2013 Favs: You Belong to Me

A few weeks ago, my pastor preached a homily based on what is a simple but absolute fact of all our lives.

We will die.

You are going to die.

I am going to die.

It may be in a car wreck this afternoon as you go to the store to buy milk. It may be years from now as you sleep in your bed at 85. But you and I will die.

My pastor told us that when we die, someone will say to us, You belong to me. The question is, who will be saying this to us? Will it be Jesus, welcoming us Home. Or will it be someone else?

We are the ones who decide who will tell us You belong to me on that day. We decide, not so much by the things we say, but by what we do. Who do you serve with your life? Whose teachings do you follow?

Do you follow the troubling teachings of the Gospels as elucidated to us by the Holy Father, Pope Francis? Or do you follow the serpent who whispers in all of our ears, Take. Eat. God is a liar. You will not die?

As with all really successful lies, this one was part truth. When the serpent whispered You will not die in Eve’s ear, it was true. All the serpent had to do was add one word to make it absolutely true. That word was today.

You will not die today. 

Take. Eat. And you will be like God, knowing right from wrong. And you will not die today. 

There are many serpents in our world today, and each one of them speaks to us in the peculiar language of our own hearts. They tell us that what we want to do is right and the Church which tells us otherwise is wrong, cruel, hard-hearted and mean to tell us it is not.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your sexuality, your politics, the way you treat your family or some secret sin you keep to yourself. You have your own serpent to whisper in your ear and tell you, God/the Pope/the Gospels are all liars. Do this and you will be free of those binding appeals to lying morality.

And, of course, you will not die. 

But it’s all a lie from the father of lies. The Gospel this Sunday talks about judgement day, when Jesus told us that one will be taken and another left behind. Many preachers concentrate their preaching about this on some final Judgement Day for all humankind that recedes in front of us like the horizon as we live our lives.

But I think that there are two judgement days and the one we need to concern ourselves with is our own personal Judgement Day that is coming at all of us faster than any of us wants to believe. On that day, someone will say to us You belong to me. 

One of the primary purposes of this blog is to encourage Christians to take a stand for Jesus in a post Christian world. Since I am myself a politician, I am calling you from the depths of my experience to cast off the false gods of political claptrap and follow the Gospels of Christ without compromise.

Do not follow false teachers who are the political serpents whispering in all our ears and who edit the Gospels of Christ to serve their political masters. Do not bow down before the elephant or the donkey. Do not do it.

When we die and someone says to us, You belong to me, we are the ones who will have determined which voice we hear saying it. We are choosing now as we choose who we serve, who we follow and who we believe.

Follow Christ.

Follow His Vicar who was chosen by the Holy Spirit and who cannot teach us that which is contrary to the Gospels of Christ.

Stop trying to lead, and follow. And stop quibbling about it.

I have learned from my own disastrous failures at doing it my way and I am telling you now from the bottom of my heart: There is no other Way.

 

  • FW Ken

    This is a wonderful post, Rebecca. Thank you

  • Dave

    I would quibble with the part that says the Pope is chosen by the Holy Spirit, but otherwise thanks for a wonderful post. The Holy Spirit is, of course, involved in the process, but there is no guarantee that the Cardinals are listening. What we do know is that the Pope is protected under certain conditions from making errors in teaching on faith and morals.

    I think a lot of this conversation about the R’s vs the D’s vs. the Pope comes down to: to whom do you give the presumption of truth? Certainly, the Pope is not speaking *infallibly* in this document, but if a Catholic gives the presumption of truth to a political party or viewpoint over the Pope, then they need to examine themselves.

    • Dale

      One noteworthy piece of information which was shared during the last papal conclave was a 1997 quote from Cardinal Ratzinger. He was being interviewed as part of a Bavarian television program, After being asked about the role of the Holy Spirit in selecting the pope, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

      I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the
      affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much
      space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s
      role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he
      dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only
      assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2013/02/does-the-holy-spirit-pick-the-pope-ratzinger-didnt-think-so/

  • sljam

    So when we die, Jesus picks teams, like for stickball in the street? What about the pope? I think they are just other guys. Nothing special.There is a guy that surf’s the same brake as me, that I think is pretty close to God. He’s not the pope.

  • RhubarbTheBear

    No, thank you.

    • dorcheat

      Seconded!

  • MNb

    “My pastor told us that when we die, someone will say to us, You belong to me.”
    Your pastor pulled that out of his thick fat thumb.

    “Do you follow the troubling teachings of the Gospels…? Or do you follow the serpent”
    That false dichotomy might have worked some 500 years ago, but anno 2013 it is yawn inducing.

    • Dale

      Mnb, the dichotomy between following God and following Self is standard Christian theology. Even today, as far as I know, it is basic to Christianity.I am surprised you consider it out of date. What interpretation of the Gospels do you follow? How do you explain Christ’s statement in Matt 7:13-14:
      13
      “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.

      14 How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

      • ansuz

        “Do you follow the troubling teachings of the Gospels…? Or do you follow the serpent”
        .
        the dichotomy between following God and following Self is standard Christian theology.
        I wasn’t aware that the serpent was a metaphor for the Self.

        • Dale

          Hi Tsara, thanks for dropping by. You ask a reasonable question: how do I reconcile what I wrote with what Rebecca wrote.

          Traditionally, the serpent has been interpreted as representing the voice of Satan. He urges a path which rejects the wishes of God and chooses Self as more important.

          As I understand it, Satan symbolizes rejection of God’s will. Satan is an active force and is real, just as human ideas and human impulses are real. The seven deadly sins (Pride, Greed, Envy etc) are manifestations of this.

      • MNb

        “is standard Christian theology”
        Then said pastor has pulled it out someone else’s big fat thumb. Doesn’t make it any better.

        “I am surprised you consider it out of date.”
        Yawn inducing is not the same as out of date. It can’t be the latter given the fact that christianity is the largest religion in the world. Point is that to non-christians – like I am – this is about the lamest, boring, unimpressive point you can make.

        “What interpretation ….”
        Why would I need to follow any interpretation of the Gospels? They by far are not the most important books to me.

        ” How do you explain Christ’s statement”
        Why should I need to explain anything that Jesus said 2000 years ago? He is hardly relevant to me. Neither is any fancy supernatural character, whether perceived as good or as evil.
        Another point: Self with a capital is also meaningless to me. I am who I am and have to deal with the community where I live. I am quite, though not completely successful at it.
        “You belong to me” is only relevant for those who a priori want to belong to him indeed. That makes “I don’t want to belong to the Father/Son/Holy Spirit” a meaningless statement. Thus this entire article is based on a false dichotomy.

        • hamiltonr

          I asked this question of another of you just a moment ago in another comment. If it’s so boring and unimpressive, then why are you wasting your time here? No one handcuffed you and drug you over here that I know of.

  • weemaryanne

    Not bloody likely.

  • Artor

    Wow, this is one of the most offensive, regressive pieces of nonsense I’ve read all week.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    No.
    I belong to ME. Period.


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