Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What Defiles a person? - revisited again

I post some of my notes to a meeting that I have started on ecunet called Christian Theologies And.... And my friends their often have good comments.

One friend concentrated on the law, but another asked questions about our attitude. The Pharisees were trying to protect their worship, their God, their religion with their strict adherence to the law. Yet often they took the law (and their interpretation of the letter of the law) as more important than what is behind the law. But some of us struggle with the purpose of the law.

It's so much easier to preach about someone else and blame the 'decline in morals from others' rather than asking who we are and what we are doing. And it gets, or at least in my observation does so, more people in the pew if you blame others outside the congregation. But "who are we?" or, more importantly, "whose are we?" is the important question.

And that fact of being willing to ask and struggle with the question is in itself that we haven't fallen into the self-delusion that Jesus condemns in the Pharisees. It is when we are so convinced of our own righteousness that we fall into error rather than when we ask are we righteous or self-righteous.

Haggard comes to mind. His setup of the church organization was/is used as a model by many non-denominational congregations. Yet that model really provides no opportunity for correction of problems. The pastor is either in charge or out of the congregation. There is no in between.

But most of our denominational models provide for various varieties of failure. There are some actions for which people are removed from office, others for which they may be censured or reprimanded, others for which some action of change/restitution is required. I think having a nuanced view is more helpful than unilateral in charge or out of office model that Haggard set up and that many have followed.

I tend to think the nuanced view is more biblical as well, but that could be my own prejudices talking.

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