Buscamos inspiração na pessoa de Jesus para fazermos a nossa jardinagem do espírito. Ele foi o jardineiro por excelência. Soube cultivar as sementes da fé para produzirem plantas que fornecem abrigo e sustento. Este blog é um esforço para fazer a nossa jardinagem das passagens bíblicas à luz de Jesus que é digno de servir como nosso modelo.
Convidamos os leitores a aprenderem com ELE e fazerem a sua própria jardinagem.
sexta-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2014
APPEARANCES AND REALITY
All those who exalt themselves will be
and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
(read 18:9-14) – NIV
This parable is a picture of the Synagogue and the
Church of all times. Institutional religion has not changed. "Spiritual
elites" and "sinners" continue to exist. This pattern is
misleading. The nature of the Kingdom is exactly the opposite by having
everyone on the same level. The institutional church is proud of its exclusiveness
in relation to the Divine and lives an illusory "peace with God". The
true church of Jesus simply prays, "have mercy on me, a
Jesus always hammered on the keys of futility, pride and arrogance.
Many of his parables are around these topics. Ironically, religion provides a
fertile ground for the manifestation of the feeling of superiority and of
self-righteousness. Religious leaders rarely admit their mistakes. Many think
of themselves as being above the common lot. Those who have the courage to
displease them are labeled as "sinful". Pointing out the mistakes of
others is part of self-righteousness.
This parable which is known as "The Parable of
the Pharisee and the Tax Collector" is a perfect example of this
phenomenon. This story denies neither the claims of the Pharisee nor the fault
of the tax collector. Despite of being fully correct, the Pharisee erred
fatally by taking upon himself the role of judge. He magnified himself and
condemned the tax collector. He returned home with a false sense of "peace
with God" and feeling superior to the "sinner". The humble
sinner was closer to the Kingdom than the arrogant self-righteous man who put
himself on a level of superiority.
In true Christianity there is no hierarchy. There are
not those who command and those who obey. Jesus’ church is an open family of
brothers and sisters. No one is better than the other. All are equal.
What we know as "church" today is far from what
Jesus lived and taught. It has largely become a "closed society of the
saved." It builds temples of separation and charges admission in the form
of submission to its norms and donations to the institution. Most of the contributions
of its members are used to sustain the organization. Only a small portion is
left over to help the needy. Most of its social projects are done by separate
institutions that raise funds elsewhere, because the churches themselves
consume most of the tithes for their own maintenance.
Like the Pharisees, churches create a world of
separate "sacred activities" to prove their spiritual superiority,
and classify everything else as "secular" or "profane". They
thank God that they are better than the lost world which they reject or ignore.
The true church of Jesus is made up largely of those
who are rejected by society and even by institutional religion. In the Gospels
the disciples were the commonly ignored Joe’s and Jane’s of life. They were
those who were lost in the crowd. It was later that the state-sponsored
institutional church claimed Peter as its head and invented a hierarchical
structure of power for his successors. Protestantism has largely adopted this
basic pattern and only modified the titles. In the true church of Jesus there was
no chief. All were sisters and brothers.
All institutions (including churches) reflect the
values of the societies in which they thrive. Appearances are often valued
above content. Jesus helps us to see beyond the façade and see what is on the
inside so that we can make a realistic evaluation. Only by seeing our own truths
can we be set free from our illusions and attain true "peace with
Luke 18:9-14 – New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on
everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray,
one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and
prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers,
adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a
tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to
heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified
before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who
humble themselves will be exalted.”