Tuesday, November 15, 2011


(see the one on the right?)

(this is the same one)
When the culture of an organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals, you can be certain that shame is systemic, money drives ethics, and accountability is dead.

Brené Brown

Today I heard a story that leaves me slack-jawed.

A minister of Christian denomination X visited another church of denomination X.0 (same general denomination but a variation on that theme). While attending the service, he took communion. Seems the "Body of Christ" thing to do...right?

Apparently, denomination X doesn't think so. If you are of this denomination, you are not to take communion from Y, Z, or X-point-anything. Only communion by a minister from denomination X is "kosher" (pardon the borrowing of the term) for ministers of denomination X.

Someone reported him to the powers that be. The powers suspended him from the pulpit leaving him without a job (or paycheck) and leaving the church without a pastor.

Say what?

These are people who follow Jesus--the Jewish one who ate and with tax collectors and prostitutes and people off the street...Gentiles and Jews. People of different religions--not just different denominations.

And then I read this well written piece: Bishops Behaving Badly. Go ahead and check it out. I'll wait.


Richard Rohr's daily meditations lately focus on mysticism--the spirituality that is about relationship with God...something that Jesus said we all have.

Mystical experiences also lead to a sense of safety. Anybody who has ever loved you well or has felt loved by you always feels safe. If you can’t feel safe with a person, you can’t feel loved by them. You can’t trust their love. If, in the presence of God, you don’t feel safe, then I don’t think it’s God—it’s something else. It’s the god that is not God. It’s probably what Meister Eckhart is referring to when he says, “I pray God to free me from God.” He means that the God we all begin with is necessarily a partial God, an imitation God, a word for God, a “try on” God. But as you go deeper into the journey, I promise you, it will always be safer and more spacious. If you still feel a finger wagging at you, you’re not going deeper. You’re going backwards.

Richard Rohr

Some people still believe that "undermining" religion is a Communist plot and that getting people to accept anything outside of one-man-one-woman marriage (this includes co-habitation by unmarried heterosexuals) is part of their strategy to take down America. I kid you not.

Jesus was far more tolerant than that.

As Rev. Susan Russell states in the Bishops article, America was founded on the principle of freedom of religion, which also includes freedom from religion if people so choose. It doesn't get any more Christian or mystical than that.

So come on people...

Live by the constitution of the country you say you love.

Trust the God you say you trust.

Grow up...for God's sake...and our own.


Mary'sCorner said...

Love this post, B.

kario said...

I loved Brene's take on this and I agree with you completely. I can only hope that my actions stand as an example to those who think otherwise.

Kathryn Grace said...

Thank you Wanda! What a post. You and Rev. Russell said it all. Inspiring. Thank you.

Sharon said...

My time with "the church" had many similar hypocritical experiences. I have to remind myself that "the church" is just people coming together believing whatever they believe, and that people are inherently flawed. So no wonder they say and do such things. The church by any name is consistenly inconsistent. Such is humanity.

Me? I'll rely on a spiritual relationship to guide me, and not the church.