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This sermon isn’t so easy to break down. It is really a longer argument around that call to be perfect. We don’t hear perfect the way the disciples did. First I had to try and restore that original sound which is more completeness and wholeness and maturity. In a world of children demanding their rights, their honor, Christians were to be mature. That maturity would be salt and light.

The modern world, miracle of miracles, learned something from the church. That is good news. The modern world is better for that. The common good has increased. Something has been restored. But it has left Christians a little less salty, looking a little less mature. Figuring out how to again be salty – to be whole – to be perfect, is part of the disciple’s call.

2 thoughts on “Perfection

  1. I disagree with the point, “…something taught to it by the church. Secular society now professes tolerance” I think it is naive, maybe politically dangerous, to believe government is motivated by the church’s example of charity when it advances its social agenda.

    1. The thought behind that comment is really that modern American progressives don’t know their own history. I’m willing to be laughed at here, it is just from my own reading so I don’t have a great footnote trail, but from slavery and reconstruction through prohibition and the William Jennings Bryant years all the way to the civil rights era the engine behind those social changes was a progressive Christianity. And they had no problem melding a moralistic Christianity with state power. But that movement really just fell apart – or it forgot the gospel portion of the social gospel. (That is a highly inflammatory remark to some who would still identify with it.) To me, the religious right of the past quarter century has been a failed attempt to reclaim that gospel state fusion. And I agree completely that the outcome has been politically dangerous. In the areas of basic equality under the law that movement was just (slavery, civil rights). That was the church instructing the state at the level of the law. The equivalent of the prophets warning about unjust scales. The dangerous part has been forcing gospel ends to be met through state power or the law. When they melded the state with gospel ends: prohibition (a form of self-control, a fruit of the spirit), widows and orphans and eventually medical and general welfare, that became the danger. Trying to use the law to simulate the gospel just doesn’t work.

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