Tuesday, January 22, 2019

"Following Jesus: Belief or Discipleship"? by Richard Rohr, My Response


My Response: The bottom line is it is all about how we live in love, serve with compassion, and do justice. We should not get our knickers in a knot over anything else especially  dogmas, doctrines or theologies. Jesus sums up our call to discipleship: "love one another as I have loved you!" Each of us is called to be the hands and feet of Jesus everyday.  The four women who left jugs of water and canned food in the Arizona desert for migrants are doing what modern day disciples of Jesus are called to do. See story below.   Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, https://arcwp.org
This is an example of what being a disciple today means
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/21/literally-what-jesus-told-people-do-arizona-possible-prison-time-leaving-food-and


Four women were found guilty of misdemeanors and are facing possible prison time for leaving jugs of water and canned food in the Arizona desert for migrants braving the scorching triple-digit temperatures during the summer of 2017.
"If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?"
—Catherine Gaffney, No More Deaths
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco on Friday convicted Natalie Hoffman, Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse, and Zaachila Orozco—all volunteers with the organization No More Deaths—for entering the Cabeza Prieta refuge without a permit and leaving the items, which "erode the national decision to maintain the refuge in its pristine nature."
The volunteers—who face up to six months behind bars and a fine of up to $500—and other critics of the Velasco's decision argued that the women were simply trying to save lives.

Richard Rohr:
"I often say that we do not think ourselves into a new way of living, but we live ourselves into a new way of thinking. I’m not suggesting that theory and theology are unimportant; but I believe that faith is more about how we live on a daily basis than making verbal assent to this or that idea. In fact, my life’s work in many ways has been trying to move heady doctrines and dogmas to the level of actual experience and lifestyles that are an alternative to our consumer culture. In today’s reflection, Shane Claiborne—an Evangelical I deeply respect—invites us to quite literally follow Jesus: 
Over the past few decades, our Christianity has become obsessed with what Christians believe rather than how Christians live. We talk a lot about doctrines but little about practice. But in Jesus we don’t just see a presentation of doctrines but an invitation to join a movement that is about demonstrating God’s goodness to the world.
This kind of doctrinal language infects our language when we say things like, “Are you a believer?” Interestingly, Jesus did not send us into the world to make believers but to make disciples [see Matthew 28:18-20]. You can worship Jesus without doing the things he says. We can believe in him and still not follow him. In fact, there’s a passage in Corinthians that says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, author’s paraphrase).
At times our evangelical fervor has come at the cost of spiritual formation. For this reason, we can end up with a church full of believers, but followers of Jesus can be hard to come by.
One of the reasons that Francis of Assisi is so beloved is that he followed Jesus so closely. In Shane’s words: 
Francis did something simple and wonderful. He read the Gospels where Jesus says, “Sell your possessions and give the money to the poor,” [Matthew 19:21] “Consider the lilies and the sparrows and do not worry about tomorrow,” [Luke 12:24, 27] “Love your enemies,” [Matthew 5:44] and he decided to live as if Jesus meant the stuff he said. Francis turned his back on the materialism and militarism of his world and said yes to Jesus."

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