Fundamentalism in religion is primarily the result of a literal interpretation of a sacred text. This is where it starts. This is how it is fueled. It is an approach where compromise is unacceptable, where the whole text has dominance over any individual passage. Consequently, in the fundamentalist’s mind, everything in their sacred text is pure, right, and infallible.
The Christian Bible, the Muslim Koran, the Jewish Torah or Old Testament, are the three primary sacred texts that are often taken by their individual groups of believers as literally true in every word. Hindus have the Bhagavad Gita but they do not worship it in the sense these other religions do their Books. Buddhists have no holy text but instead are guided by sutras or the sayings and teachings of Buddha. Rarely do you see fundamentalists among Hindus or Buddhists.
Mom recently told me she read a letter to the editor in her local newspaper about yoga being the work of the devil. At almost 94 mom is not really surprised by much but she seemed quite surprised to learn some people believe yoga is related to Satan. Really? And who are the people who believe yoga is related to the Devil and why do they believe it? I’m curious because I’ve been doing yoga for over fifteen years and not once have I even had a bad thought much less become possessed by Satan. To learn more I’m joined by yoga expert Barbara Simon.
Our mind has an opinion about everything but that does not mean our mind’s opinions or even the beliefs we hold are true.
It’s responsible to think about why we think what we do and to challenge why we think others must believe what we do.
I feel certain Jesus would question the motivation behind using fear to teach in his name.
As Christians, or people who admire Jesus without the religious label, we are to do our best to love one another with the integrity of Christ. However, this is a challenge, because not all Christians or people who say we love Jesus are equally devoted to living from integrity to discern right and wrong, truth from fiction, trustworthiness from conspiracy, and justice from injustice.
Without the discernment of integrity we cannot identify the dishonest from the honest and the accountable from the irresponsible. Without the values of integrity to guide our reasoning we do not acknowledge and condemn propaganda, fake news, or conspiracy theories. Without integrity we do not have the ability to accurately evaluate a person’s character. Without a shared devotion to walk in the footsteps of integrity as Jesus did, we do not have a willingness or the compassion to put ourselves in the position of others.
Sure we have lots to work on to fix what is broken within Christianity, politics, and society. And, you and I may ultimately agree on the topics we must address. But you and I, or anyone in a conflicting situation, cannot begin to find common ground to develop real solutions if there is no common devotion to respect, honesty, compassion, and justice.
To find common ground we must jointly acknowledge the clear danger of defending, as simply having a different view, tabloid media, white supremacists, racial bigots, those prejudiced against people with handicaps, gays, women, the poor, blacks, immigrants, Muslims etc.
Jesus would remind us there are awful outcomes that arise from defending biased agendas and judgmental hearts. It is extremely dangerous to give a voice or power to people who do not care to hold themselves accountable for the damage hate speech and unjust policies do. Therefore, hesitation on any Christian’s part to clearly identify and vilify purveyors of persecution, division, injustice, and lies, results in a real danger to our society and to our relationships.
A refusal to stand up to tyranny as Jesus would certainly endangers the relationship we have with God. And, Christ.
My Lasagna is to die for! Hey, after 45 years it should be.
Honestly and with all modesty I can say my lasagna is to die for. I don’t mean my lasagna will literally kill you. Heavens NO! The expression “it’s to die for” means something is fantastic, incredible, magnificent, and in the case of food over the top delicious. And my lasagna should be first-rate, an award-winning stack of deliciousness because I’ve spent the past 45 years mastering the recipe.
We don’t get good at anything – cooking, relationships, a job, patience – without practice.
If we want to be really good at something we must get really good at practicing that something.
Practice will make us proficient, not perfect. Takes a lot of stress off, doesn’t it?
There is a calling in life that is spiritual but not religious. It comes from deep within us and from influences outside of us.
It comes from losses and longings, from lessons not yet learned, from lost loves, from emotional hurts we felt but never healed. It comes from thinking we failed our parents, from missing obvious life messages, from disappointing ourselves. It comes from sorry parenting, from unrealistic expectations we accepted, from betrayals received and given. It comes from faulty theology, from the wrong ideas about God, from fears that we are born bad and stay bad. It comes from kids or teens or adults who bullied us, from sexual abuse, from relationship battering, from being belittled in some wounding way or ways.