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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Today in Sunday School

A lesson from the Upper Room (7/5/11) quotes Mark 1:10 (NIV) “As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”  Our teacher Mitch discussed several miracles in the Bible, such as this, and pondered about the possibility of such Biblical miracles happening today.  I said that probably the worst thing that could happen to the United States is for the heavens to be torn open with shafts of light descending and the voice of God thundering to the entire world “This is my chosen country—America!”  Think for a moment what would be the consequences of such a dramatic and heavy revelation.  I think we are kidding ourselves if we think they would be all positive.  Much of the negative produce would be home grown.  Now, even without such a demonstration, we see people proposing disastrous policies all the while wrapping themselves up in the American flag or lifting up the Bible.  One can only guess what wild and foolish flights human pride would take following an official and miraculous endorsement of the American state by God.  We would, I think, in short order find ourselves in a seething nest of vipers.  Militaristic jingoism aboard and vicious internecine strife at home would be the certain result.  This is not to say that we should not have or don’t need conviction.  Indeed we do—but only the right kind of conviction.  And the only conviction that is trustworthy is that based on the disciplines of tough love.   All good things derive from it.  It is interesting to track the historical philosophical grounding for the Bill of Rights.  But it comes down to love and respect for the individual in the end—a committed humility before the basic needs of man.  An unqualified spiritual endorsement of any organization including a state would require the existence of a homogenized harmony of commitments, experiences, and perceptions.  This is simply not the experience of humanity.  We are far better off under a lovingly exploratory rather than a set- in-stone self-righteous state.

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