On this day before Federal taxes are due I have a few comments about politics and religion.
Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen said in a radio interview, “We have lost the ability to have political conversations.” The host argued we have political conversations all the time. But she responded, “No we have conversations about politics. A political conversation is a conversation in which people with differing views come to agreements about how they are going to inhabit society together.” That does not happen!
Gee, the same applies to the church. We have lost the ability to have gospel conversations. We have conversations about the gospel and hardly ever does the church even attempt to come together.
Gospel conversations involve asking questions about scripture without assuming to already KNOW the answer. It also means offering answers that don’t shame, silence, accuse or condemn.
Gospel conversations anger the pure and righteous, no matter what side they represent, because gospel conversations by definition entail grace, mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation—and there are many in our church culture today who are more interested in winning.
As a Presbyterian, I believe the reading of scripture must always be accompanied by the Holy Spirit’s guidance. The calling of the church, according to our constitution, involves holiness, and “The holiness of the church comes from Christ who sets it apart to bear witness to his love, and not from the purity of its doctrine or the righteousness of its actions.” (F-1.03b) In other words, without love, we gain nothing. I think it was the Apostle Paul who said that somewhere in scripture!
All this is to say I LOVE MY ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS because I believe the way we approach the text each week means we are having gospel conversations, not conversations about the gospel. (Thank you to everyone in the class!)
NOW . . . go pay your taxes and join us this Sunday at 9:30!