All Who Wander Are Not Lost -JRR Tolkien

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Sometimes it feels like we are wandering through a land of shadows alone but we don't wander about thus. It is in knowing that we don't wander alone on this journey but rather we journey with Christ- for Christ- through Christ; trying to sort out life. That is our reassurance. We are fellow travelers with their varied stories to share and many songs to sing. We are journeying along through these shadows together. For me I am journeying away from an evangelical ,conservative religion to ( hopefully) becoming a true Christ follower. I invite you to journey along with me. That if you are so inclined; then by all means feel free to wander and ponder.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Health Care & Chrst Part 2

{AUTHOR'S NOTE: in this posting I am laying framework for future postings]

Where to begin? As I have said earlier this is just my ruminations about what I think Jesus might have said about how his 'followers' have reacted to the health care debate before us. To be honest I don't think Jesus wold have let the issue become a political football it has become nor would he deny access to affordable health care to anyone. The yelling and rudeness displayed in the town hall meetings certainly didn't display how I imagine how Jesus conversed with those He disagreed with. In fact I might point out that the only people that Jesus did raise his voice to were the “ religious elite'”-the ones that thought they had the correct interpretation of Scripture. How presumptuous. Thinking that any interpretation other than the one Jesus gave was right. Jesus was very intimate with the author of Scripture. I would daresay that His teachings are the final word. We know from the apostles accounts that Jesus as a rule was decidedly non-political. That was never his mission nor did he endeavor to use politics as a tool to advance his mission. So it seems to me that any conversation amongst students of Jesus should be non-political as a rule. That being said I realize that politics plays a role in all our lives and some of us are more attuned to that than others. Truthfully none of us can escape politics or the role our faith ( whatever that faith may be) in political decisions. I contend that we all make decisions from a faith base- even atheists who claim to be believe in nothing or secular humanists , who believe in Humanity. It is still faith no matter what label you pasture on it. It is a faulty argument when you begin to politicize faith.. We may as well be honest and agree that we act on faith of some sort.

For me that faith is in the presence of a God who created us and the person of Jesus Christ who is the human manifestation of that creator God. Why should that matter in the conversation about what to do about health care reform. Well, in order to really understand what a person is saying you need to understand where they are coming from. I have a suspicion that is the flaw in the debate on health care, especially among “ Christians”. There is a fatal assumption that all ' Christians' are cut from the same cloth. Nothing could be further from the truth. We , as Christ followers, come from differing backgrounds, cultures, and racial make ups. We project our faith against the backdrop of what social environment we have been raised in and / or the denominational church upbringing we have acquired. I say all this to say this: no discussion or decision is made in a vacuum despite what strict secularists might want to have us believe. So any meaningful discussion we might have has to have the understanding , I am talking to fellow Christ followers here, that even though we may profess the same savior- Jesus Christ- we do not all see him the same way. Think of it this way. We are all on a journey, some to Christ;some with Christ. He is at the center and He is the goal. As we journey closer to our goal our perspective has to, and will, change. This has to be true especially if we are moving and have not stopped { actually this analogy may be better else where but it makes a point for here.] You and I as fellow travelers have a similar goal but since we come from different points our perspective will be different unless we are on the same or parallel path.

Since we are on paths towards Jesus and His Gospel we should at least try to be respectful of another's perspectives because we are all on a journey. We may not see the same scenery but we have the same destination. I am just sharing my experiences as my perspective changes. You are welcome to share yours. That being said. The following is my opinion and interpretation. I am not alone in my thinking. There are others out there who think along the same lines here. I am not presenting a 'new Gospel' but suggesting that perhaps we have been sold a perverted Gospel; one other than the one Christ had presented back in a dusty synagogue in his hometown of Galilee. Challenging? Yes , but bear me out. I am going to present three passages from the Gospels and base my conclusions from them. And building on that I am going to offer my thoughts on how we should approach any discussion that involving somethings as vol tile as religion and politics in r regards to the great Health Care Reform Issue.

My thoughts about where we are on our journey is not about changing anyones mind. That is not my job or inclination. I am , however, out to challenge some assumptions made in the name of Christ. I think I can safely do that coming from a being conservative background to the place where I now see that the conservative view of Jesus' Gospel is a corrupt one. There I said it and they are indeed fighting words but I stand by them. Any Gospel that leaves the poor and sick behind is a corrupt one. Sadly that is the type gospel that is being taught from the pulpits in America. It is burned into the minds and hearts of well meaning believers to the point that they hurt other fellow believers. The church in America, in many cases , preach a corrupt and selfish exploitation that is especially true during this national debate on Health Care Reform. The corrupt Gospel has become an issue that strikes at t he heart of the authentic Gospel of Jesus. Isn't the authentic Gospel be the one we should be retelling? Isn't the authentic Gospel a song of hope we should be singing at the top of our lungs from the rooftops?

Sadly that is not the case for some. I have know of professing 'Christians' who would deny care to the illegal immigrant, (the 'stranger' in Matt 25). or the poor.I have seen words posted on social networ-king sites that demean people that need help in getting health care. I have read stupid statements about the people must die before they are helped. I am shocked at the “ I got mine and the hell with the rest of you “ mentality that exists among us. One of the most shocking comments I have read is one that posted as follows; “100% of Americans want jobs you see any? As long as we are wanting gov to be the solution to the problem(health care,car industry,etc)...we are the problem....but the primary problem is the lack of Christ in everyones life.“. I am not making this up. This was a post made to someone close to me from someone they had considered a friend. What a hurtful un-Christlike thing to post. What balderdash and arrogance.

That is not the authentic Gospel of Christ. Not by a long shot. Has the conservative right won the battle for their version of the Gospel? A version that denies compassion and a willingness to be the hands and feet of God , I hope not. I pray it isn't so for the sake of Christ. Because if that is true. Then we need to cry out to GOD in repentance for having been taken in by the corrupt gospel. The church in America has been lulled to sleep by a corrupt Gospel and we are the lesser for allowing it be so. It is time for us non-conservatives to wake up and to speak up. The stakes are to high to allow one side to dominate the conversation. It is just to important an issue to let one side dominate.

So in the next post I will be looking acouple of passages of New Testament scripture [ Luke 4:15-21/Matt25] to see what Jesus might really say about the goings on by so called “ Christians”


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