A Spirituality blog from our Community

From Chris Wakelin, Chaplaincy Treasurer:

This week’s Old Testament reading (Deuteronomy 18:15-20) reminds us of the dangers of being false prophets, perhaps allowing our own prejudices to affect how we represent God. At the same time it promises the people of Israel that there will come somebody who is able to speak authentically for God.

In the Gospel reading (Mark 1:21-8), Jesus does just that and we are told that the people were amazed by his teaching them “with authority” unlike the scribes. Later in the Gospels he criticises the scribes and the Pharisees for being certain of their own righteousness and of the sin of those who behaved differently to them.

I’ve always been rather suspicious of Christians (and others) who claim they “know” rather than “think” something to be true. This is especially so when opinion is sharply divided, as in the Creationist/Darwinian debate in the US or the ordination of women in the Anglican church. To me it is axiomatic that God never overides our freedom of choice – he doesn’t force us to be right, and as a result all our “knowledge” has to be provisional.

That isn’t to say we can’t be pretty sure about some things, such as God’s existence and his love for us, but perhaps we should always allow a little bit of room for ourselves to be wrong and God to reveal more of the truth to us.

As we’ve just come to the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, here’s a little bit of fun, with some truth in it alas: http://youtube/M0zIv2I37UU

See the Next Part of Theology and Doughnuts.

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Comments on: "Thought for the Week 30/01/2012" (2)

  1. Thanks for the link Chris, I actually saw Emo Philips perform that joke at the Reading Festival a few years ago. He is also the genius who came up with the one-liner:

    “I prayed to God for a bicycle and he didn’t give me one; then I realised that’s not how religion works. So I stole one and asked him to forgive me.”

    On a more serious note, any group who teaches that they have the special *knowledge* that is necessary for salvation is guilty of the heresy of Gnosticism. That is not to say they share any other similarities with the historical groups we call Gnostics (or ‘knowers’), but only that they are departing from the Christian orthodoxy that salvation comes through faith and not knowledge.

    Likewise, when such groups have political power, be it the medieval church or 20th century ‘communist’ parties, the claim to be the sole *possesors* of knowledge innevitably leads to fascism.

  2. […] you think of things you’ve read or heard which drag Christianity back into the grip of the Gnostic distortions of […]

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