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September 19, 2005

Comments

jwhook

Chuck -

Glad to have discovered your writing through this post. So often, WWJD, is really about small personal choices, or individual moral issues -- especially geared towards reining in typical teen behavior.

I have one small quibble with your post. I think the point of the story of the Good Samaritan for us is twofold: first, that being a good neighbor takes action; second, that everyone is our neighbor. For the original audience this parable applies ust as much to your point #2, as it does to your point #7.

Your article speaks well to the most unfortunate trend in Christianity over the last 20-30 years -- the rise of the "evangelical right" as opposed to evangelicals who do right.

chuck

JW,
Thanks for your comment, and I accept your quibble:>) Hope you will return and dialogue with us!
blessings,

Richard Darsie

Chuck, this is a very interesting post, particularly for me, a non-Christian. In fact, I follow the path of Tibetan Buddhism, and would like to comment on the statement that "he tells the parable of the Good Samaritan to answer this question, and the answer is shocking–the person you take to be the most unlikable!" Tibetan Buddhism has a very similar ethic about the development of patience and compassion - you need to develop the ability to hang out with the people who piss you off the most in order to learn not to get triggered by them. And here's a very interesting story about one of the Dalai Lama's tutors, an old monk who was held captive and abused by the Chinese for years. He finally got away and made his way to India. He had an audience with the Dalai Lama and was describing his many harrowing experiences in captivity. The Dalai Lama asked him, "Were you ever scared?" The reply: "Yes, once the Chinese brought in a bunch of monks and beat them very badly then shot some of them. At that moment I was afraid - that I would lose my compassion for the Chinese."

Chuck

Chuck, excellent post. As I sat through a church dinner Saturday night, I was shocked and saddened that my table companions were speaking about the Katrina evacuees in such negative terms. They were consumed with finding their faults, mostly their fault of being poor. One "brother" of mine went on to say how angry he got when people questioned or criticized the President's response to the disaster and the disaster that is Iraq, which he supports wholeheartedly. "It is very hard for me to pray for these people (the dissenters)" he said. "But then I remember that I am to pray for my enemies". I replied "Do we pray for them before, or after we bomb them?" He had no idea what I meant. This, from a man who is studying to be a minister. Sad, so very sad and disheartening. Eyes wide shut.

chuck

Richard,
Thanks for the story, an enlightening one indeed!
Chuck,
Been there, brother. I keep thinking of that passage, "if the light in you is dark,...."

Mary-Jo

I disagree with your assertion that Jesus would be non-contingently pro-life, meaning anti-abortion. The biblical understanding about loss of pregnancy is clearly that it is not equivalent to the death of a person, see Exodus 21:22. Of course, Jesus may have given further elaboration if he had so chosen, but he did not. So we just don't know.

zero

all the attention to the poor post-katrina has me asking one question....why aren't people who work hard each day get paid a living wage? if people were paid a living wage the poor would not be with us. those who can't work (elderly, infirmed, impaired) would automatically be taken care of. i don't understand, can never understand, why economics "wins" over humanity.

chuck

Mary-Jo,
Thanks for your comment, and I appreciate your reference to Ex 21, an important text. Even with that, however, I think we get a picture of Jesus as one who would not take this lightly. Hence, my use of "convenience abortion" to indicate that I was not defending positions where, say, the mother is in jeopardy.
Zero,
I'm with you, man. There are numerous movements around the country working on this, let us join them when we can, and pray otherwise.

jo

i really appreciate this post. however, my question is about applying your sixth point: If everything (including political structures) is effected by Jesus (and i agree it should be), then how does that influence how preachers use the pulpit? in other words, is it ok for matters of the state to be propagated from the pulpit if done from a Christian perspective? what do you think?

chuck

Thanks for the question, Jo. My short answer would be that we are to bear witness to the "powers" and I actually think seeking to change them from outside is the way we should go as the church. I am not saying Christians can't run for office...by no means, but I am suggesting that the "prophetic voice" needs to come as a "critique from outside." I can say more on that if this is too short. Thanks for joining us, hope you'll be back:>)

Seth

Wow...very glad my cousin pointed me toward your blog and this post. Can't wait to keep up more regularly. Thank you for this - a most excellent post/expose...

chuck

Thanks, Seth, for your comments and for joining us!

Seth

Not sure if anyone is still checking back on these comments, but in answer to Jo and the unpacking of 'give to what is Caesar's', etc, there's a book that tackles this that I'd recommend: 'A Public Faith', by Charles Drew.

Other than that, I always have to recommend a book by a former professor of mine, 'The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today' -- reminded by the 'living wage' comment...today someone working full-time at minimum wage for the entire year with no breaks is still going to make $3000 below the poverty line just for a family of two. Unacceptable.

Seth

p.s. 'Beloved Community' is by Charles Marsh.

check out my post 'A Different Social Order' in my August archives and 'Stranger in a Strange Land' in my September archives - I tackled a lot of the issues discussed in this amazing post.

Seth

p.s. 'Beloved Community' is by Charles Marsh.

check out my post 'A Different Social Order' in my August archives and 'Stranger in a Strange Land' in my September archives - I tackled a lot of the issues discussed in this amazing post.

chuck

I skimmed through them, Seth, thanks for sharing. They were very fine indeed. Feel free to add any of those stats to your comments here and thanks for joining us!

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