Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Forgiveness? Love of enemies? Non-violence?

'Many things that Christians feel are “non-negotiables” today are at major variance with what Jesus actually taught and emphasized. How can you read the Eight Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, for example, and not know that Jesus clearly taught nonviolence and simplicity of life?
Wouldn’t you think the clear non-negotiable in Jesus is forgiveness and love of enemies? But we didn’t emphasize that at all. That could’ve changed history. But we weren’t interested in changing this world. We were more interested in the next world, and we ended up acting pretty much like everybody else in this world. None of the Christian nations have
a record for peacemaking. We have to honor our Mennonite, Amish, and Quaker brothers and sisters who, thank God, retained the peace witness of the church and in many cases, also a nonconsumer, simple lifestyle. I have a feeling they go together!
Emerging Christianity is necessarily ecumenical, and not trapped inside of any one denomination and its historical biases, accidents, and limits. We Roman Catholics now recognize that our church, aligned in most of its history with the Roman Empire, had no freedom or ability to hear Jesus’ clear teaching on love of enemies or nonviolence.'
Richard Rohr

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