God's Politics

God's Politics


Joy Carroll Wallis: Walking With Jesus Through the Wilderness

posted by gp_intern

On Friday, Jim and I are hoping to take Luke to see the new movie Amazing Grace, which tells the story of William Wilberforce, John Newton, and the overcoming of the slave trade in Britain. It seems that Lent is an appropriate time for its release, because on Ash Wednesday we are called to humble repentance. We are asked to reflect on our inadequacies, our weaknesses, our temptations, the areas in which we fall short and fail – even historically. But ultimately, we are asked to do so in the light of God’s grace … amazing grace.

What can be very difficult in Lent is the wilderness. The wilderness within, or the wilderness we find ourselves in. We may be led quite involuntarily into the wilderness … and not just in Lent. What we call in spiritual speak “the time of testing” can actually feel like desperation, a loss of hope. We may cry out, “where is God?” in the face of random or meaningless suffering, immense stress, depression, illness, debilitating grief, war, and tragic death.

Reading about the temptations of Jesus, his “time of testing” in the wilderness might offer some guidance. All of Jesus’ replies to the devil come from Deuteronomy 6-8 and each temptation is a temptation to sin against the great commandment in Deuteronomy 6:5, to love God “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

Firstly, we read that Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread. There’s a great humanity about this temptation. You have to remember now that he was hungry, he was exhausted; he hadn’t eaten for 40 days! This was a temptation to security. Immediate gratification, the quick fix, the easy answer. My kids know all about that temptation! So do I. In my constant efforts to be efficient, I am always looking for the easy instant solution. On a purely domestic level, it’s so tempting to buy the ready-to-serve juice pouches, the individual applesauce pots … but all that excess packaging!

Much of life is like that. We go to great lengths to have an easy life. It can be a daily temptation for us not to discipline ourselves in areas of greed, materialism, or even sensuality. Health and wealth – we want it now. We want God to speak to us now, to guide us now, to heal us now. And Jesus is saying: No, have patience. Be in the wilderness and discover how to rely on God. Simplify your lifestyle, reject the easy answers, and the wilderness journey will start to teach you something about trust in God and how to serve God with your heart, your soul, and your mind.

The second temptation was to power and wealth over and against loving God. Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said, “I will give you their glory and all this authority.” He’s promised of “all the kingdoms of the world” – if he will only bow down to the voice behind the principalities and powers. This is a particularly American temptation, the notion that America is indispensable, the one remaining superpower that is needed by the world. George Bush has given us plenty of reason to believe that he puts his hope in America rather than God and indeed can confuse the two. In his address delivered on the anniversary of September 11, he quoted from John’s gospel, “And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it.” The trouble is that he was not referring to the light of the world, Jesus Christ. Rather, he was referring to America and its ideals of freedom and democracy as the light and hope of the world. It’s easy to apply this to the administration and to George Bush, but we should also consider how it challenges us – this is especially true for the third temptation.

The third temptation was to the spectacular. Satan took Jesus to Jerusalem, placed him on the pinnacle of the temple and said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down … the angels will bear you up.” This is the temptation to fame, or to the spectacular. Almost four years ago to the day, as many of you were working very hard to stop the war in Iraq from happening, the official Pentagon language was that an attack would leave Iraq and the world in a state of “shock and awe.” Three thousand bombs will be dropped in the first week. It doesn’t matter about the weather, we’ll amaze them with our technology … And America did the spectacular. But it was the devil’s temptation, and so much more evil abounds right now because the administration succumbed to that particular temptation.

God’s way of transformation is not spectacle, but the patient enduring of the wilderness and the cross. As I said, this temptation can hit home personally too. We can all be tempted to seek God in the spectacular and not in the struggle and the suffering. It’s also a challenge for Sojourners, particularly in the face of success, to remain humble.

In his Lenten reflection last year, Jim said,

Humility is difficult for people who think they are, or want to be, “radical Christians.”

Humility is difficult when you’re always calling other people – the church, the nation, and the world – to stop doing the things you think are wrong and start doing the things you think are right.

Humility is difficult for the bearers of radical messages.

When we’re always calling other people to repent and change, it’s not always easy to hear that message for ourselves.

I want to suggest that there is a real and very deep tension between humility and the prophetic vocation.

We can be tempted by the idols of materialism, power and spectacle, in the forms of war, wealth, prestige, and celebrity, just to name a few. But Jesus said, “Away with you Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only God.’” Then the tempter left him, and will leave us, too, if we stand our ground passing with Jesus through the wilderness.


Joy Carroll Wallis was one of the first women priests ordained in the Church of England, and is the author of The Woman Behind the Collar , published by Crossroads. She is married to Jim Wallis and is the mother of their two young sons, Luke and Jack. This article is adapted from a message she delivered during Sojourners’ staff Ash Wednesday chapel service.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(45)
post a comment
Kris Weinschenker

posted February 22, 2007 at 7:32 pm


So when does Jeff Carr get back from Iran?



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted February 22, 2007 at 8:35 pm


Kris Weinschenker, http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/godspolitics/2007/02/jeff-carr-welcome-to-iran.html is the location of the discussion about the trip to iran and it includes a report by Jeff Carr.



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted February 22, 2007 at 9:02 pm


Joy, The local priest several weeks ago told us that we are all called to be “minor prophets”. I think the excerpt you provided to us from Jim’s reflection from last lent is relevant to that: “…Humility is difficult for people who think they are, or want to be, “radical Christians.” Humility is difficult when you’re always calling other people the church, the nation, and the world to stop doing the things you think are wrong and start doing the things you think are right. Humility is difficult for the bearers of radical messages. When we’re always calling other people to repent and change, it’s not always easy to hear that message for ourselves. I want to suggest that there is a real and very deep tension between humility and the prophetic vocation…”. To those great thoughts I just add that it is important that we speak up about necessary change… especially to our elected officials and candidates… that might be the most effective way we can be “minor prophets”…



report abuse
 

Dwain

posted February 22, 2007 at 9:28 pm


I have always found it interesting that Satan tempted Jesus with 3 things that the Messiah would eventually do or be. He feeds the multitude with bread, he is to be the Lord of lords, and he was to accepted as the Messiah of the Jewish people. The question has always been, what is the best way, the right way to get this work done. Satan suggested one way, Jesus took another.



report abuse
 

Mary Hurley

posted February 22, 2007 at 9:51 pm


I read Jim Wallis’ piece last year (and Joy’s quote of it this year) about the tension he senses between humility and being prophetic. My question is: How do you define humility? I couldn’t find that anywhere in the article. Thank you.



report abuse
 

Charles Scouten

posted February 22, 2007 at 10:05 pm


With respect to the tension between humility and prophetic vision, permit me to offer the following: Have no doubt regarding the voice of God, its credibility and inerrancy, but prudence suggests that we harbor a profound doubt about the human hearing.



report abuse
 

Laura

posted February 22, 2007 at 10:33 pm


Dwain’s comment provides further insight into humility. I don’t think Joy needs to spell the meaning of humility for us, really. But I do think Dwain brings us closer to understanding how to balance our faith and duty with humility.



report abuse
 

Allan Richardson

posted February 23, 2007 at 12:48 am


I am also reminded of the dialogue imagined by Dostoevsky between “Christ and the Inquisitor”. I read this as a literature excerpt in my public Junior High English class (there was no ban on reading or discussing great literature just because it is ABOUT religion, nor should there be). MANY years later, I was shocked to learn that Laura Bush listed this selection as one of her favorite readings (but not shocked, only disappointed, that none of the mainstream media explained to the public what this piece describes); primarily for what it says about the difference between their (her?) professed opinions and (his?) actual policies. The gist of it was that, after the Inquisitor assures Christ, who has come back to Earth, that he knows exactly who He is, he still insists that for Christ to turn down the Devil’s second offer was a MISTAKE, and one which the CHURCH (not only the Catholic or Orthodox, but most comfortable Protestant churches) had CORRECTED for Him, so as to convert MORE sinners to Christ more QUICKLY. The author’s description of how the Inquisitor and his Church operate leaves the reader wondering if it was REALLY to Christ that the various Churches have been converting people all of these centuries. The message of Christ is NOT one of applying secular power to “holy” purposes through war, violence, and control over the lives of individuals, but one of acting in LOVE to transform hearts. Yes, we have to have a secular government for the time being, but it can NEVER be considered “holy” no matter WHO is currently in charge. And yes, the groups in which we gather for mutual spiritual support (i.e. churches) do have to have reasonable rules of order to manage the dialogue among all of us, but neither the LEADERS of the group, nor the SCRIPTURES written by past leaders, are the ultimate authority, only the Spirit of God in each human heart. We are constantly being tempted to forget this; the greatest motivation to do evil is the desire to do good more “efficiently”.



report abuse
 

Marjorie Miller

posted February 23, 2007 at 2:22 am


Excuse me, but what gives an English Anglican priest have the right to criticize Bush and politicize Christ. The analysis of Christ’s temptations was well done, but the attacks on Bush and his defense of America against Islamic terrorists was a cheap shot. There are many of us in the U.S. who appreciate his strong stand for our protection.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted February 23, 2007 at 5:51 am


Damn right, Marjorie…



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted February 23, 2007 at 7:16 am


I also know persons who supported the initial decision to invade Iraq and who now want the war to continue until “victory” is achieved. And I know a staunch republican who was opposed from the beginning to the idea of assuming responsibility for Iraq and another who became very concerned shortly after the invasion. Each is hoping for an early end to the war and is concerned about the short term consequences of the war upon the republican party. On the other hand, there are also many citizens of the US (and of Britain) who opposed the initial decision to invade Iraq and who are very upset about the failure to prepare adequately for the stabilization of Iraq afterward. I personally do not know any person who was opposed to the invasion at the start and who now favors a continuation of the war until “victory” is achieved.Whatever a person thought about the decision to invade Iraq at that time, I’m pretty certain most persons now resent the lack of adequate planning for the stability of Iraq in the aftermath of the invasion.



report abuse
 

Chris Landry

posted February 23, 2007 at 12:14 pm


Marjorie asks what gives an Anglican priest the right to criticize George Bush. One reason, of course, is that we live on one planet. Political boundaries are an artificial construct, but the death and destruction that the leader of the free world can inflict on the world are all too real. We know that this administration lied regarding the reasons for going to war with Iraq, this administration has — against all religious and civil precedent — made preemptive war the official doctrine of our nation, this administration has condoned the unconscionable use of torture, this administration has sent our young people into a foolish war without proper armor, this administration has ignored the real terrorists (who are in Afghanistan) while fighting a war against a nation that posed us no threat, this administration has cut funds for veteran’s benefits and medical care, this administration’s gross indifference to the consequences of this war has allowed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi people to die, this administration has fanned the flames of hatred and so has recruited many more terrorists into hating us, this administration has circumvented and weakened our Constitution, and — ultimately — this administration’s blind foolishness has made the world more, not less, dangerous. I wish that it were not so, but the man who leads our nation has wreaked unspeakable havoc on the world.



report abuse
 

moderatelad

posted February 23, 2007 at 1:56 pm


Marjorie Miller | 02.22.07 – 9:27 pm | #was a cheap shot This is the place for cheap shots against conservatives & evangelicals. I’ve learned to overlook them for the most part. Happy Friday! Later – .



report abuse
 

Stephen Davidson

posted February 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm


Where is the humility from progressives towards Christians that desire to believe the Bible? While some of the thoughts of progressives may be harmless, many of the heresy promoted by progressives is dark and diturbing. Read the Crunchy Con blog for the rise and celebration of evil within places called “Churches.” I believe progressives are masking a dark and deceptive agenda with fluffy and nice things.



report abuse
 

Debra Shrader

posted February 23, 2007 at 3:28 pm


Joy, your reflections for Ash Wednesday are a chance for us to reflect on our own actions. Isn’t that what Lent is about? I agree that Bush has substituted America in the God position. It’s dangerous and harmful to the world. It appeals to the patriotism of many Americans, because it SEEMS to be a correct proclamation. Scary…..



report abuse
 

Dana Franchitto

posted February 23, 2007 at 3:51 pm


Re; “walking thruWilderness With JesusAre you sure, he wants the company?



report abuse
 

Leon

posted February 23, 2007 at 5:24 pm


How can Jim Wallis have a wife who calls herself a preacher or teacher, and yet he claims to be a Christian and ignores the clear teaching about not having women preach or teach–that is up to men, according to the Word of God! The women in the New Testament did not compete with men in preaching, as the women of today do. 1 Timothy 2:12 (King James Version) King James Version (KJV)12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted February 23, 2007 at 5:44 pm


Stephen Davidson, Muslims believe (admittedly according to what I read just yesterday) that Mohammed (about 600 years after Christ) was a prophet who brought a more perfect message of how we should live. They believe that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were prophets prior to Mohammed each of whom brought clarifications to beliefs about how we should live. They do not believe in original sin, or that God had to become human to rectify an infinite offense. They believe that Jesus was not crucified but that his body was taken to heaven after his death. They do not have a parallel to baptism. The Protestant Reformation brought a necessary correction to the course Christianity was on, some 800-900 years after Mohammed. I think Mormons believe that their prophet (in the mid-1800s) brought a more perfect message of how we should live than existed previously. Jewish persons probably think they were and are on the correct course… as do Buddists and Hindus. Which of these religions carries the absolute truth about how God wants us to live our lives? Or, do we learn more and more over time and adjust our thinking about what constitutes a good life? Is there some lack of humility in thinking that “our” religion is superior to all others and that all others should adopt our way of life? Is there some danger in that belief?



report abuse
 

BH

posted February 23, 2007 at 5:51 pm


Thank you, Joy, for your profound thoughts on Lent. I hope to hear more from you in the future! I agree with your point that confusing America with the Light of the World is dangerous. No nation, no matter how righteous, is to be worshipped and held sacred. That place belongs to God alone. This is true whether you agree with what our government is doing at present or not, and applies to all nations, and all organizations and people, for that matter.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted February 23, 2007 at 6:26 pm


“Is there some lack of humility in thinking that “our” religion is superior to all others and that all others should adopt our way of life?” This gets brought up a lot. I do not think it is arrogant to assume that you have the right religion, any more than it is arrogant to assume the 2 + 2 = 4. If it is correct, it is correct. Humilty means submitting to God, and that means having absolute confidence that we are saved through Christ. To question your faith or the nature of your faith is fine, but to conclude that it isn’t true, or might not be true, places yourself over God’s word.



report abuse
 

Wendy McCarroll Gallegos

posted February 23, 2007 at 7:29 pm


Just what my spirit and heart needed to hear! Thank you Joy for your wisdom and depth of understanding of what Jesus was really saying.



report abuse
 

Erin

posted February 23, 2007 at 7:40 pm


Leon Where do I even begin???You are quoting from 1 Timothy 2:12. That is a letter. What is the context? Who is writing it? Who is he writing to? Why does he begin his talk about women with how they dress? If you can’t answer any of these questions please don’t exegete a small portion of scripture out of context. I hope you also encourage women to never wear gold or pearls and never put their hair in braids with as much ferverency as women NOT teaching. I also hope you lift up your hands in holy prayer literally daily without anger or disputing with ANYONE.



report abuse
 

Leon

posted February 23, 2007 at 8:54 pm


To Erin:First Timothy is NOT a “letter”, it is holy scripture, and according to II Timothy 3:16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” So tell us, Erin, if you are led by God’s Holy Spirit, what is the purpose of I Tim. 2:12 if not to instruct women to be silent in the presence of men, and if they will learn anything, to ask their husband if they will learn anything: (or other “head” of the women whether father, brother, uncle,etc.) as commanded in I Cor. 11:[3] But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. AND I Cor. 14:[34] Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. [35] And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. NOW, Erin, please tell us how much of the Holy Word of God (John 1:1,2, and verse 14) you can ignore or disobey and still qualify as a “Christian?” At what point of disobedience to the Bible does one become a hypocrite, a roaring lion in sheeps’ clothes?? Leon.



report abuse
 

Erin

posted February 23, 2007 at 9:56 pm


Leon God did not send down his holy scripture (and I do believe it is HOLY) from the sky. He wrote it down through authors, who lived in cultures and had language and wrote in context. Paul wrote a letter to a church his faithful follower Timothy was in charge of. Paul was jewish. He wrote in Greek. All of that is important if you want to fully understand God’s word to us. God could have thrown down tablets from the sky or used a pen without human hands, but he didn’t.But I will stop now, because we digress, and also because you are not my father, brother, husband, or pastor. So according to you, you should be talking to a male in my life who will learn from you, a male, and only THEN instruct me if I choose to ask him. So, I will stop because we will get nowhere!!!Aside: Thanks for the challenging article, Reverand Joy Wallis!!!



report abuse
 

Mary Livezey

posted February 23, 2007 at 10:16 pm


I found your words to be so meaningful for a Lenten reflection. The issues that some have bring up are amazing to me. Rather than concentrate on the challenging ideas of this reflection, detours and tangents are taken that dilute the simple message.



report abuse
 

Mary Livezey

posted February 23, 2007 at 10:19 pm


A correction. I meant to say the issues that some have brought up….



report abuse
 

Ayla

posted February 24, 2007 at 12:09 am


Marjorie Why shouldn’t an English Anglican female priest have a view on Bush and his misuse of Scripture to defend his indefensible foreign policy and abuse of human rights. After all many US Americans seem to have a view on what the rest of the World should be doing wether in South America, Asia, Europe or anywhere else. Amongst other issues they usually want us to support their right wing capitalist views, defend their abuse of the enviroment and disregard their exploitation of their migrant workers. Leon Your use of Scripture is extremely fundamentalist. Do you interpret all verses of the Bible in such a literal way devoid of their place in time and culture? If so I presume you always turn the other cheek, only have one coat, support the practise of no personal property and holding all things in common, advocate the stoning of adulterous women and do not suffer witches to live etc etc. Devout Southern Baptist Christians used the Bible to defend slavery just as much as other Christians used it to fight the dreadful system. Christians can read the same text and come to different conclusions, it doesn’t necessary mean that someone is less of a Christian because they understand the scriptures in a different way than you do.



report abuse
 

Rick

posted February 24, 2007 at 2:54 am


Mrs. Wallis seems to go out of her way to prove she’s but another shill leftist voice whose God is politics. She’s obviously learned well from her husband, a man who’s successfully sold himself as a moderate when the reality is that he leans so far left he’s about to fall over. Here are the President’s words that Wallis takes completely out of context and uses to exhibit that she has been afflicted, as has her husband, with Bush Derangement Syndrome:

Tomorrow is September the 12th. A milestone is passed, and a mission goes on. Be confident. Our country is strong. And our cause is even larger than our country. Ours is the cause of human dignity; freedom guided by conscience and guarded by peace. This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind. That hope drew millions to this harbor. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome it.

The cause is larger than this country. The cause of human dignity, freedom guided by conscience (easily interpreted to be God), and guarded by peace (easily interpreted to be Christ). This ideal of America, in the context of the darkness that is jihadism and the attacks of 9/11, is in fact the hope of the world not so enmeshed in religious gobbledygook-speak… I find it amazing that a progressive Christian, who can interpret God’s presence as something to be seen in all kinds of different cultures and religions, can be so quick to dismiss God’s presence in the life of a political opponent… Wallis is a bald-faced liar masquerading as an angel of light… she should be cursed and not praised… more so her husband, who’s duplicity is glaring… Mrs. Wallis political posturing masquerading as a semon goes on. She writes:

Almost four years ago to the day, as many of you were working very hard to stop the war in Iraq from happening, the official Pentagon language was that an attack would leave Iraq and the world in a state of “shock and awe.” Three thousand bombs will be dropped in the first week. It doesn’t matter about the weather, we’ll amaze them with our technology … And America did the spectacular. But it was the devil’s temptation, and so much more evil abounds right now because the administration succumbed to that particular temptation.

Do you get the message this Lent? The message is that George Bush has unleashed abounding evil. Never mind the responsibility lying at the feet of an ideology that would dress Mrs. Wallis in a burka, slap her when she gets out of line, and deny her every right she now enjoys without worry. Never mind the fact that this ideology targets the innocent. Never mind that they worship a most violent God and that they think the way to glory is to slice the necks of the infidels.Mrs. Wallis minimizes and ignores the dangers posed by those who worship a false god and instead points the finger of blame and sees evil in the person of George W. Bush.What a farce. What a joke. What unmitigated gall on display for all and lapped up by the gullible who see her and her duplicitous husband as spiritual leaders.Stroke her a check folks for that’s the bottom line that they’re after. Your money that can be used to propagate their propaganda to the gullible and easily led.Stroke her a check and then consider your Lenten spiritual discipline to be complete.And hey, so early in the Lenten season.



report abuse
 

Wendy McCarroll Gallegos

posted February 24, 2007 at 3:12 am


I am horrified at many of the hateful comments dished out towards Joy and Jim! What MEAN planet do you come from and why don’t you just go back there! I thought you Americans didn’t like the Taliban-yet you speak about women and social activists as those radically fundamentalist would!



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted February 24, 2007 at 4:28 am


” I thought you Americans didn’t like the Taliban-yet you speak about women and social activists as those radically fundamentalist would!” Um, no. The taliban would have rape victims stoned to death. This is an irrational statement.”Your use of Scripture is extremely fundamentalist.” Being (as you call it) “extremely fundamentalist” (which it isn’t) doesn’t make it wrong. “Do you interpret all verses of the Bible in such a literal way devoid of their place in time and culture?” Why must Biblical truth adhere to culture? The Bible, as you might observe, is not so much a fan of culture. “If so I presume you always turn the other cheek,” The Christ used allegory is not a reason to ignore the words of Paul. Paul was not speaking allegorically. As for the other examples you cite, you are surely aware that theologians have dealt with (for example) the impact of Christ’s death on our observance of Levitical law. There is a case to be made for allowing women to serve in church leadership. This isn’t it.”I am horrified at many of the hateful comments dished out towards Joy and Jim! What MEAN planet do you come from and why don’t you just go back there!” I am similarly horrified at the constant assault on our President, the failure to give him credit for advocating initiatives they support, and their outright hostility toward Christian conservatives. What MEAN planet do Jim and Joy live on?



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted February 24, 2007 at 4:40 am


Kevin, With all due respect, comparing the certainty of addition to the uncertainties resulting from consideration of the variations in cultures and beliefs is like comparing apples and oranges. I think our ability to see the difference depends upon the differing lenses through which various human persons view life… We’re all aptly characterized by the proverb (from India ?) about sightless persons attempting to describe an elephant… it depends upon which part we can perceive…



report abuse
 

Donna Turner

posted February 24, 2007 at 4:29 pm


Joy, Thank you for the lenten reflection. It was just what I needed this morning. Will there be more installments as lent progresses? I hope so. Like Jim said, it is difficult to be humble, or remain free from anger and defensiveness, when you are attacked for your prophetic position. I for one will pray for you to remain strong and keep speaking out. God bless you.



report abuse
 

Nita

posted February 24, 2007 at 8:20 pm


This is my first visit to this Blog. I wanted to thank Joy for her posting, “Walking with Jesus through the Wilderness”. The parts describing the wilderness inside us and the wilderness we sometimes live in really spoke to me. The temptation for security and the easy life is a strong one for me. God has blessed me a billion times each day, yet I needed to be reminded that it’s ok and even necessary that I take my turn in the wilderness. My faith tells me that God is blessing me in the wilderness also even if my logical mind says why me? To paraphrase one of Paul’s doxologies, “Oh, the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable his judgements, his paths beyond tracing out…” Joy, I hope to read/hear more of your articles/sermons. It saddens me to read the attack responses from Leon and a few others. Does God really care what gender or race or nationality we are? We are called to love God and to also love each other. May we all be filled with the peace of Jesus and be obedient to his commandment: Love one another.



report abuse
 

Julie M

posted February 24, 2007 at 8:30 pm


Joy,I enjoyed the piece about humility a great deal. But I thought your interpretation on the third temptation a little off. My pastor preached on the same passage Ash Wednesday and took the view that the third temptation is all about protection. It touches on our sense of lonliness and attacks God’s character. It causes us to doubt him, not trust in his abiding presence. Will we trust God to protect us, or will we take things into our own hands? Its not a matter of doing nothing or getting in and controlling, but rather of working with God, by His spirit to do the things he calls us. Like Jesus, we have to trust in the midst of all those temptations and trials that God will see us through.



report abuse
 

Ayla

posted February 24, 2007 at 9:52 pm


Kevin Yes the Taliban were guilty of many atrocities just as the US/UK coalition forces in Afganistan and Iraq have also been guilty of rape, murder,mistreatment of prisoners, massacre of women and children etc. Interestingly many exiled professional Iraquis here in the UK say that the postion of women under Saddam was a lot better than it is now.Women in Saudi Arabia are also extremely oppressed and can be beheaded if found guilty of adultery but because they are “our” allies Saudi Arabia seems beyond criticism, our governments do not try to impose western style democracy on them and a recent UK arms bribery scandal involving the Saudis has been hushed up in the cause of “national security”. Double standards which I guess are more to do with access to oil than any higher moral code.



report abuse
 

Leon

posted February 24, 2007 at 10:05 pm


To Ayla from Leon: Yes, I take many Biblical commands literally, unless there is an obvious reason to do otherwise, or God’s spirit leads otherwise. You and other writers above seem not to be able to understand God’s message — is this because of I. Cor.2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [15] But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. [16] For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”So when someone says to me, “Who made you God?”, I can quote the above scripture with confidence, that I have the mind of Christ, because God’s spirit bears witness with my spirit. You and others who profess to be Christian but deny God’s word by saying it doesn’t apply and refusing to conform your life to the Word of God, are seen by those who have the Truth as carnal, natural, foolish people who wish to judge me, yet can not do that because when we uphold the Truth, no man judges us any more than they could judge God Almighty! Just as light drives away darkness, you can never condemn those who seek to live by and proclaim the Word of God, for Thy word is truth, sayeth the Lord. (John 17:17).You are also wrong when you say “Christians can read the same text and come to different conclusions,…”. The Word of God says the opposite: I Timothy I:[3] “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, [4] Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”God’s will is the same for all of us as regarding moral living standards, and it is a moral issue when women seek to usurp authority and power over man that was given by God from Creation to men to rule over the woman: Gen. 3:16] “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” It would be better for you to be cold or hot than lukewarm–can you repent and deny your self will, pick up your cross (God’s Word and will), and follow Jesus? Leon.



report abuse
 

Ayla

posted February 24, 2007 at 11:15 pm


LeonObviously Christians read the same Scriptures and come to different conclusions otherwise we wouldn’t have the multiplicity of denominatios that must be a cause of great sadness to the Lord. Equally sincere Christians differ on many issues ……..politically, socially, theologically , infant v believers baptism, the eucharist, the positon of women, birth control, re-marriage of divorcees, capital punishment, pacificism v the concept of a just war to name but a few. I don’t doubt that you hold your views sincerely and I’m sure that you think that you are being obedient to your understanding of God’s Word. I would ask is that you allow others to have a different postion from your own accepting that they will have studied and prayed over the same Scriptures with equal sincerity as you have. After all, while we are in this World, we all see through a glass darkly.



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted February 25, 2007 at 5:26 am


Ayla, Amen, sister. Mike



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted February 25, 2007 at 5:36 am


I think God wants all of us to love God and love our neighbor, from my admittedly slight comprehension of other religions. Christians recognize this simple summation of what God expects of us. And the charge to care for those who are “thirsty”, “hungry”, “naked” and so on.And the concept that those who do these acts of kindness will be saved (and those who do not will not be saved).And that by doing these kindnesses for persons in those circumstances, we do them for God and to God.



report abuse
 

JD

posted February 25, 2007 at 6:53 pm


The articile by Joy depicks the three temptations that Christ underwent in the wilderness. The World we live in is really the wilderness, for we are faced with temptations every day. Christ faced an even greater temptation while hanging on the Cross. One man hanging near him told him to save himself if he was the Son of God. The man on the other side showed humility when he answered and told the first one that Christ was really the Son of God. There on the Cross hanging beside Christ was a man about to die who accepted Christ even until the last moment as the Son of God. Satans trick is to fool us into turning away from Christ even at the last moment faced with death. We can quibble about each others faith and called other Radical or we can realize that in the world of many false religions Christians are considered radical. From Abraham, Noah, the Prophets, Christ and his 12 followers the message was radical to the people then as it is to many today. The question is this, why did Christ come? The answer at first seems simple, because we are not perfect. He came to forgive our inperfections. His example is perfect, he is the Son of God. There is not living being that even approaches his perfection. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe, I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in God’s word yet some might call me Radical, in my 71 years I have been called many things. Many people tell me this is how you must believe, the perceptions of others is not important. I must live as I understand God’s word, not by the words of men. We as Christians judge each others actions while others slaughter us. Christ said,” The Meek shall inherit the Earth. The word Meek means, 1) to sit back and do nothing, 2) No backbone. I am not meek, as I perfer to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. When Christ saw the money changers in his Fathers house he was angered. Christians should be angered, should be radical, but not so radical and angry that we tear each other appart. That is Satans work. Peace be with you. JD.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted February 25, 2007 at 9:05 pm


“Yes the Taliban were guilty of many atrocities just as the US/UK coalition forces in Afganistan and Iraq have also been guilty of rape, murder,mistreatment of prisoners, massacre of women and children etc.” This is not a valid equivalency. The Taliban sanctions such treatment of women. Our militray does not, and prosecutes those who engage in such activity. “Interestingly many exiled professional Iraquis here in the UK say that the postion of women under Saddam was a lot better than it is now.” How so? Who says this? If it is worse, it is not because Americans are treating them poorly. “Saudi Arabia seems beyond criticism, our governments do not try to impose western style democracy on them and a recent UK arms bribery scandal involving the Saudis has been hushed up in the cause of “national security”.” If it has been “hushed up”, how do you know about it? I don’t think Saudi Arabia is beyond criticism. Either way, I don’t see how this is evidence that we are using the language of the Taliban. “Double standards which I guess are more to do with access to oil than any higher moral code.” If we held access to oil higher than any moral code, we would simply annihiliate the Middle East, and steal their oil.



report abuse
 

Jen

posted February 26, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Joy, I hope to see more of your writing in the Sojo Newsletters in the future. Maybe you could write in more detail about simplifying our lifestyle. I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions. Thanks!



report abuse
 

Payshun

posted February 28, 2007 at 7:30 am


Leon, It is not for you to judge anyone as carnal. As a matter of fact I would wonder how much the “mind” of Christ truly dwells w/n you. I wonder if it is just biblese hiding the broken man you are. I wonder if the word you quote is alive in you.I don’t know if it is or if it is not but if those are just mere words you quote then there is a problem and you might want to try Judaism. I hear they take converts to legalism. Oh and Timothy is a letter. I would wonder if Paul’s instructions to Timothy would be obeyed by Lydia the rich woman purple lye and clothing manufacturer. She was the head of her household and not of Hebrew origin. Paul also says to kiss your fellow brother during greeting. Do you do this? Do you do it the way they did back then? Did you know they kissed open mouth? p



report abuse
 

Leon

posted March 2, 2007 at 9:39 pm


To Payshun:The command to greet one another with a holy kiss is given at least five times in the new testament, I believe. It is also commanded to greet a believer by name and with the right hand of fellowship. All truely born again believers will have the desire to obey all the commands in the Bible, and as such I have experienced that the greeting of the Holy Kiss is no more holy than the person engaging in the keeping of this religious ordinance. Same with the washing of the saints feet–to some it will only be getting wet feet, to others, it will be a spiritual expression of humility and servanthood that is only one part of the Christian’s life. One question I asked above has not been answered: How many of the Bible commands can be ignored or disobeyed before a person no longer qualifies as a follower of the Christian religion? Jesus said: “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15. Note; not some of them, or the easy ones, or the currently popular ones, but ALL OF THEM. This doesn’t mean we will be perfect, but we WILL have the DESIRE to be perfect, and not ignore parts of the Bible!Also, true love as God wants us to practice it is explained in Lev. 19: 17: “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.” SO THIS IS TRUE LOVE, TO REBUKE THOSE WHO LIVE IN SIN, expecially if they are claiming to be Christians, who are leading others astray by their erroneous lifestyle and beliefs if they are not in conformity with the Word and Will of God. This is why I wrote the above about Jim Wallis’s wife not being in confromity with the Word of God if she claims to be a preacher or minister. See above posts. Leon.



report abuse
 

Duwayne Bakdwin

posted January 15, 2008 at 11:15 am


The bible didn’t state that a women shouldn’t preach. But to keep down confusion and arguing in the church it was suggested to continue your unanswered question and discussion at home. The word says in the last days I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy and you old men shall dream dreams your young men shall see visions(Joel 2;28)Duwayne



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.