Are we the wheat or the tares?

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MapleLeaf
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Re: Are we the wheat or the tares?

Post by MapleLeaf » 19 Jan 2010, 23:15

Brian Johnston wrote:I prefer to see this parable in a personal and internal way. I don't like to think of some people as wheat and others as tares. Sorry, but I just don't like that all-or-nothing view of people.
Jesus had an all-or-nothing view of people in general. While he was radically inclusive, reaching out to those considered unclean (sinners, gentiles, lepers), he was also radically exclusive in his claims to be the only way to God. If we're dealing with Biblical texts, it would be more accurate to work within that context, rather than operating on preferences, imho.
"If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind." -Chien-chih Seng-ts'an, Zen Buddhist [606 AD]

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Are we the wheat or the tares?

Post by Brian Johnston » 20 Jan 2010, 08:34

MapleLeaf wrote:If we're dealing with Biblical texts, it would be more accurate to work within that context, rather than operating on preferences, imho.
This is a very good point, one that we should be willing to look at and consider. It is another reconciliation strategy for our faith (in the spirit of rebuilding after a crisis of faith). It is indeed a potential slippery slope when we focus on our preferences to define righteousness.

I personally meditate sometimes, introspect might be a better description, and ask myself if I am excusing incorrect behavior or thought.

To be clear, I do not have the new single right answer for everyone. I just shared a way that I look at that parable. If someone wants to latch on to Biblical text more tightly and use that as a foundation, I support that. We all have to latch on to things we find important.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

Poppyseed
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Re: Are we the wheat or the tares?

Post by Poppyseed » 20 Jan 2010, 09:20

I would never have made a good historian or scientist. My brain just doesn't work like that. It seems God understands that about me because when I read the scriptures, He talks in ways I understand according to my needs and desires. I guess that's one thing I like about studying the scriptures. I don't have to have a Phd. :) And as I try to reconstruct my belief system, I am longing for something .......anything that will bring peace to my soul and better understanding to my mind so that I can obey in the best frame of mind.

Dealing with my crisis of faith makes me worried about my immortal soul. I don't want to be a tare. The thought makes me sick inside. But truth be told, I think about leaving this church often. It isn't a happy place for me to worship. I feel alone and unloved and the culture tempts me with unhealthy thought patterns. And because of it I worry that I won't live with my kids in the happiest heaven and I worry that I am not doing what God wants me to do. Learning to listen to God only and not the programming of my upbringing or what I "think" the scriptures mean is a constant challenge. But at the end of the day, I know that my deepest desire is to learn the truth about things and to live my life accordingly. And when I read this parable, it gave me a sense of peace about the imperfections inside the church and inside of me and inside of all of us. God has it all in His hands and he understands what we need. I don't have to be a crusader to fix it all or abandon the venture because it isn't perfect in every way. If the church is like a person, and in many ways I think it is, then it needs to grow and change and be challenged and perhaps it needs maturing processes to acheive its ultimate potentials. And God in all of His wisdom seems to use long creative processes. He created the earth that way. He is definitely dealing with me that way too. Not that I like it. I wish He'd just come down and make things better or settle the issues in my mind. But he doesn't. He lets me struggle and gain my strength peice by peice. And he doesn't condemn me like I assume he will.

And I appreciate, Maple, that some see God as a black and white, heaven and hell sort of God. My understanding of mormon doctrine is different than that though and my personal experience with God seems similar to my understanding. In my youth, I was very afriad of God and I suppose I still am and still should be but its different now. Through the instense struggle of these past five years I feel like I am meeting a different sort of God who is absolutely overflowing with tender mercies and the deepest gentle understanding of my pain and abiding optimitic hope in the potential of man. I am not perfect, but I am learning that I never had to be. Perfect in Christ. That is what its about! That is the good news! Why else would Jesus teach the absolute in that doctrine? And you are right that there will be a judgement day when we all have to come to terms with our choices, but I don't see that process of justice happening without the merciful love filled parts absolutely woven into it. And some of us, I am sure, will be the ones who don't get to live with God or enjoy his best blessings. But until then, I see there is wisdom in God that the tares still rooted in with the wheat. That gives me peace. And I want to understand that better because it might mean that I don't have to struggle against the church so much. Maybe I can go with the flow of it and find individual flourishing too.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

swimordie
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Re: Are we the wheat or the tares?

Post by swimordie » 20 Jan 2010, 14:01

Poppyseed wrote:I wish He'd just come down and make things better or settle the issues in my mind. But he doesn't. He lets me struggle and gain my strength peice by peice. And he doesn't condemn me like I assume he will.
I love that statement so much! I feel that exact same way now!
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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