The 22-Acre Woods Project 01

11/15/2018  —  A Walk in the Woods 2018-11 09 — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, November 9, 2011

Jesus did not tell anyone
what they expected to hear.

The True Believers
of his day
had the Temple
and 2,000 years
of traditional understanding of—
and faith in—
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

And Jesus stood before them
and said, “You have heard it said,”
but I say unto you…”

That is always the end
of every theology
that has ever been
faithfully believed
and held to be true.

“You have heard it said,
but you don’t know a thing!”

Preachers tell us the Bible
is the foundation of morality,
and that we will never know what’s good
and do it
if we don’t believe
we are going to hell
if we don’t.
But they expect us to know what is right
when they tell us we are wrong.

We have always known
what is right and what is wrong.
So, when our children are hungry
and ask us for food,
we don’t give them
a plate of sand and gravel.

Lived experience correctly interpreted
is the source of ethics and morality.
A pack of wolves
and horses at the water trough
know what is right and what is wrong—
because they have lived and learned.

The Bible supported slavery,
witch hunts
and segregation.

And Jesus asked,
“Why don’t you judge for yourselves
what is right?”

Our life is in our hands.
We decide how to live it
by living it
and learning to interpret
our lived experience
in ways that direct our feet
to the path that is ours to walk.

We live and reflect on having lived
to the point of new realizations
and better ways of living—
and don’t take anyone’s word
for the right way to do something
without evaluating its value
in light of our own experience
and judging for ourselves
what is right for us—
even if they tell us we are going to hell
if we don’t listen to them.

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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