Sometimes we are outright rude when we interact with people. We meet a gay guy or a couple living together, and we think we have the obligation and right to warn them what God thinks about their sexuality on our first meeting. As if their sex life is the first thing on God’s agenda.
If the devil ain't messin with you, he's already got you. If you is waitin to clean up your own life before you get out and help somebody else, you may as well take off your shoes and crawl back in the bed 'cause it ain't never gon' happen. Jesus don't need no help from no perfect saints. If He did, He wouldn't a' gone up yonder and left us down here in charge.
Religion, which was obviously created to give meaning and purpose to people, has become part of the oppression. This is true in both Eastern and Western religious traditions. The Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad were all revolutionaries who critiqued and attempted to dismantle the corrupt societal traditions of their time. Yet their teachings, like most things in human society, have been distorted and co-opted by the confused and power-hungry patriarchal tradition. What were wonce the creation myths of ancient cultures, have become doctrines of oppression. More blood has been spilled and more people oppressed in the name of religion than for any other reason in history.
Pilate's skeptical sneer "What is truth?" was addressed to Truth Himself, standing there right in front of his face. The world's stupidest question was three words; God's profoundest answer was one Word.
When you suffer, you are being conformed to the image of Jesus. When you pray, you are being made holy in the image of Jesus. When you quietly serve a person in need, you are being shaped into the image of Jesus. When you generously give, your heart is being remade into the image of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
If I were you," he said with a wink and a smile as his eyes swept over those who's started the discussion, "I would waste far less time ragging on religion and find out just how much Jesus wants to be your friend without any strings attached. He will care for you and if given a chance will become more real to you than your best friend, and you will cherish him more than anything else you desire. He will give you a purpose and a fullness of life that will carry you through every stress and pain and will change you from the inside to show you what true freedom and joy really are.
Achilles might be a good papa to the family, but he was also a killer, and he never forgives.
Poke knew that, though. Bean warned her, and she knew it, but she chose Achilles for their papa anyway. Chose him and then died for it. She was like that Jesus that Helga preached about in her kitchen while they ate. She died for her people. And Achilles, he was like God. He made people pay for their sins no matter what they did.
The important thing is, stay on the good side of God. That's what Helga teaches, isn't it? Stay right with God.
I'll stay right with Achilles. I'll honor my papa, that's for sure, so I can stay alive until I'm old enough to go out on my own.
Note, though, something else of great significance about the whole Christian theology of resurrection, ascension, second coming, and hope. This theology was born out of confrontation with the political authorities, out of the conviction that Jesus was already the true Lord of the world who would one day be manifested as such. The rapture theology avoids this confrontation because it suggests that Christians will miraculously be removed from this wicked world. Perhaps that is why such theology is often Gnostic in its tendency towards a private dualistic spirituality and towards a political laissez-faire quietism. And perhaps that is partly why such theology with its dreams of Armageddon, has quietly supported the political status quo in a way that Paul would never have done.
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is— limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile.
If God absolutely and pretemporally decrees that particular persons shall be saved and others damned, apart from any cooperation of human freedom, then God cannot in any sense intend that all shall be saved, as 1 Timothy 4:10 declares. The promise of glory is conditional on grace being received by faith active in love.
The severest trial of oppression is the constant outrage which one suffers at the thought of the oppressor. What Jesus discovered was how to avoid the inner devastations. His technique was to practice the opposite emotion... [a man] may not get his freedom or possessions back, but he's less miserable. It's a difficult lesson.