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, 20 de janeiro de 2017
THE DANGER OF RELIGOUSNESS
Jesus said to the crowds
and to his disciples:
“The teachers of the law
and the Pharisees
sit in Moses’ seat.
So you must be careful
to do everything they tell you.
But do not do what they do,
for they do not practice what they preach.
Matthew 23:1-3 (read 23:1-12) - NIV
It is dangerous to be religious - much manifest religiousness means much danger.
Religious teachings about loving others as ourselves and being humble are
beautiful, but practicing them is something else. To talk about love and
humility and live them are two different things. Many times much talk means
little practice. True love and humility are silent - they do not speak for
themselves and they draw little attention.
practice of religion is very visible, we can be suspicious! It's even worse
when holiness is organized. When an official value system is established a
political/social structure is put in place to promote it. This opens the doors
to hypocrisy and inconsistency.
It was within
this context that Jesus had confrontations with the religious authorities of
his day. Jesus supported many of the teachings of the Pharisees, but criticized
them for their lack of practice. They taught one thing but practiced the
opposite, thus transforming faith into a burden and a farce.
have been the same since the beginning of our western cultural system, and the
disparity between profession and practice is very present in Judaism,
Christianity and Islam today. Despite the beauty of the concept of love and
humility, the church is a "perfect stage" for hypocrisy and
inconsistency, both individually and collectively.
individual level appearances are important. It is natural to want to project a
positive image. Therefore religious practice becomes public and visible.
Meetings serve as a stage to show good spiritual qualities and enhance
self-concept and reputation. To admit to shortcomings and failures would harm
our self-image and what others may think about us. In the church environment
with our fellow believers we may have one type of conduct and in secular
environments we may act differently. We may even change the tone of our voice
when making a public prayer in a worship service. I tend to be suspicious of
people who change the tone of their voice when they utter public prayers. Our
religious and secular lives are compartmentalized, living and talking one way
at church and another way at home, in the workplace and at leisure. In the
church environment we can be gentle and sympathetic, but at home be aggressive
and annoying. Religiosity may just be a mask to hide deficiencies.
collective level, ecclesiastical hierarchies feed pride. The higher we climb
the hierarchical ladder, the more prestige we have. By occupying high positions
we feel that we are superior. The appearance of humility can be used as a mask
to hide our pride. We strive to stay ahead of the pack and climb even further.
To maintain our position we need to preserve the system and promote the
institution. Our supporters are manipulated in order to maintain the machine.
Most of the tithes that are collected are used for the maintenance of the
institutional structure instead of the promotion of the well-being of humanity.
humble service that is without pretensions, prestige and ambition for
self-promotion. Our goal should be to lighten the burden of others rather than
add to the load that they already carry. Blessed are the meek...
MATTHEW 23:1-12 – NEW INGLISH VERSION (NIV)
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The
teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be
careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do
not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them
on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a
finger to move them.
“Everything they do is done for people to see: They
make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love
the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they
love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have
one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth
‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be
called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest
among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves will be exalted.