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"Answer the question: yes or no? Keep it simple--just yes or no." The situation in the Gospel this week reminds me of a congressional hearing. We've all heard and seen these carefully orchestrated morality plays. Someone in Congress gets riled up about faulty ignition switches in General Motors cars or who the National Security Administration is spying on or what really happened to our embassy in Benghazi and calls for hearings, complete with lots of media coverage. Once the hearing has geared up, though, it's easy to forget its original purpose. Those asking questions do not seem to be seeking information, understanding, enlightenment, or, heaven forbid, truth. They just want to score points with the electorate back home. They are trying to make the witness or a corporation or the other political party look bad. They are playing "gotcha!" And at a key point in the hearing, some questioner, having simplistically reduced the issue to one loaded choice, inevitably asks, "Just answer the question--yes or no?"Read full transcript...
This is a Day1 Key Voice article by The Rev. Frederick Buechner.
Every system, every culture, every community risks succumbing to the temptation of shutting borders and protecting an identity. We are quickly seduced into the illusion of absolute control and power.
When the Apostle Paul stood before Felix, the Roman governor of ancient Palestine, he was accused of troublemaking and inciting riots among the Jewish people. In his defense, Paul argues that his beliefs and religious practices are very much in line with his accusers.
What is your 75 second (about 150 words) summary of the Jesus you believe in and love? Or your 75 second summary of the Jesus you are uncertain about or indifferent to or reject?
Unlike Christians of the past 500 years who focused on doctrine, Francis operated more like contemporary believers, who focus on correct practice.
When I was eight years old my family moved from a rural community in south Alabama to the city. We lived just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Mobile. My parents were uneducated working class people. It is certainly accurate to say we were not affluent.
What should a modern day, Jesus inspired sexual ethic look like for Christians who aspire to follow Jesus? Jesus, of course, does not address this subject directly in the Gospels. But he does speak to it indirectly.
I think about the children of Abraham and Sarah, wandering around the desert for forty years, eating manna while they longed for milk and honey, stumbling over shifting sands while they yearned for the promised land. They had a tabernacle, a dwelling place for God that they set up and took apart.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. On October 19, 2014 we will celebrate the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost.
Whatever Americans think about the fairness of having to pay federal taxes, first-century residents of Judea certainly had more reason to gripe. An occupying army of Roman soldiers had invaded the country with much bloodshed and cultural upheaval, and taxes were not paid to demonstrate good citizenship so much as to stay alive.