Jul. 8th, 2006

jenk: Faye (st mark's)
But I think it applies to Christians overall, and probably others as well. These are two quotes from Bishop Jefferts Schori of Nevada, aka the Episcopal Presiding Bishop-Elect:
We children can continue to squabble over the inheritance or claim our name and heritage as God's beloved.

I think that the worst thing that could happen would be for the church to forget why it's here, to forget our mission. That mission looks different in different places. We can work at healing the world around us, at transforming the communities in which we live — or we can spend our time arguing.
- from an interview.

Of course, different people interpret the "mission" of their faith differently. Some churches and synagogues host Tent Cities and homeless shelters, provide low-income housing and childcare, run food banks, push anti-racism training, host Amnesty International and AA groups, and campaign for civil rights for gays and immigrants. And yes, others campaign against gay rights or abortion - but they often do the other work as well. Rarely is one group just one thing, as easy as it would make life for the rest of us.
jenk: Faye (knowing)
So I read this Mark Driscoll column on money and God. I liked that it disses both the prosperity and poverty gospels. AKA, it's not about how much money you have, it's what you do with it.

What I didn't like about it was the repeated use of the word "righteousness", and the expectation that humans can be righteous in their actions. I don't always know that I'm doing the right thing. Sometimes I do, but even then, I know I'm not God, that I'm working on partial information, and that I'm really just doing the best I can with what I do know. But I think what really rubbed me the wrong way about "righteousness" is that word has been used by too many people in my past who talked about their righteousness while they put me down. And (at the time) I was someone they saw as a "sister", as someone who was also "righteous"! Never mind how they denied the worth of those who were different or "sinners".

And so I learned to be wary. I learned to be careful of assuming I knew what was right and wrong, that I was capable of judging, and most especially to be careful of thinking myself righteous. I became very careful with facts and reporting - which did help me in testing, a lot, tho it didn't always help me in dealing with customers ("What do you mean 'you think'? If you don't know, can I talk with someone who does?") Eventually I did realize that self-confidence can be different from arrogantly assuming I know what's right. But even now, I read about an "opportunity for each of us to evaluate whether we are acting righteously with how we obtain and dispense the little or great wealth we have" and I have trouble with the word "righteous". I'd do better with "wisely" or "faithfully" or "biblically", but "righteously" - "righteous" scares me. Read more... )

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