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Background Notes for Faithful Faith

This is a menu of the topics on this page (click on any):

definition of Fundamentalism

A "fundamentalist" is one who posits the truth of his own view and asserts that anything that deviates from his belief is untrue, whether the fundamentalist is Muslim, Christian, Jew, or any other belief system. (by Tom O'Brien)

A Response to Jews for Jesus

Outreach Judaism

noisy gong/clanging symbol

What William Gralnick rightly opposes has to do with style and inappropriate evangelism that Saul/Paul would have termed a "noisy gong or clanging symbol." ...What we must guard against is demeaning the Gospel by being offensive in our own behaviors. (Andre Weisbrod, 10/26/03)

David Koresh

David Koresh

Jim Jones

Jim Jones

dreams and commitment

I once read of a woman who had married the man of her dreams who, unfortunately, turned out to be bad for her and for her children. Broken, she left him, and ultimately found a good man who didn't conform to her dreams. She became devoted and committed. Which was the greater marriage ?

Cheap Grace

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Christian clergyman who challenged Hitler publicly and after several years in prison was executed. He wrote "The Cost of Discipleship" and "Letters and Papers from Prison" and in those writings has given us the concept of cheap grace and costly grace.

big friend up in the sky

"A Gallup poll that surveyed American attitudes about the deity. The pollsters found that a vast majority of us never think of God as being displeased or angry with us. We don't see God as any threat - just a big friend up in the sky who looks after our every need. It is the triumph of the "cheap grace" that Dietrich Bonnhoeffer wrote about 60+ years ago. We have emphasized the forgiveness of sins without the transformation of the sinner and thus end up with a religion that can neither guide us nor save us." First Presbyterian Church, Wooster, Ohio October 12, 2003, Dr. James L. Collier, Pastor.

Christian Arsenal

Cheap grace is the idea that "grace" did it all for me so I do not need to change my lifestyle. The believer who accepts the idea of "cheap grace" thinks he can continue to live like the rest of the world. Instead of following Christ in a radical way, the Christian lost in cheap grace thinks he can simply enjoy the consolations of his grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Cheap Grace.

Intimacy and Submission

Shortly before being executed by the Nazis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace."* According to Bonhoeffer cheap grace is "the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner." Such false grace abounds today. It appears attractive, but it ultimately has a high price tag. The child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has its origins in the attempt to justify certain types of behavior. Cheap grace offers a false intimacy because it requires no submission. St. Paul, though himself a celibate, saw marriage as the highest expression of intimacy between two human beings. However, he begins by pointing out the necessity of submission (subordination). For marriage to succeed, the husband and wife must submit, each in their own proper way. St. Paul insists that marriage is a sign of a much greater reality. The two becoming one flesh in the marital act is a "mystery" (Latin: sacramentum). It refers to Christ and his Church. (Eph 5:32) Here Paul is bringing out the deeper meaning of the entire Bible - from the creation of first human pair to the nuptials of the Lamb and his bride. Jesus makes present that nuptial union when he gives us his own flesh. Speaking about her First Communion, St. Therese of Lisieux gave a beautiful description of that union: That day, it was no longer simply a look, it was a fusion; they were no longer two, Thèrése had vanished as a drop of water is lost in the immensity of the ocean. Jesus alone remained; He was the Master, the King.** (from Simple Catholicism.)

LiberalsLikeChrist.org

Cheap Grace

That No Child Be Left Behind

Marian Wright Edelman and the Children's Defense Fund created the phrase "That no child be left behind". This is what was meant. Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund and Data on Children & Youth.

from the Church of the Saviour (Gordon Cosby et al)

The Church of the Savious was founded in 1945 in Washington, D.C. by a handful of people whose early worship was in a private home. In the nearly 60 years since it has grown to be a remarkable institution that has reached many thousands of people who will assert that their lives were changed simply by knowing the Church of the Saviour. Membership requires a high level of commitment, so by far the greatest number of worshippers over the years are not members, but people who simply have wanted this community to be part of their lives. The following ideas have been gathered by someone who lives far away, who visits often, and who feels gratitude for the grounding the "COS" has given. Visitors may worship at 2025 Massachussets Avenue at the Ecumenical service at 11:30 am each Sunday, and may visit any of the many dozens of sister churches and missions that were created by COS people and that are nurtured by COS.

our interdependence

The healthy human being is the human being who can allow himself to be vulnerable and who rejects any notion of a life lived in fundamental separation from other human beings. We need each other, we are mutually interdependent, and the highest pathology is persons who have convinced themselves that they can be autonomous from others. (Gordon Cosby, 8/12/90)

The Marks of the Liberating Community

  1. unmistakable, radical commitment to the poor and the needy: children, mentally ill, retarded, elderly on welfare, the working poor (for when I was hungry you gave me nothing to eat...) Do you have a structure whereby you touch the poor on a regular basis so that...
  2. commitment to life of dialogue. dialogue demands from each person that they step into the other's world, not to convince, but with arduous commitment to listening. to both words & feelings.
  3. radical commitment to a critical contemplation of one's own life and to one's community, relates to dialogue, giving and receiving constructive criticism. (critical contemplativeness).
  4. commitment to a life of reflection (the emotional & intellectual in us become partners in us).
  5. structure into every day a time of solitude (prayer). the works of silence:
    • forgiveness
    • thanksgiving
    • praise
    • to move into the still point of our lives
Elizabeth O'Connor via Gordon Cosby sermon of 7/3/94.

Jesus's One Supreme Commandment

Love one another as I have loved you. John 15, Gordon Cosby, 9/22/96

authentic ministry

I hoped to find (but have been unable) a sermon by Gordon Cosby on recognizing an authentic ministry. I remember him giving one many years ago, maybe at the time of Jim Jones (1978). Cosby Gordon The Church of the Saviour 2025 Massachusetts Avenue Washington, DC 20036 (202-387-1617 Mary Anders 9:30 11:30 Sunday services)

the Kingdom personality

"You will personally embody the Kingdom personality described in the Beatitudes, You will be loving, caring, outgoing, reconciling, helping alienated people understand one another. You will be non-competitive, non-violent, and you will be ready to interpret your word of God assumptions if anybody happens to be interested." (from Gordon Cosby's sermon of 8/15/93 entitled Consecrated Strangers )

16 assumptions of the dominational system

From Gordon's sermon of 8/8/93 entitled Strangers in the World Taken from Walter Wink's book, Engaging the Powers. "The Delusional Assumptions", or "Fundamental Assumptions of the Dominational System" The dominational system has existed for 5000 years. It is based on a set of assumptions that tend to remain constant.
  1. The need to control society and prevent choas requires some to dominate others.
  2. Those who dominate may use other people as a means to acheive their goals.
  3. Men are better equipped by nature to be dominant than women.
  4. Some races are naturally suited to dominate others.
  5. A valued end justifies the use of any means.
  6. Violence is redemptive, the only language some enemies understand.
  7. Ruling or managing is the most important of all social functions. Therefore rulers and managers should be rewarded by extra privileges and greater wealth of all kinds.
  8. Those who have military strength, who control the most advanced technology, the greatest wealth, or the largest markets are the ones who will and should survive.
  9. Money is the most important value. The possession of money is the sign and proof of political and social worth.
  10. The production of material goods is more important than the production of healthy normal people and of sound human relationships, or the former automatically produces the latter.
  11. Property is sacred, and property ownership is an absolute right.
  12. In an organization or nation, great size is proof of its power and value.
  13. Institutions are more important than people.
  14. There is no higher value or being or power than the state.
  15. If there is a God, God is the protector and patron of the state.
  16. God, if there is one, is not revealed to all, but only to select individuals or nations and their rulers or priesthood.

Neville Watson

Neville Watson, John MacQuarrie and the Shalom Place (an Online Christian Spirituality Center) look to Shalom as the entire significance of Jesus and his life: "Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you." (John 14: 27, NJB) "Shalom" is the Hebrew word used by Jesus in reference to the peace he promises. It has no real equivalent in the English language, referring to inner peace, joy and the fullness of life (John 10: 10).

7 principles on which we have built our life together

Mary Cosby 7/9/90

stillness

introduction to The Search for Silence, move towards stillness.

to face one's shadow (Jung)

Wise old Jung insists that it is good and salutory - even necessary for growth - to face one's shadow and to confront one's inner demons. No one is exempt. Who is without fears, neuroses, anxieties? There is darkness in all of us. Don't avoid your demons! Go through them. Bring them into the light and face them fairly and squarely. Only then will you be able to handle them.

The mystical life can be described as a journey into the depths of one's being, a journey to the true self and through the true self to God, who is the Center. Down, down I go through alternate layers of light and darkness, meeting all the slimy monsters and frightening demons that inhabit the subliminal world. And if I progress enough, I meet not only my own little monsters. I meet the monsters of the human race. I meet the root causes of war, oppression, torture, hunger, terrorism. I meet hatred, despair, injustice, atheism, darkness. I meet archetypical evil. I meet it in myself.... We are all responsible.

God is present in all these hurts. He is more present in darkness than in light. He is nearer in a time of desolation than in a time of consolation. Stay with the darkness. Go through it. Don't run away. And through all of this you will expand, making you more and more capable of receiving those sublime communications which come from the darkness of God. (from Christian Mysticism Today by Johnston)

Following the authentic Jesus

"Christians are by definition counter-cultural. If these born again Christians are supporting the war If they are not open to listen to people who have different points of view we still need to accept them and love them. they probably have not internalized the authentic Jesus. Jesus was fundamentally a person helping to get us out of the culture." (Gordon Cosby 10/27/03 via Mary Anders) Mary said in a week or so there will be a sermon by Neville Watson that might be helpful. Gordon's sermon of 3/9/03 is a stunning discourse on the authentic Jesus and the cost of discipleship.

Annotated Bibliography from RaceMatters.org on Affirmative Action

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