Thursday, September 30, 2010


Spirituality begins its discussion of the sacred from the desire for an integrated life. Religions often operate on a sin-redemption paradigm, which has little resonance in today's society.
Burke and Taylor, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, p. 60

"...little resonance in today's society". Well, maybe. So?

When has man wanted to know that he is a sinner in need of redemption? Yes, it doesn't resonate in society--any society. The Pharisees in Jesus' day seemed to not mind calling other's sinners, but were not so happy when Jesus did it to them. As they write a few pages later...

Although the link between grace and sin has driven Christianity for centuries, it just doesn't resonate in our culture anymore. It repulses rather than attracts. People are becoming much less inclined to acknowledge themselves as "sinners in need of a Savior." It's not that people view themselves as perfect; it that the language they use to describe themselves has changed. "Broken", "fragmented", and "lacking wholeness"--these are some of the new ways people describe their spiritual need.
p 64

So, people don't want to think of themselves as sinners, we shouldn't deal with sin? If a person has a serious illness, are doctors not allowed to deal with that illness or call it by name if it "just doesn't resonate in our culture anymore"? If a patient has cancer, is the doctor not allowed to use the word 'cancer' because "it repulses rather than attracts"?

As the Scriptures say, Christ died for our sin. If Christ died for our sin, then our sin is a serious issue, and should not be shunted aside because it "just doesn't resonate in our culture anymore", or it "repulses rather than attracts"; indeed, it could be said that we should stress it even more strongly when among people to whom it doesn't resonate and for whom it repulses rather than attracts.

It is not our job to rethink, redesign, reimagine, rewhatever the message God has given us, especially if the message is not well-received. Trust me, if all we have to deal with are people saying it "just doesn't resonate", well, that's rather mild compared with the tortures and persecutions and martyrdoms Christians have suffered and still suffer. Some people have given the "It's not relevant and it's repulsive" in rather definite, strong, and (for the Christians) painful ways.

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