Being Spiritual and Religious (1 Cor. 2:1-16; Isaiah 58:1-9a)

Sermon by Chuck Queen, Feb. 9, 2014

In contemporary speech the word spiritual is more associated with personal or private experience, while the word religious is usually connected to communal, institutional, and organizational religious life. Those who identify themselves as spiritual but not religious reject traditional organized religion as the sole or the most valuable means of advancing one’s spiritual growth.

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We Need a Site

But what our guide told us next has stayed in my memory for the almost twenty years since my visit. With a shrug of his shoulders he explained, “Well, we need a site. An important event—we need to have a site. Do we know exactly where it happened? No. But we must have a site so that we can remember.”

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Affirmations and Confessions by a Progressive Christian Layman – Jesus’ Miracles

Most people assume that the Bible is filled with stories of supernatural happenings and miraculous interventions. The accounts of miracles in the Bible are generally limited to three cycles of stories: the Moses-Joshua cycle in the Torah, the Elijah-Elisha stories that are recorded between I Kings 17 and II Kings 13, and the Jesus-Disciples of Jesus stories that are found in the four gospels. There is an occasional supernatural tale in other parts of the Bible, but these are the only areas where they are concentrated. Our concentration is primarily on the miracles that are attributed to Jesus in the gospels.
The reported supernatural deeds performed by Jesus during his ministry can be categorized into four groups: cures, exorcisms, raising the dead, and nature control. Interestingly, each type of miracle that is attributed to Jesus in the gospels also occurred in the Moses-Joshua and Elijah-Elisha stories.

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Appalachia Poster Child for Systemic Injustice: West Virginia A Theological Challenge for the Third Sunday After the Epiphany

In Matthew’s midrash of Isaiah’s prophecy, Jesus tours all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, curing all kinds of diseases, and proclaiming that God’s kingdom has come. The verses in Chapter 4 selected by the creators of the Revised Common Lectionary for the third Sunday after the Epiphany are the preface to Matthew 5:1 through 7:29, the great Sermon on the Mount. Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee, and invites his disciples to leave their nets and become “fishers for people,” traditionally interpreted to mean saving souls from hell. But John Dominic Crossan, points out that Jesus could have brought his message anywhere in Roman occupied Judea. Why Galilee? Why Capernaum?

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Tattooed (Worship Download)

The prophet Isaiah commands the heavens and the earth to sing for joy, to break forth into song. But what if we don’t want to sing? What if we can’t sing? Built on Isaiah 49:13-16, this short, meditative, worship film explores both the challenges and the comforts of faith leaving the viewer with this promise: you are mine!

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The Holy Nativity of a Human Jesus

On the First Sunday of the Advent season this year – for those Christian faith communities that observe a liturgical calendar — the traditional four weeks of waiting on the tiptoe of expectation only lasted until 1:37 PM that afternoon for our family; when my own daughter gave birth to her first-born child.

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The Liberation Theology – Sermon Video

Sermon for Community Christian Church of Springfield MO on December 11, 2011 by Dr. Roger Ray.

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Feast of the Nativity – Christmas Eve Liturgy

We have developed a liturgy for use on Christmas Eve, drawing upon the inclusive and scriptural images/metaphors of light and wisdom.

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Swords into Ploughshares

We have a vision of the world not yet realised
All: Where they will beat their swords into ploughshares

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Voting: A Ritual

“Voting is irrational.” This jarring statement comes from Paul Woodruff, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin, in his wise book, REVERENCE: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. Paul came to USC a few months ago, hosted by my office, to give a series of talks. He’s a person who emanates the virtue that he teaches, speaking with a calm, reflective demeanor. Woodruff posits that unless we understand voting as a ritual, we’ll miss the point of it, and continue to see a decline in voter participation.

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Feast and Fast

The FeAST

The Swedes and the Hawaiians have something in common besides enjoying fish. They both have a deep understanding of the idea of “enough.”

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In the Winter of Our Discontent: What Gift Shall I Offer?

A Reflection for Twelfth Night and the Epiphany Season

The journey of the magi, and their adoration on bended knee before a newborn peasant who presumably comes to subordinate the Herod’s of this world is a quaint and fanciful tale. But this year, the real exchange of gifts in the City of Angels was a modern day epiphany that suggest we might indeed still find for ourselves new, authentic life in such an otherwise arcane myth. Now the question is whether the meaning and message of Epiphany season will truly shed new light in the bleak midwinter of our discontent.

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A Tale of Two Cities

Jerusalem, Now and When?

Why would a Jewish American doctor risk serving the medical needs of Palestinian children in the occupied territories of the West Bank?

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Voting With Enthusiasm

“….seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 17) Here’s how I translate this biblical urging into the way I will vote in November: 1. The passage of the Affordable Health Care …

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Thirst for the Desert

Wandering in the desert cleanses my soul of hubris. It puts me in my puny place in the cosmos. It’s bigger than I am, bigger than we are. A hike in the desert is a walk on the “via negativa”. Its vistas sweep away all that obscures the divine, so that God, though always near, seems nearer.

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Peace in Jerusalem

I thought for sure I would live long enough to see peace come to Israel.

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How to Read the Bible

2) The Hebrew scriptures, or the Old Testament, represent a religious tradition that is independent of the later Christian faith. The Hebrew scriptures aren’t about Jesus, although the Christian scriptures include many references to the Hebrew scriptures. To honor the fundamental differences between the two sets of scriptures doubles the spiritual significance of the entire Bible.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part XII – In Vino Veritas

Paul is not talking about life after death. Paul is talking about embracing the challenge of distributive justice-compassion –“the great work” – here and now. John’s Jesus assures us that “the spirit of truth will testify on my behalf,” not about the insane claim that he was God, nor about the resuscitation of a corpse.

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