What Would Be Different?

Throughout my religious abandon and spiritual journeying, one question keeps coming to mind. It shows up in so many places. It appears in books that catch my eye. It reveals itself in the blog posts of preachers who are trying to push the envelope yet keep their paycheck.

Its answer may very well hold the secret to unity and effectiveness of “The Church”.

This one question spawns so many more, but the one question is the core, the meat, and the heart of the matter.

How would ____________ be different if the only words contained in our Bibles were the words of Jesus?

In that blank you can insert whatever you want.

How would I be different?

How would The Church be different?

How would Christianity be different?

How would politics be different?

How would our world be different?

It seems that so many are dissatisfied with their “church” experiences. So few trust religion. The young blame the old for failure to progress with the times. The old blame the young for insisting on a new way and wanting a buffet-style of Christianity. Yet all seem to crave union with the Divine Spirit.

I find myself wondering if “The Church” would even exist if Jesus’ words were our only doctrine. Where would we be if there had been no letters from Paul?  No Revelation of John? No book of Hebrews? No Constantine?

If all we had were Jesus’ teachings, would we have multi-million dollar building projects centered around a specific pattern of worship, feeding our weekly obsession with dressing up and gathering with our chosen posse? Might we instead have ugly make-shift warehouses of food being distributed daily and weekly to those who are in need by people who wear their grungies and work up a sweat?

Would we spend our time meeting the needs of people instead of worshiping deity? Can those two be separated? Is being worshiped weekly inside an air conditioned stained glass windowed building what Jesus wanted of us? What he modeled for us? Does it matter to him?

Would we have colleges and universities, many with a religious affiliation, teaching our children how to think and believe in the world, or would we have organizations in every community where adults were teaching kids how to serve? On which would parents place greater emphasis? Learning how to think or learning how to serve?

Would parents and community members be more proud of the graduate who acquired the Ph.D. in philosophy or engineering, or would our adoration go to the the kid who dedicated her life to learning how to care for Mother Earth while feeding her neighbors?

What are your thoughts? How would you answer this question? What would you put in that blank? Would there be a difference?

How would ____________ be different if the only words contained in our Bibles were the words of Jesus?

5 Responses to “What Would Be Different?”

  • How would people be different? I think we’d all see that we’re children of the same God. Can you imagine the change in perspective, the change in attitude?

    These are fabulous questions, Angie. I’m glad you’re asking them. I’m right there with you!

    • What a concept! Children of the same God……

      Thank you for being here with me, for recognizing the importance of these questions, and for so much more.

  • Why Shouldn’t We by Mary Chapin Carpenter

    We believe in things that we cannot see
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we
    Hands that heal can set a chained man free
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we

    We believe in peace within every heart
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we
    Burning brightly, brightly in the dark
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we

    So come on darling feel your spirits rise
    Come on children open up your eyes
    God is all around
    Buddha’s at the gate
    Allah hears your prayers
    It’s not too late

    And we believe in things that will give us hope
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we
    Let your voice be heard, celebrate your vote
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we

    We believe in things that make us all the same
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we
    Love belongs to all in deed and name
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we

    And we believe in things that can’t be done
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we
    Lift up your heart, put down your gun
    Why shouldn’t we, why shouldn’t we

    We believe in things
    We’re told that we cannot change
    Why shouldn’t we
    We had heroes once, and we will again
    Why shouldn’t we

    So come on darling
    Come on children
    God is all around, Buddha’s at the gate
    Allah hears our prayers
    It’s not too late

    Why shouldn’t we
    Why shouldn’t we
    Why shouldn’t we
    Why shouldn’t we
    Why shouldn’t we

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