Debate Stinks

We all know the experience of walking into a lift after someone has…..ahem…

Watch two politicians on our various news programs from opposite ends of the political spectrum, and you get quite the same nauseating experience.  A whole lot of hot air and nothing is settled, nothing is gained.

And it’s not just in politics, you see the same thing in Christian circles.  Theology is a smoking hot topic, and if you raise a question on dearly-held beliefs, look out – the gospel police will be out to get you.

Jesus dealt with the gospel police constantly – of course, we know them as the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Today’s gospel police claim that since we know what Jesus said, we can rest on those words and have surety what they mean and how they apply.

Isn’t it funny how people can make claims of a text written in a very different context, in a very different language?  Jesus demonstrated that even the most pious, even those whose biblical knowledge was supreme, could be so very far from God.

I pray the gospel police of today would look again at the example of Jesus, but with new eyes.  These eyes would see his compassionate reach to all of Israel.  They would begin to understand the Kingdom of God afresh.  They would baulk at injustice.  They would reach out their hands in healing and their voices in faith.  Rather than subscribe to an old story of a God who makes incessant demands, they would consider a merciful Father who loves both the rebellious and obstinate child.

Debate is the path of the self-righteous.  The penitent sinner can never enter into debate, for they already consider themselves defeated, beating their chest in shame.

Have mercy on us, O God, for our sin stinks.


One response to “Debate Stinks

  • Jenny

    Hey Gary, have you read stuff by Richard Rohr? I think you might like him too.

    I get daily meditations by email – extracts from his books/teaching. He’s got his head screwed on right, IMHO. Here’s todays


    Authentic God experience gives you another place to stand, another identity, a spacious and gracious place which invites you to stand outside of the dominant consciousness that surrounds you and that everybody accepts as “reality.”

    Authentic God experience liberates you from the usual domination systems, liberates you from needing everything to be perfect or right, and liberates you to be who you really are—ordinary and poor—just like everybody else.

    Until you can be at home in the alternative “kingdom of God,” you will almost always be completely conformed to the superficial systems of this world, while calling it freedom and independence. Some do it by conforming to styles and fashions of their particular “group think,” while others do it by various conformities to the political correctness of either Left or Right. Some even do it by “conforming to the rebellious group,” but that is not freedom either. Gospel freedom allows you to act from deep within, where the Holy Spirit dwells, and not for or against any outside group whatsoever (unless they happen to be responding to the same deep Spirit!).

    Adapted from Spiral of Violence (CD, DVD, MP3)

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