Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spiritual Hiccups - Trust

Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.

When their breath departs,

they return to the earth;

on that very day their plans perish.

These words from Psalm 146 are echoed in many other places in the Bible. Those who put their hope and trust in human agents and institutions will ultimately be disappointed, but those who trust and hope in God will be vindicated.

But I have observed that most of us are quite selective in how and where we trust God. And there are some interesting fault lines dividing "liberal" and "conservative" Christians. Conservatives will argue against large scale government social programs and health insurance but support massive military budgets. And liberals will often argue for reductions in military budgets and actions, but support expansion of government spending for social programs and regulation. It seems that both sides at times puts its "trust in princes." We just disagree about where and when.

One of the very real problems for Christians of all stripes is our tendency to domesticate the faith to suit our purposes. We all selectively read our Bibles and we all create God in our image. And liberals and conservatives alike simply ignore Jesus when he tells us that wealth is one of the biggest hindrances to us being a part of God's Kingdom.

I wonder what the faith might look like, what our congregations might look like, if we spent less time trying to convince ourselves that we were truer to the faith than those other folks, and spent more time getting serious about what Jesus calls us to do, both the parts we like and the parts we don't.

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