True Belief

We believe Jesus is going to save us from our sins

if we believe he will,

and take us to heaven when we die

where we will be happy forever.

We believe it because the Bible says so

and we believe we should believe whatever the Bible says

because it is the last word,

you know,

“the only rule for faith and practice,”

says the old book of church order,

and we believe the old books of order,

and the old confessions of faith,

the older the better,

if you ask us,

they knew a thing or two back then,

you know,

they knew how things are supposed to be,

never mind that they owned slaves,

and oppressed women,

and abused children.

Those old confession writers

knew what they were doing,

and all we have to do is believe it

and we’ll have it made,

if we are careful

to ostracize those who don’t believe it,

and maybe boycott them,

just to let them know

we’ve noticed that they don’t believe as we do,

and that we don’t like it.

We can’t be letting them think

its okay to not believe as we do,

that it doesn’t matter.

Jesus might be watching,

and might keep us out of heaven

for being slack,

and not insisting on the straight and narrow.

It turns out that getting into heaven

isn’t as easy as it seems at the start.

We have to believe that Jesus died

to save us from our sins,

and then we have to resist temptation,

and get everyone else to live like we do,

and have nothing to do with those who don’t

as a testimony against them,

and we have to oppose sin at every turn,

and pray,

and study the Bible,

and be entirely centered on doing God’s will,

and make sure that gays never marry,

because that would be the living end,

and we can bomb our enemies to oblivion

when loving them doesn’t work—

and when has loving our enemies ever worked—

and talk about WWJD?

in terms of getting prayer back into the schools,

and getting evolution out,

and getting the Ten Commandments

into all the court houses,

but not in terms of ending racism,

and poverty,

and war,

or in terms of living ecologically sound lives,

or having sustainable economies…

And, when it gets too complex,

we just get back to the Bible,

and believe in Jesus,

and look forward to going to heaven when we die,

without facing the fact

that we have been dead

to the truth of how things are,

and how things need to be,

and what is calling us to do it,

all our lives long.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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