January 24, 2015
- These “Twelve Points for Reform” come from John Spong’s book A New Christianity for a New World:
- The rebuttal of his points comes from Stephanie D. Monk – An Examination of the Theology of Bishop John Shelby Spong.
- I am responding to the twelve points for reform proposed by Mr. Spong, and their rebuttal by Ms. Monk.
Spong – The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior.
Monk – Response to Thesis 11: Guilt
With the destruction of Spong‟s thesis on moral standards, his claim that people should not feel guilt because there are no moral standards, no longer has any foundation and must likewise be abandoned.
Sly – Seriously, get some help.
From my first letter to Pope Francis – The Peace Story: Ending War and Poverty
There can never be world peace or an end to poverty as long as our educational systems trap children in their selfish heart and their knowing mind to command their obedience with the words of God promising heaven and threatening hell.
Fundamentalist Christianity’s insistence that, in their opinion, their opinion is no longer an opinion, is not shy about flouting the awesomeness of its self-worshiping arrogance. You are just being objective, you claim, and anointing the unquestionable divine infallibility of your absolutely non-subjective morality based on the inerrant literal Words of God. Seriously, get some help.
Nobody except yourself is fooled into believing that by “ingesting” the “Words of God” you are now free from moral subjectivity. You are only free from any uncomfortable doubts about what is moral action, and you are only free from guilt for any tragic consequence from your divinely sanctioned moral actions.
All you are saying, you retort, is that I am God’s Mouth that proclaims what you are allowed and not allowed to do, and that I am God’s Hand, the enforcer of God’s Law, and you are evil for questioning God, and even more evil for your rejection of your Guilt for breaking God’s Law.
Does that about cover your “objective morality?”
What I believe Spong is saying is what I am saying, that we do not accept the divinity of your opinion, or your right to define moral action in the name of God, and we do not feel guilty about ignoring it. This does not mean that we never feel guilty. I suspect we both believe the wisdom in the bible concerning the morality of our actions is worth considering, and I suspect, we frequently agree with it.
I, for one, certainly do not reject the guilt I deserve for some of my actions that were ill-considered. In not refusing my guilt, I bind myself to accepting the consequences, to making what reparations can be made, and to learning from my mistakes. These would all seem to be consequences that Fundamentalist Christians can conveniently dismiss. All of their actions require no messy tiresome subjective consideration, nor a moment’s concern for potentially negative consequences for others, as they are directed by God. All of the tragic consequences that their actions have on the lives of others are not their responsibility, but rather, God’s Will.
Pardon me if I am not impressed with the perfection of your objective morality, or your condemnation for my rejection of your guilt trip.
I know it is not your fault, that you are a victim of the suffocating blindness of the knowing mind, and you cannot see what lies beyond your certainty. You are not allowed to question yourself, lest your Truth come unraveled, and plunge you into the living Hell of uncertainty. It is sad, and sadder still that it was the Loving Heart of Jesus that they used to draw you into this Truth Trap, and then bound you inside of it by amplifying you fears of doubt as the “road to hell.”
I know that I cannot rescue you any more than Jesus could rescue those that crucified him, because you have to WANT to be rescued, and that you never will. Unless you die within your certainty, like my mother, you do not win the promised prize. The longer you remain within your Truth Trap, the weaker you become, the less able you are to deal with the reality of uncertainty, to embrace humility, and to escape back into God’s Guessing Game, and Return to God’s Garden. The longer you remain trapped withing your Truth, the more suffocated your perceptions must become to block out contradictions, and the deeper you must retreat into the fantasy of your “objective” divinity. This is the exact opposite direction from moving toward God.
I wish I could save you all, but not even Jesus can save those who refuse to seize the rope that he has tossed to them, and that will pull them free from the hellish waters of the River Styx, the selfish heart and the certain mind.
Next up – Point #12: Discrimination