions, right? I already know the answer, but I like hearing it to know there are still normal people out there.

 
At 12:06 PM , Blogger Ed said...

I would have thought "if someone strikes you on one cheek, turn the other cheek to strike" was pretty clear. And that whole thing with Peter cutting off the ear and Jesus healing it.

But to be honest, there *is* a lot of violence in the Bible, even in the New Testament. Jesus was completely physically nonviolent as far as I can tell -- the only place where he seems to get violent was the "money changers in the temple" incident, but if you look close at the texts, the "whip of cords" is only mentioned in John, and it seems clear it's to get the *animals* out, not to use on the people.

If you're interested in getting in touch with nonviolent Christian theology, I would suggest "The Powers That Be," a popular summary of Walter Wink's theology. Maybe Dwight will have other recommendations.

If you're interested in communicating with people whose ideas are completely appalling to you, I would recommend the book _Nonviolent Communication, A Langauge of Life_ by Marshall Rosenberg. I have found it useful in reaching out to people who without it I would have just had to write off as irredemably horrible.

 
At 10:31 PM , Blogger Kirk said...

Hey, thanks! I'm going to check into those books.

 
At 5:53 PM , Blogger Dwight said...

Kirk
There's bits of the sermon on the mount which speaks against violence even against enemies, in particular Matthew 5:38-48.

Colossians 2:16-23 which speaks about those folks in religion who wish to control other people's lives

1 John writes that those who love know God...not a creed but love is the indicator of one's relation to God.

I think you have a better sense of the spirit of the NT than many people who claim the word Christian...it's unfortunate that the word has taken on the meaning it has today.

 
At 12:23 AM , Blogger Kirk said...

Thanks for those passages.

I often quote from Matthew and especially that passage because it's one of those like John 8's "cast the first stone." Everybody knows them, yet everyone forgets to apply them.

I didn't even recognize Colossians 2 and I really like it. I might have to freshen up on my New Testament. This time I'll read the New International Version because it is so much better than King James. After I get through the Quran anyway… well, the truth is I'm stalled. It's too much like King James Old Testament and I never did finish that. Still, it is shorter. Sigh.

Colossians 2 reminds me of Matthew 6:5-8 which is one of my favorites and one of the many reasons I get rather irritated when I see some televangelist with a crowd of people doing the God antenna.

It was very refreshing chatting with you guys. Every once and a while I have to get in touch with some Christians that actually seem to be Christian, otherwise I start to get negative feelings towards Christians in general and become a hypocrite since I'm always spouting off about tolerance. Well, except for hate, I'm against tolerating that.

Take care,
Kirk

 

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