And the greatest of these...
When I read it lately, I am reminded how far the fanatical right has twisted the definition of "religion" and "Christianity" away from anything resembling the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Yet, to benefit them on their quest for absolute political power, they have somehow convinced many that they have the monopoly on morality and “Jesus.”
I recently had a talk with a very cool priest (who is unfortunately leaving Alaska for another parish) regarding the major issues I have with some of the teachings and the direction of the Catholic Church. I was very surprised to find that this priest had many of the same issues.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 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 have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
It reinforced my belief that the Catholic Church I knew as a child was still around, but was being drowned out by a cacophony of strident voices sowing hatred and promoting persecution.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.I’ve started reading “Sojourners” online Progressive Christian magazine and I have been impressed by the writings of Jim Wallis. I am ordering his book “God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It” online and will probably be making comments as I read it. I’ve been of the belief that Liberals, Christian or not, should become educated enough to call the theocrats on their hypocrisy when they try to claim a monopoly on morality. I think that Liberals are afraid that they must be able to know the Bible inside and out, chapter and verse in order to put up a good theological argument. While it may help, it isn’t necessary.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.If we’ve learned nothing else, repetition has been their best weapon. In other words – true or not, it becomes true to others if you repeat it enough times. If enough Liberals would continuously point out the complete lack of Jesus’ teachings in the preaching of the right wing, if Liberal “people of faith” would speak up, I believe it could help to tip a scale that was already going against them.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.