January 06, 2005

Marjorie on the Prologue

Whoops, I'm behind...

I was struck by v. 9 -- Jesus being the true light that enlightens everyone. No requirement of belief for this enlightenment, its there, through Jesus. Now verse 12 gets into belief -- to all who received and believed in his name he gives the power to become children of God. This comes not 'of the will of the flesh or the will of man.' This strikes me as you can't force yourself, or anyone, to believe; belief is not accomplished through the will. Kind of makes the Crusades seem a bit misguided. It cannot be willed and everyone is enlightened.

Why do we haggle over creeds? Weren't they just supposed to jell the belief set of a certain sect? It seems like a useful tool to the extent that it offers a definition for members. But then it would exclude those who don't have the same set of beliefs. But shouldn't those people go searching for a place that has beliefs that align with their own, instead of struggling with misalignment? Shouldn't this be easy? I guess it spins out to tribalism, but whats so wrong with worshipping with your tribe, so long as you accept that its only a construct to help you and not to exclude or judge others?

Why can I not get out of my head the final line from a children's book -- "You are loved, but so are they"?


At 5:07 a.m., Blogger david said...

Have I been posting the apssages too quickly? I have been aiming for every other day -- with flexability absed on points opening up conversation -- but I could aim for every third if that's easier.

At 10:04 a.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

Too quickly for me, but I'm also a bit of a slug. You might want to poll the group to see what they prefer.

At 11:46 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

Belief is overrated. That's why James is so popular among some people: they can't believe what they think they're supposed to, and James focuses more on action than on attitude. I love the story Jesus told about the two sons ordered to go to the fields: one said I go, sir, but he didn't; the other said, I won't go, but he went.
Jesus asked who was the worthy son. (I can really identify with that second man).

Jesus is reported to have continually exhorted the disciples to believe. I don't think he was trying to get people to believe any set of intellectual propositions, but to trust in what he had said about God and what he told them to do: love and act.

Re the creeds: I wonder if any individual realled believed ALL of the propositions aimed at him by the creedalists. Or to put it otherwise, have you ever known a religious body, all of whose ideas you agree with 100%? When a person gets like that, he's not an individual, he's an automatum.

Re "Posting too quickly". I would suggest every other day.

Let's all pray (or hold in the light) for each other.


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