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The quote from Richard Rohr is adapted from his book The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See.
In our congregation, so many of the songs sung are about our professed devotion to God. None addressing living the changed life. Even in the older song books, relatively few concerning the life lived to God’s glory. But anyone can do “God cheers”.
Protestants couldn’t possibly sing about being good, could they? I mean, then they’d have to be concerned with their conduct, and that’d be works, works, works. Cause we all know that the one thing that God is unconcerned about is how one lives one’s life. (Disclaimer: I am aware that this only adequately describes a certain subset of Protestant thought and practice).
Would this song be along the lines of what you are hoping for?
In four-part acapella (our particular quirk). I would love it. It’s Jesus and the prophets served straight up. Of course, it would make a lot of people uncomfortable and therefore unhappy. And making someone unhappy is being “divisive”. But the gospel is just as “divisive” now as when Jesus himself proclaimed the good news.
I’m open to making a four-part a capella arrangement, if it would be useful!
If you do, I want a copy! You’ve already got my email address, heh heh heh…
It sounds like there might be enough interest to make it worth my doing so. In the meantime, if it is useful, there is a lead sheet here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/04/lead-sheets.html
Where I come from, we call it “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.” All in a day’s work. 🙂
That does it. I’ve seriously got to resurrect my Totally Moribund Guitar Skillz™…
Heavens save us from “God cheers” and “7-11 songs”…
Yes, I like that quote. It is what I find troubling about Christianity. And it is why churches often come across as societies of pious hypocrites.
Go on then, “transform” yourself like “those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Now back to our normally scheduled worship service.
A thought on following Jesus. If Jesus is particularly worthy of being followed, it isn’t because of the things he did or said that were common currency in his culture. Any more than we’d think someone now was worth following because they drove, supported democracy, or praised good education.
Jesus came from a culture with a particular understanding of what God is, what the cosmos is made of, and human origins. Yet ‘following Jesus’ for many conservatives seems to be about trying to believe a caricature of first century Jewish mythology.
Jesus today wouldn’t be distinguished by his assumptions about cultural norms, but by his advocacy of inverting them. It’s pretty likely that a modern Jesus wouldn’t talk about God at all, since that is largely irrelevant to the issue of personal service and liberation from oppression.
Progressive Christians go some way, abandoning the more unscientific mythologies. But I’m not convinced that following Jesus needs to be in the slightest bit dressed up in Godspeak or Spirits or the Afterlife. Such things are historical fetishes for traditional mythologies – not intrinsically bad – but like Civil War re-enactment fans or Renaissance Faire attendees, who show the same fetish, it has little to do with the actual political and social revolutions of the time.
It is another question whether a Jesus properly separated from his culture is worth following, or wise to follow.