Just like with music, when you compress something as rich as the story of Jesus, you lose so much of the meaning that it becomes a weak and anemic version of its former self. For a lot of people, this story might work. It’s short, pithy, to the point. But it’s a pretty crappy version of the live performance. It feels simple. It’s small and uninspiring.
Richard Rohr was the first person I heard say that, “Literal truth is the lowest form of meaning.” It is an incredibly profound lesson and is something that I encourage everyone to incorporate into their own lives….There is a lot more meaning than just what is on the surface. This is why I believe God is a cartoon.
Yes, it’s a gamble. It might mean that they’re damned to hell for all eternity. But, it’s a life of unencumbered generosity, of limitless human compassion, and a sense that there is something bigger than all of us – all of us – holding it together. Whatever that is, it’s good and it’s worth trying to connect with.
As a rule, we generally think of ourselves as nice people. We think of ourselves as being as being above average on friendliness and politeness. By all practical accounts people should like us. Our perspectives are rational and make sense to us; most people see the world from our point of view.
From a faith perspective, I grew up following the Jesus tradition and, in that pursuit, I learned about something called The Golden Rule. You know it: Do to others what you would want them to do to you. And, to be fair, it’s not like Jesus had the market cornered on this – He was just paraphrasing something that came from Judaism hundreds of years before, and they had likely picked it from some other group. As it turns out, there are versions of this idea that surface in just about every major religious practice throughout history, from Confucianism to Native American Spirituality. There might not be a more universal truth.
The way that I view God has changed. Dramatically. It used to be that when I would think about God, I would picture an old man in the sky. This worked out well. I grew up in a small town where I knew some old men. They were mostly friendly, worked hard, and gave me … Continue reading God Does Not Have a Penis
A god who does not intervene will not come to the rescue if we just pray harder. This god won’t choose between a football game and a cancer patient. But such a god much be just the source of energy that we need to continue fighting like hell.
A man was walking when he came to the edge of a great forest. The plants were lush and green and the trees towered above his head. The forest itself stretched as far as the man could see in either direction and beyond the horizon. The man had heard legends of this place. It was … Continue reading The Parable of the Great Forest
In hindsight, my road to becoming an ally for my LGBT friends started with frustration. My church friends during college were angry with how prominently the campus LGBT group was featured at campus events. My friends thought that our Christian groups clearly deserved as much attention. And that’s fine, I suppose, but I took issue … Continue reading The Myth of Redemptive Discrimination
A few weeks ago, I was driving home through my neighborhood when I got startled by a deer on a neighbor’s front porch. I only saw it from the corner of my eye, but my heart immediately started to race. I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Reflexively, I whipped my head around … Continue reading An Animal Invented the iPhone and I Got Scared by a Plastic Deer