The added effect christian christ
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The added effect christian christ: Allowing people to think that i identify as christian has the added effect of making me wonder if i really am christian from time to time.
- 2022-06-08 15:41:22
- Internet Archive Python library 3.0.1
- Are authentic connection is to recognize the underlying spirit of christ that would cause a mold his life into such a wondrous piece of art. And then to ponder the art he created and find out how it inspires us to the first unitarian universalist society of san francisco sunday morning worship podcast for more information and download the previous services go to usf or g and check out our monthly newsletter weekly claim and much much more to all who are here this morning welcome home. Like the light that shines warmly. True stained glass. Show me the light within s pierce the darkness of our own fears. And lead us boldly. Into a world of our own making. We like this chalice as a symbol of the light that is ours to share. May its flame remind us of our high call. Welcome home. Now that flame is touch wick. And the chalice burns brightly. Let us read together the spoken affirmation that lights our way in the world. Love is the spirit of this church and service is it's prayer. This is our great cover. Well together in peace to seek the truth in freedom and he'll want to know. Celebrated a world of our own making. Square shared confidences defeat that guide our walking. As we tread lightly on an earth that has been neglected and abused for too long. Let us celebrate a world of our own making. Where is shared belief is the eyes that make us see. As we bear witness to suffering. Enjoy. Famine. And abundance. Disease and restoration. Let us celebrate a world of our own making. Where is cher trust opens our hearts to the compassion. Within. As we seek the ways in which we are connected. To all creation. As one universal body. Let us celebrate a world of our own making. Where our shared obligation allows us to hear the cries of one another. As we respond. By making a world that is more just. And more equitable. Let us celebrate a world of our own making. And the strength. And humility. We gain. I am a single cell in a body of four billion cell. The body is humankind. I am a single cell. My needs are individual but they are not unique. I am interlocked with our other human beings. The consequences of our actions thoughts and feelings. I will work for human unity and human peace. For a moral order in harmony. With the order of the universe. Together and share the quest for piety of the whole equal to our name. What society in which we need not live beneath our moral capacity. And in which justice has a life of its own. We are single cells in the body for billion cells. The body is humankind. So to all who are here this morning. Welcome home. At the end of this year we give thanks for the gifts. Of the fields that have been sown. And harvested. To nourish. The oceans that continue to add them flow. Reminding us of the unending rhythms of our days. The long days of summer activity. And the long nights. Winter. Introspection. At the end of this year we give thanks for the gifts of the children that have been born. And the elders that have left us wiser for their presents. The cherished ones taken too soon. Any impact. They have made on us. In their struggles. The opportunity. To share our lives. In a sacred coven. Of faith. At the end of this year. We give thanks for the gifts. Of untethered creativity. In rigorous discipline. Boundless love. And challenging scorn. Fortuitous challenges. And challenging. Opportunities. May we remember the lessons of the one whose birth is being celebrated. Across the globe. In this season of advent. To look at the birds above our heads. They neither plant nor reap. They neither store nor horde. Get day-by-day they have food. Look at the flowers beneath our feet. They neither card nor spin. They neither sow. More weave. Get king solomon shown less brightly than day. Do not worry about our lives. What we will get to eat. What we will have to wear. I don't personally identify as christians. Not really. But i get mistaken for being christian all the time. And i'm not particularly good about correcting people. When they make this assumption about me. Bb this conversation or something like it has happened to you. You're sitting at work. Any coffee shop. Or hanging out with some non you you folks. When the question of things that you like to do in your spare time comes up. If you're mean. You say. Biking. Playing board games and going to church. The face of the person you are speaking to goes completely blank. Next thing you know they are apologizing for swearing in your presents. And asking for your opinion on sex before marriage. Most people i meet outside of church are legitimately shocked when they hear about my life as a religious person. And i'm sure it isn't just you use but. Others have little faith as well. Which makes sense with the kind of bad press christians get in the in the liberal circles that i tend to run it. They are after all who we have to blame for anti-abortion legislation and the teaching of creationism in schools right. Every time someone expresses surprised about the fact that i go to church. Don't worry we're not like that. But i stopped myself because one. Some of us really are christian. Into. What really is so bad about being christian. And why am i so quick to distance myself from it. Before speaking i realize that making a statement like that does a disservice to our liberal christian brothers and sisters. Who are trying to make a positive change in the world because of their face. The lack of conclusion that they must feel in little circles is worse than mine i'm sure. The fact that i don't clarify for people what exactly my religious affiliation is and what it means to be a unitarian universalist until i'm prompted has led to some interesting conversations. For example. Last week at an office holiday party i was having a conversation with one of my co-workers about how i don't really believe in god. When my supervisor overheard this instead. Wait what. That just sunk it. You don't believe in god. But don't you go to church every week. I tried to explain to her how this wasn't a contradiction at all. But mayuyu elevator speech wasn't exactly prepared for the office holiday party environment. And she walked away from the conversation even more confused about me than she had been before. First. she thought i was a christian who worked at a liberal nonprofit. Now she thinks i'm a christian who doesn't believe in god who works at 11 nonprofit. The last part may have actually made her think i'm legitimately crazy. Allowing people to think that i identify as christian has the added effect of making me wonder if i really am christian from time to time. I love the idea that jesus is just as divine as everyone else. But that causes me to trip over my own beliefs sometimes. You see. I don't believe in the whole jesus is the son of god thing. I don't believe that jesus is more divine than anyone else. But when i actually apply this belief and think to myself hey. I'm justifying is jesus i feel really special. Which makes no sense because if jesus is just as divine as anyone else that i'm also just a divinest a britney spears. Who's also just as divine is jesus. But i can't help feeling awesome when i compare my divinity to that of jesus it's a it's a strange cycle. What are you thinking about lately is how i can use the divinity of jesus as a tool to help me realize my own divinity and the divinity of others. If i use jesus as my benchmark for everyone's divinity that we all must be pretty darn divine. So maybe it isn't actually inaccurate for people to believe that i am christian after all. One of the critical elements of human christianity. Is compensation justice or distributive justice. The work. Of this church in the world. To be successful must also be work that fights poverty. And make certain that employees are compensated with an honest living wage. This community. Has a history. But supporting people in times of need. And helping to smooth out the rough edges. As personal finances sometimes falter. As the officers passed the baskets. If you know you've been blessed this year with enough to eat and able to share good times with family or friends. Please share your blessings deeply with this congregational community. So that the work of this church in the world. Can be strong and shine brightly. For those. Who's need of us is both urgent and real. Today's lesson comes from the writings of kevin drury. On tuesday november 11th. There was a great deal of discussion in class about the presidential election. The room was filled with excitement and concern. At one point professor blake made the comment. Barack obama is not the messiah. This receive vocal affirmations for most of the class including myself. More importantly for me. This comment revealed an epiphany. No individual is the messiah for all. Jesus came first to earth by the traditional. Biological birthing process. It's impractical and improbable to think. That the return of jesus would be a physical return. What would it mean if the second coming was actually about a time. When humanity began to fully realize its potential. And started to demonstrate and live a more christ-like consciousness on a global scale. What would it mean if we all began to live our lives interact with others and actually lived our faith in ways that uplifted and supported each other. Each of us has been created in the image of or is i would prefer to be manifestations of the divine made human. We each have been given the potential and calling to be our best selves. And to make the world an easier place for others to do the same. I propose that this is actually where we just might be. At this point in time. I propose that through their lives mohandas gandhi. Dorsey de cesar chavez w.e.b. du bois and martin luther king jr each offer us prophetic ways to demonstrate. That each of us has this ability. I propose that the example set by these exemplars can give us the tools to inspire this change in perception and actions in the ministry's we are called to serve. These contemporary prophets have lived lives that demonstrate. That each one of us has the ability and spiritual mandate. To effect change in the world. I propose that the second coming is in fact the arrival of the christ consciousness in humanity worldwide. I see that this global consciousness is made up. At least five. Different parts including culture consciousness. Compassion consciousness. Compensation consciousness civic consciousness. And community consciousness. Paradise here on earth would be possible if each of us were to model the awareness. Agency. And application we have to improve these five. Planetary consciousness has. As a religious leader i plan to help people see that we each have the power to effect some kind of change and improvement. On any of these levels. And to help each person see. That we are not tasked to do it all. But to see that it is more effective and sustainable. If we are each working on a little piece of it. And that we are working on these pieces together. With others. I know that i am also called not only to share the importance of a personal spiritual practice but also not to abandon it. When things are getting frenetic. This is the biggest lesson i have learned from these profits. I hope to always embody personally. This message from the reverend edward ever. Hell. I am only one. But still m1. I cannot do everything. But i still can do something. And because i cannot do everything. I will not refuse to do the something. That i can do. When asked about the second coming i will encourage people to look in the mirror. On the front of his essay kevin head glued a piece of mirrored cellophane under the words. The messiah is here. The world won't stand a chance if we are looking for a single messiah. To save us. We are to global. To diverse and dare i say too jaded for that at this point in time. We need each of us to embrace the fact. That if the world is to have any hope. We must accept the part we each play in saving each other. And the planet. Here ends the lesson. After last week's sermon. One of our congregants mentioned their newfound appreciation. I've unitarian-universalism. Upon hearing reverend greg say. And i paraphrase. We're not the religion about jesus where the religion of jesus. That's a pretty strong and important distinction. As unitarian. As universalist. And as you use instead of worshipping jesus as a god some unattainable other. We endeavor to see jesus as an exemplar. As a brother and as a fully human being cut from the same cloth as us. As a man who is ever seeking. To strengthen his connection. With the divine. Jesus was aiming to be the messiah of the oppressed jewish people. Who's wants rich autonomous culture. Had been assailed upon for centuries by the assyrians. Then the persians then the greeks and the romans. His ministry. Stuck struck a chord in many. Andrew in disciples. Who carried his stories forward. And the stories became. Universal. Jesus because he was working to save his people was anointed by his followers as christ. Now regarding today's lesson. In which kevin drury mentions looking in the mirror. How many of you have given any thought to the idea that you. Might be the messiah. There was a time during my calling when i was genuinely worried about that for myself. Coming from a theist background i wondered was god calling me to be a prophet or even christ. During moments of youthful indiscretion. I'd sometimes entertain a solipsistic point of view. What if all the messed up mess in the world with my fault. A result of me not taking my station in life. Yikes. Who choose to be christ who would wish that. Who would wish all that responsibility on anybody really. But the thought had crossed my mind. And once a message like that. Arrives. It's not so easy to dispel. Some advice from a bumper sticker i occasionally see. Don't believe everything. You think. Yet confusion abounded as i wrestled with my low self opinion from comparing my simple humanist. With this legendary brilliance of christ. So i naturally turned. To the book of jonah for advice. In addition to the story about the whale. Jonah was also one of the rare prophets who instead of prophesying. To the people of nineveh about the doom to come upon them. As a result of their wrongdoing. Jonah dragged his feet on his invite on his divinely-inspired mission for a while. And things actually turned out pretty okay. The city didn't get destroyed. And there's no mention of jonah getting stoned burn or crucified for delivering his message. Many prophets. Especially those speaking against the rulers or the ruling class. Seem to meet a grizzly end. And for that reason alone i wanted to dispel this notion of christ this and get back to a normal life. Because there's so much beauty and potential in this world. I want to be here for it. There's a joke. From annie hall. That might help explain my continued attachment to this thread. This guy goes into a psychiatrist and says.. My brother is crazy he thinks he's a chicken. And the doctor says. Well why don't you turn him in. The guy says. I would but. We need the eggs. The world needs saving and it needs profits. And i am so glad that none of us have to do it alone. So while dragging my feet in my late twenties and early thirties i was testing the possibility of making a type 1 error. Type 1 errors in science. I where you declare a hypothesis to be true. Which is actually false and other words declaring i am the christ but. Oops. Just a guy. Who's going to get looked at weirdly by people or worst perceived as to looney to fit into the job market. On the other hand a type 2 error. Is the one where you declare your hypothesis false. But it's actually true. In other words deciding. Well no i guess i'm just a guy. But actually being dug guy. Who's supposed to save everybody. I didn't really want either for myself i was just trying to figure out a way. To make my calling real. How could i be christ or a prophet or whatever. In community. And have some serious amount of collective responsibility. Authority and accountability. I thought bringing this into being would take some serious time effort and study. Along with a very flexible and double jointed paintbrush. But that was almost two decades ago long before i'd stumbled upon unitarian-universalism. The one place where people rarely blink at things considered heretical in more traditional christian communities. In fact when i got to seminary. I was pleasantly surprised. And relieved to find several of the students there. Overflowing. With this christ spirit. Even if they might not have named it as such. And unitarian universalism. 4/4 principle. Is the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. When we identify the meaning. Of christ. As that which saves our culture. Are interconnected web. And ultimately save each of us. When we identify that which saves as christ. All that business of type one and type two testing for truth. Is set aside. Nokia legends terms the christology of you use is very similar to our soteriology. Christology is the study of humanity and divinity within the person of christ. And soteriology is just a fancy term for the study of what saves or preserves us. Where then does jesus fit into all of this. He was inspired by the events in his world. To devote himself holy. Teaching a way of life. Through which the world might be saved. So inspired and devoted. But he wouldn't shut up even under the looming threat of capital punishment. Now when people focus on the death of jesus or even the person of jesus. I think they missed the point. End run dangerously close to falling into idolizing him and fetishizing. Crucifixion. Putting a person or event especially a symbolic one. On a pedestal isn't form. Of idolatry. Are authentic. Connection. Is to recognize the underlying spirit of christ that would cause jesus to mould his life into such a wondrous piece of art. And then to ponder the art he created and find how it inspires us. When we recognize that the qualities of christ lurk beneath our embodied exteriors. We see the jesus was the first incarnated instance of christ. Kindling an energy capable of saving us. This vital energy that transcends between us is what ralph waldo emerson refer to as the oversoul. Our shared soul. Regarding claims of jesus being the only son of god. He was unique. In the same sense that each of us are unique. But was also quite an outlier in his fulfillment of potential. His devotion to study his perfection of character. And embodied commitment. He was the only child because he was the first. Think for a moment on the eldest sibling in your family. For how long were they the only child until the next sibling was born. In the same way more humans have adopted this consciousness. And strive toward those qualities. We would have signed to divinity. Qualities which often. Happened to fit well with our collective salvation. Kevin jewelry. Listed five distinct qualities or dimensions of christ consciousness. Along with exemplar and descriptions. Here are a few further excerpts. Culture consciousness. Exemplified. By mohandas gandhi. Involved. Knowing one's own culture and maintaining. And identity. And. But identity with and of it. Through this connection gandhi was able to realize the effective use of non-violence. Also known as a hamsa. Which is literally translated as. Not injury. Dorothy day. Demonstrated compassion. Consciousness. When she worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of others making sure that the catholic worker houses. We're able to provide as much food and shelter as they could muster. To serve as many people as possible. Compensation consciousness was exemplified by cesar chavez. When he. Inspired thousands to take a stand and to fight for what is fair and equitable. He was able to remind those outside of the farm system that this work. Their food was being produced on the backs and hopes of people who weren't being fairly rewarded for their labor. Outspoken civil rights writer w.e.b. du bois. Exemplified civic consciousness in his writings. Unapologetically demanding the need for blacks to have the vote. Still slow incoming even several decades after emancipation from slavery. 10 civic consciousness was devoted to empowering black to claim their rightful place. Among the language of the founding documents of our country. And reverend dr. martin luther king exemplified. Community consciousness. Calling on faith. Communities to be accountable for what they were or were not doing. He correctly. And justifiably called the white religious community into task. To task for its complicity. And in action in the civil rights fight. And he continually articulated. That we black and white are all god's children. End of the same community. These four men and one woman allowed the light of these divine qualities to shine out through them. And into the world. Looking back to the nature of our christian roots. Unitarian theology has advocated. For improvement. Immoral character. Looking to jesus christ as a model for human virtue. How does that. Unitarian kind of virtue. Connect with those who'd rather not bother with religion. What was those who see jesus in a very different way. As a solitary christ with a separate and unattainable nature. I say we invite them in by taking the high road. Humbly. Not only is there less traffic. But as we develop a moral system capable of saving that which needs saving. Will draw them in if. Facey christ-like qualities in our way of being. And if. And that if. Implies we are actually developing our virtuous character. Or as the third unitarian universalist principal puts it. Accepting one another and encouraging spiritual growth in our congregation. Next week's sermon will explore the bit about virtue a bit more deeply. In the blurb announcing today's service i indicated i would talk about. An atheist christian lee what that might look like. And i wonder if atheist in our midst today are kind of miffed that i haven't come to that yet. I'm about to. I mentioned god earlier because that was my way of understanding at that time. However this work and theology. Can exist entirely within the framework of christian humanism. As a human endeavor. That saves us even if god should disappear from the picture entirely. For those called to believe and serve theistic lee. Jesus as god is an expedient means of teaching and providing connection and comfort. And striving for deeper identification. With his divinity should be essential duty. For those who believe more in our human connections. Our interconnectedness our reliance on and responsibility. To one another. Is our source. Yet there is a. Deep. Mystery to life. Something that transcends all words and definition. I don't see an a i need to name. The mystery. Not everything. Needs to have a name. And that undefined mystery. Need not be separate. From the common work-a-day stream of cause and effect. At work. In the world. Before i close i need to share a major pet peeve. Religion. The first amendment says that congress can't establish it. And we're free to practice it as we wish. Yet. People tend to define religion into a neat little box involving worship. Prayer and special sacred buildings. About once a month i hear somebody say. I'm spiritual. But not religious. I cringe at that to me religion is the way you live your life. Religion shares a route with ligament. Religare. The root word means. To bind back. Without ligament binding our bones together we just be an unstructured mess laying in a pile on the floor. Religion is so much more than prayers meditation and special buildings. Everybody has religion in their life. The practice isn't structures that hold your life together constitute your religion. How frequently you brush your teeth. And whether you use a circular motion. Or up and down. That's religion. How do you commute to work and to church. What time do you wake up each day. Does that time very. Foods you will and will not eat. And how they're grown. Paper or plastic. Reduce reuse recycle. Decaf or regular. 40. Or juice or water. Your favorite and least favorite sexual practices are even a part of your religion. What is the nature of the community in which you gather if you do. And how often. How do you handle your investments and finances. Do you buy things on layaway for always pay when you have the cash. Budgetary matters are most definitely moral considerations. All those things are religion. Our beliefs as well our structures that helped to hold us together as individuals and as a community. Likewise the rituals we choose our part. About religion. Organized religion. Is when many people are bound to each other or to a creed. And influence to do. Or steer clear of. Common set of practices or rituals. I've heard it said that the most common ritual in america now. Is swiping a credit card. I wonder if that means that capitalism is the organized religion now binding our nation together. Yet even now as we experience the failures of capitalism. I say that right now. Is precisely the time and a great opportunity. First human christianity. We are here at the cusp of 2010 a full decade after. The beginning of the new millennium. A time when some christians had actually expected some form of second coming. For which tom still wait. Yep we. Collectively. Save. Especially when we work together. And especially as more people are drawn to come together into this moral rekindling. Back when i was worried that it might be me on my own as a christ fall into your i thought. How difficult and arduous it would be to fully fleshed-out into a concrete moral compass. To flush out a concrete moral compass. And get buy-in from everybody. But actually over the last 48 years. Unitarian universalist have compiled what hopefully. Will soon be. A not-so-secret secret document. Based on putting our principles into action. Statement of conscience packet. 400-plus page compendium of social justice statements. Which is available online at uua.org social justice / social justice. So good we had to say it twice. The statement of conscious statement of conscience is just such a document. All these years we have affirmed our principal morality in this statement of conscience document. As it applies to current issues. Such as equal rights. Immigration. Racial justice. Religious liberty civil liberties drug policy reform election reform and healthcare. To name a few. Ultimately. Immorality. Of human christianity. Is about building community. It's about connecting with compassion. It's about fair compensation and just distribution. It's about quality. And political action. And about recognizing the values at work in the cultures we live in. So. Whether you believe in god. Gods. Or know god. Believe in our collective human agency. An agency. That is capable of transcending those beliefs. And be a part. Of what saves us. Be christ. Be yourself. And to be unafraid. This. Is christ. And may the benediction be embodied in the week to come. Make a love that casts out fear. And the truth that sets us free. Cletus forward together. Till the day spring breaks and the shadows flee away. Salmon. Thanks for listening to this podcast weekly claim and much much more.