“Jesus’ direct and clear teachings on issues such as nonviolence; a simple lifestyle; love of the poor and our enemies; forgiveness, inclusivity, and mercy; and not seeking status, power, perks, or possessions have all been overwhelmingly ignored throughout history by mainline Christian churches, even those who so proudly call themselves orthodox or biblical. This avoidance defies explanation until we understand how dualistic thinking protects and pads the ego and its fear of change. Notice that the things we Christians have largely ignored require actual change to ourselves. The things we emphasized instead were usually intellectual beliefs or moral superiority stances that asked almost nothing of us—but compliance from others: the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, the atonement theory, and beliefs about reproduction and sex. After a while, you start to recognize the underlying bias that is at work. The ego diverts your attention from anything that would ask you to change, to righteous causes that invariably ask others to change. Such issues give you a sense of moral high ground without costing you anything ….Whole people see and create wholeness wherever they go. Split people split up everything and everybody else. By the second half of our lives, we are meant to see in wholes and no longer just in parts.” Richard Rohr
“A party of order or stability [conservatives], and a party of progress or reform [liberals] are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.” John Stuart Mill
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust
in your brother’s eye
and pay no attention
to the plank in your own eye?”
Moving from the Head to the Heart
- Does your Christianity emphasize “intellectual beliefs” or “righteous causes” that require “outsiders” to change but not you?
- Do you see how your ego works to protect the you-who-needs-to-change from hearing any real call to change?
- Is your mind trapped in “polarity thinking” that makes you change-averse? What does your answer say about you?
- “Why DO you look at the speck … and not at the plank?” Luke 6:41
Abba, teach me to recognize the voice of my ego, and to free myself from its blinding, destructive grip. Teach me to drop my armor and welcome the work of your Spirit in me.
For More: The Naked Now by Richard Rohr
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)