Emerging Church

By Richard Rohr

Returning to Essentials

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hospitality is the practice that keeps the church from becoming a club, a members-only society. —Diana Butler Bass [1]

Practical, practice-based Christianity has been avoided, denied, minimized, ignored, delayed, and sidelined for too many centuries, by too many Christians who were never told Christianity was anything more than a belonging or belief system. Now we know that there is no Methodist or Catholic way of loving. There is no Orthodox or Presbyterian way of living a simple and nonviolent life. There is no Lutheran or Evangelical way of showing mercy. There is no Baptist or Episcopalian way of visiting the imprisoned. If there is, we are invariably emphasizing the accidentals, which distract us from the very “marrow of the Gospel,” as St. Francis called it. We have made this mistake for too long. We cannot keep avoiding what Jesus actually emphasized and mandated. In this most urgent time, “it is the very love of Christ that now urges us” (2 Corinthians 5:14).

Quaker pastor Philip Gulley superbly summarizes how we must rebuild spirituality from the bottom up in his book, If the Church Were Christian. [2] Here I take the liberty of using my own words to restate his message, which offers a rather excellent description of Emerging Christianity:

  1. Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.
  2. Affirming people’s potential is more important than reminding them of their brokenness.
  3. The work of reconciliation should be valued over making judgments.
  4. Gracious behavior is more important than right belief.
  5. Inviting questions is more valuable than supplying answers.
  6. Encouraging the personal search is more important than group uniformity.
  7. Meeting actual needs is more important than maintaining institutions.
  8. Peacemaking is more important than power.
  9. We should care more about love and less about sex.
  10. Life in this world is more important than the afterlife (eternity is God’s work anyway).

If this makes sense to you, you are already inside of Emerging Christianity.

 
References:

[1] Diana Butler Bass, A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story (HarperOne: 2010), 64.
[2] See Philip Gulley, If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus (HarperOne: 2010). This list is adapted from his chapter titles.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Emerging Christianity: A Non-Dual Vision,” Radical Grace, vol. 23, no. 1 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2010), 3, 22.

You are invited!

Reclame

Tot de la Doru citire

„Am decolat cu forţaj şi aşa, în bezna aia în care parcă dai cu
capul de cum te desprinzi şi luminile balizelor rămân în jos şi în urmă,
am ghicit – a străfulgerat o clipă – smulsă din fondul negru de flacăra
forţajului – o masă imensă, cenuşie, fără nicio formă. Oricum însă,
noaptea nu se anunţa dificilă, uneori prin spărturile norilor alunecau
repezite stele, iar comenzile de la dirijare se auzeau în căşti clar şi
precise ca niciodată. Pe la 8000 de metri am ieşit deasupra grosului
de nori: aici mai era ceva lumină, lumina zilei de ieri, şi în contrast
cu cerul palid care se vedea printre fuioarele lungi, negre, ale norilor
de gheaţă, plafonul de sub avion apărea ca o imagine de basm
încremenită, ştii, turnuri, creneluri, o mare cu valuri îngheţate etc.
etic. La tub dirija Popa – l-am recunoscut nu atât după glas, cât după
maniera de dirijare: din trei-patru comenzi m-a scos în spatele ţintei,
la distanţa optimă; am încadrat şi am tras. Apoi am redus din forţaj,
am scos frânele, şi am virat spre casă. Mergeam prin norii ăia, noaptea,
cu 900 de kilometri pe oră, şi eram aşa liniştit şi împăcat cu mine în
cabina cea roşie, motorul îşi torcea cântecul lui de drum-bun, şi parcă
toată viaţa nu făcusem altceva decât să zbor noaptea prin nori. Aş fi
vrut să-i aduc aici pe toţi prietenii mei şi să le arăt, dar meleagurile
astea mişcătoare sau încremenite, scăldate într-o lumină ireala, sunt
imperiul piloţilor de vânătoare, şi oricine pătrunde aici altfel decât
la bordul unui avion de luptă repezit, cu aripile puternic trase înapoi, nu e decât un intrus.

Apoi, deodată, un ţârâit în căşti, becul verde al
radiofarului a clipit, şi am intrat pe condiţii: aspiram în difuzor, şi
eram aspirat cu avion cu tot, de norii acum negri şi întunecoşi.
Coboram spre viraj, şi pe măsură ce mă adânceam, în jur se
făcea din ce în ce mai întuneric. Becurile roşii, care sus răspândeau
doar o lumină palidă, luminau acum puternic, şi, când şi când, eram
nevoit să reduc luminozitatea. Zburam ca într-un sac de beznă şi-mi
spuneam că nu e posibil să se întunece şi mai mult, dar fiecare sută
de metri întuneca iarăşi şi iarăşi vălul de nepătruns din jurul cabinei;
era necrezut de întuneric, zburam ca într-o vrajă rea, parcă spre celălalt
tărâm şi atunci mi-am amintit de bunica-mea, şi am auzit ce mi-a
spus prima oară când m-a văzut în uniforma şcolii de aviaţie. M-a
privit îndelung, eu mă umflam în vestonul cu petliţe azurii şi un fel
de păsări maiestre din metal ştanţat îmi împodobeau epoleţii; bunica
m-a admirat îndelung, apoi mi-a zis în dulcele ei grai moldovenesc,
cumva grijulie, cumva…, da dom’le, în măsura în care bunică-mea
putea să fie băşcălioasă, în băşcălie: „ia seama să nu-ţi rupi fre-un
chicior acolo”. Ştii, nu credeam în tot felul de gânduri şi imagini
care-ţi flutură prin faţa ochilor în momente dificile, dar atunci am
auzit clar glasul bunică-mi, şi ce era să fac, am zâmbit. De fapt nici
nu era ceea ce se cheamă un moment dificil, spărgeam un plafon
liniştit, fără scuturături şi oraje, dar era un fel de spaimă iraţională
provocată de bezna aia nesfârşită, răsărită poate din vremea când
trăiam în peşteri şi întunericul însemna începutul şi sfârşitul tuturor
lucrurilor; ştii, dormise atâta în mine şi ieşise acum la iveală, cuibărită
în capul pieptului şi-o simţeam ca pe un gol mare şi apăsător. În
situaţiile astea n-ai altceva de făcut decât să caşti ochii mari pe aparate,
să-ţi decuplezi simţirile imperfecte şi devenite primejdioase, ca să te
ghidezi după indicaţiile lucide şi precise ale bordului. Am virat, şi la
o mie opt sute de metri eram ieşit din plafon; departe, la peste 25 de
kilometri, vedeam luminile pistei aşternându-se cuminţi, alcătuind
parcă un ac lung, de argint strălucitor, ştii, acul care spulberă vraja
cea rea.”

Fragment din partea I din „Caii de la Voronet” de Doru Davidovici

CULOAREA CERULUI
sau
AERODROMUL

Un apostol si al altora

There was another interior that I will never forget. A few minutes’ walk from the centre is the largest church in Greece, St Andrew’s Cathedral. Inaugurated in 1974 and still dazzlingly white on the outside, it is dedicated to the saint who was martyred in Patra. His relics lie inside, along with a large section of the saltire cross on which he was crucified. Usually when you visit churches in Mediterranean countries, you go from light into darkness, but here my eyes had to adjust to the brightness of the interior, not its gloom. It is spectacularly colourful and optimistic, full of images not just of saints but also of nature. Everything is exaggerated (including the five-metre-long gold-plated cross) but its cheerful flamboyance completely charmed me. There was also a river of piped orthodox chant that never ceased, a sound only interrupted by a cleaner answering her phone. Earthly and divine seemed to meet in this space.

Saint Andrew’s in Patra, the largest church in Greece.
 Saint Andrew’s, the largest church in Greece. Photograph: Werner Otto/Alamy

The church is not simply a giant reliquary. It is a living breathing place with a constant stream of locals coming and going with their shopping in hand, kissing icons and scribbling notes for the priest, along with visitors marvelling at the art and sheltering from the cares of the world in the interior sunshine. The entire building is a joyful celebration of life.

The interior of Saint Andrew’s.
 The interior of Saint Andrew’s. Photograph: milangonda/Getty

In the end, I also found the Roman remains I was expecting, as well as a superb archaeological museum and several exquisite Byzantine churches. The countless cafes and bars close to the centre (and near the sea) were also alluring. Aptalikoserves fantastic modern Greek food, and my favourite place for coffee is Discover Your Way, a beautifully designed, very modern cafe inside a bookshop, where you can read or use laptops for as long as you want.

Educate the Heart

“The Earth is our home, and our home is on fire,” the Dalai Lama says. Global warming has become the poster child, but there are eight global systems that support life on our planet, each of which sustains continual damage from daily human activities. The range of ways to help here range from eliminating petroleum-based plastics from our lives and the supply chain, to demanding clean air.

Oppose Injustice.

The very social order creates structural inequities. Working together to eliminate them can create a better future for everyone.

A More Humane Economics.

The growing gap between rich and poor, the Dalai Lama says, seems a “moral crime.” This gap has been at play, for instance, in the debate about health insurance – on many other countries health care is a universal right, not just for those who can pay. A humane economics means finding avenues to lessen the rich-poor gap.

Help those in need.

This one seems a no-brainer. But the ways to enact such help include not just giving direct aid – like a handout to a homeless person – but also helping them help themselves – for example, job training.

Educate the Heart.

The world’s future is in the hands of our children. An education that includes mindfulness and caring will give the young tools to naturally act toward a better society.

Finally, act now, in whatever way you are called to. Otherwise the toxic forces at loose today will define our time. But each of us acting in our own way can together create a stronger force for good.

Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., is the author of Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships. Working as a science journalist, Goleman reports on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times.

https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-be-a-force-for-good/?utm_content=bufferf7e6d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

In memoriam Claude Steiner, 1935-2017

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF EMOTIONAL LITERACY

  1. I. Place love at the center of your emotional life. Heart-centered emotional intelligence empowers everyone it touches.
  2. Love yourself, others and truth in equal parts. Never sacrifice one to the other.

III. Stand up for how you feel and what you want. If you don’t, it is not likely that anyone else will.

  1. Respect the ideas, feelings and wishes of others as much as you do your own.Respecting ideas does not mean that you have to submit to them.
  2. Emotional Literacy requires that you not lie by omission or commission. Except where your safety or the safety of others is concerned, do not lie.
  3. Emotional Literacy requires that you do not power play others. Gently but firmly ask instead for what you want until you are satisfied.

VII. Do not allow yourself to be power played. Gently but firmly refuse to do anything you are not willing to do of your own free will.

IIX. Apologize and make amends for your mistakes. Nothing will make you grow faster.

  1. Do not accept false apologies. They are worth less than no apologies at all.
  2. Follow these commandments according to your best judgment. After all, they are not written in stone.

==========================

(c) 1998 Claude M. Steiner PhD.