Tuesday, January 3, 2017

we don't have to demonize others

I read this post by Richard Rohr a week ago and I thought the ideas were worth sharing. Here is some of what he wrote:

Changing the Game
Monday, December 26, 2016

Today I encourage you to read the account of the death of Stephen (Acts 7:58-60).....Jesus and Stephen state their truth, forgive their enemies, fully let go, and are released into a transformed state that we call “resurrection.”

Both Jesus and Stephen are victims of the “sacred violence” that has been foundational to culture from the very beginning of human consciousness, starting with Cain and Abel. ..... all groups and ideologies are formed by an unconscious scapegoat mechanism..... we have to find a way out of this default pattern. Jesus replaces the de facto operating story line of “redemptive violence” with a new story line of redemptive suffering. There is the Gospel in one sentence! Unfortunately, only a minority of Christians got the point after Jesus and Stephen...... The church was supposed to be a “called out people’’ (ekklesia) who no longer believed the lie, which John the Baptist calls “the sin of the world” (John 1:29), using the singular word for sin. Ignorant hating, excluding, and killing is the universal sin of the world to this day.

Bailie calls the revolution of tenderness, which was released into common consciousness at the death of Jesus, “the virus of the Gospel.” In every age, denomination, and culture, only a few understood the message. By grace and conversion, they realized that they could no longer project their inner violence outward, either creating victims or playing the victim themselves for their own empowerment. They see the only way to be victim in a generative and healing way is as Jesus did, by forgiving and releasing his crucifiers and himself.

The Gospel demands a great deal of us. It calls us to a perennially unpopular and unselfish path.... When you can no longer play the game of judging, labeling, and punishing others, you will quickly become the outsider at most every cocktail party you attend. But Jesus has taught us how to hold the pain of the world until it transforms and resurrects us. This dangerous virus is what Jesus calls “the hidden leaven” inside the Gospel (Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20), the resurrecting power that will keep the world from its ordinary path toward self-destruction.

My commentary...... It is easy for us to demonize those who are "against" us.  They voted for the other candidate, they rooted for the other team, they did not like our hat {Go Dog Go} for whatever reason, we wish to set them aside and shun them.  Jesus teaches us something different.  There are no enemies.  We are to love all.  There are no demons in the room.  People with differences yes, but there are no demons in the room.  When we stop needing to see people as "against us" we can begin to see them as God sees them, and when we can do that, all the world changes.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

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