Daily Riches: Outside the Dominant Consciousness (Richard Rohr and Walter Brueggemann)

“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 groupthink, 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…. Jesus’ announcement of the reign of God was telling us that culture as we’ve created it is on a track toward self-destruction and emptiness. All we have to give up is the utterly false understanding that we have of ourselves from civil society. For some reason that liberation seems to be the most difficult thing in the world!” Richard Rohr

“The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us. …Such utterance staggers and offends among the listeners. But it also opens vistas of possibility where we had not thought to go and where in fact, we are most reluctant to go.”  Walter Brueggemann

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does your religion determine your politics or do your politics determine your religion?
  • Is the religious instruction you receive making you more of an individual, or more a conforming member of a group?
  • Acting from “deep within, where the Holy Spirit dwells” is difficult but keeps us from bondage to “what everybody accepts as reality.”  Are you learning to do that?

Abba, help me to hear your prophets today and not be offended by them or stagger at their voice. Lead me where I have not thought to go and been reluctant to go.

For More:  The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Outcasts and the Conversion of the Church (Richard Rohr, Philip Yancey and Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“Those at the edge, ironically, always hold the secret for the conversion of every age and culture. They always hold the projected and denied parts of our soul. Only as the People of God receive the stranger and the leper, those who don’t play our game, do we discover not only the hidden and hated parts of our own souls, but the Lord Jesus himself. In letting go, we make room for the Other. The Church is always converted when the outcasts are re-invited into the temple.” Richard Rohr

“In a world ruled by law, grace stands as a sign or contradiction. We want fairness; the gospel gives us an innocent man nailed to a cross who cries out, ‘Father, forgive them.’ We want respectability; the gospel elevates tax collectors, prodigals, and Samaritans. We want success; the gospel reverses the terms, moving the poor and downtrodden to the head of the line and the wealthy and famous to the rear. …To follow Jesus [means] to respond as he did, against all reason to dispense grace and love to those who deserve it least. …We see ourselves as on the side of Christ by giving to the needy. The new Testament makes plain, however, that Jesus is on the side of the poor, and we serve best by elevating the downtrodden to the place of Jesus.  … the direction of charity is not condescending, but rather ascending: in serving the weak and the poor, we are privileged to serve God himself.”  Philip Yancey

“There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated – in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith
and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”
James 2:5

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • If a church is “converted” by “outcasts” that it welcomes, to what degree is your church being converted?
  • How is your church doing at “dispensing grace and love to those who deserve it least?” Are such people even showing up in your church?
  • What do you do that helps you to see “from the perspective of those who suffer?” Is that something you desire? What would be the point?

Abba, may I see you and serve you in serving the maltreated of my day.

For More: Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey

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I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill