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CWH: Sins of the Samaritans vs. Sins of the Pharisees



Steve,

Thank you for your response.

You have taken my rhetorical question as literal.  While I am glad to have
your confirmation, I never thought that you or others here do those
hostile things.  I used them to illustrate what I would feel not to be
welcoming.

> Except that Jesus was known to confront sin and to encourage sinners to
> repent--like, for instance, when he called the Pharisees a "brood of
> vipers."

The Pharisees presented themselves as righteous.  Jesus consistently had
little tolerance for that, and apparently was not routinely invited into
their homes, as he was into the homes of sinners.

And when Jesus discusses sin with his friends, it is almost always after,
not before he has treated them as friends.  The Samaritan woman left the
well not to tell her friends, "He blessed me out for not living with only
one, and only my first, husband," but instead she proclaimed, "He told me
everything about myself!"  We know why she went away rejoicing:  he was
concerned less with her worthiness than with her thirst.  As he is with
ours.

I share your belief in repentance, and must repent often. Not to do so is
spiritually unhealthy.  I may not assess my sins as others do, but I know
them first-hand, and they are spiritually dangerous. They're also terribly
boring and ordinary, not the wild things that persons often imagine....,
but debilitating selfishness, pride, unlove...  Will you pray for me about
those sins?  I will be most grateful.

Repentance is spiritually healthy.  Groveling is not, however.  I have had
a hard time learning not to grovel.  "I have called you not servants, but
friends,"  Jesus tells us in John's Gospel.  Sometimes it is easier to
wallow in one's presumed worthlessness rather than to accept God's
forgiveness and God's friendship.  You're blessed if you have not had my
problem. 
 
>  > The message of lesbigay Christians is not "Gay is good," but instead
>  > "God is good."
> 
> Except that I've heard that, not in those words but in no uncertain
> terms--e.g., that homosexuality is a gift of God to be celebrated.

I've heard the same thing from heterosexuals about their sexuality being
God's gift.  I think that theirs is a healthier response than to treat
sexuality as a curse that lessens our human dignity.  But I suspect that
both gays and straights are bit glib when they use such slogans.  I
seriously doubt that the erotic is either a blessing or a curse, save as
we heed or hinder the Spirit, who I perceive to be urging us to integrate
our sexuality responsibly into our whole personhood.

The Old English word HAL yields what appears to be three different words
in Modern English:  'Hale' (=healthy, as in "hale and hearty"); 'Whole';
and 'Holy.' I suggest that they still are one word, or one concept, that
we can't experience any one of them fully without experiencing the other
two as well. 

Joy to you!  Joy through you to others!

Lutibelle/Louie









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