Religious Violence

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“Human beings never do evil so completely and so joyously as when they do it from religious motivation.” ~ Blaise Pascal

“The causes of religious violence are like bad breath: you need other people to make you aware of it.” ~ Paul Knitter

Why Jews need Jesus

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The following is a note that McLaren received from a Jewish man at an Interfaith Conversation.

“[This] is why the story of the gospels is so critically important foe us now. The critical conversation happening in the first century when the church was being born was among Jews, not between Jews and Gentiles. Jesus, as a Jew, came as a reformer, as one challenging who ‘Us’ had become. So that’s why we need Jesus today. I mean we Jews need Jesus.  Not to become Christians, but to become better Jews.”

As a Christian I think that Jesus is still challenging us to break from an “us” – “them” model and learn to live with each other.  This doesn’t mean giving in, or paring down your beliefs. It does mean respecting the beliefs of others.  It most certainly means having open ears to those whom we have separated ourselves from – there is a great deal to learn if we are willing to listen.

Conflicted Religious Identity Syndrome (CRIS)

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Anne Rice, after she announced on Facebook, that she is no longer a Christian.

“My faith in Christ is central to my life. But, following  Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important that Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”

Laughter

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“Our capacity to love God, ourselves, people  and all of life grows with our capacity to laugh…This ability to laugh in the midst of our imperfections in the presence of God is what we call grace.” ~ Samir Selmanovic

 

Have you paid attention to the last time you laughed? I mean really laughed. There is something special that takes over, it goes to the core of who we are, it allows us to be open and vulnerable.

New Book to Discuss

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I recently began a book titled “Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddah, and Mohammed Cross the Road?” by Brian McLaren.

Even within the initial pages, McLaren poses wonderful questions that should help all of us to consider standing in solidarity with “the other”, as Jesus did.

I hope to consistently blog quotations and questions from the book that we can discuss.Image