Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Three P's

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says there are three basic obstacles to the coming of the Kingdom. These are the three P's: power, prestige and possessions. Nine-tenths of his teaching can be aligned under one of those three categories.

I'm all for sexual morality, but Jesus does not say that's the issue. In fact, he says the prostitutes are getting into the Kingdom of God before some of us who have made bedfellows with power, prestige and possessions (see Matthew 21:31-32). Those three numb the heart and deaden the spirit, says Jesus.

Read Luke's Gospel. Read the Sermon on the Mount. Read Matthew's Gospel and tell me if Jesus is not saying that power, prestige and possessions are the barriers to truth and are the barriers to the Kingdom.

I'm not pointing to Church leadership, I'm pointing to us as the Church. The Church has been comfortable with power, prestige and possessions for centuries and has not called that heresy. You can't see your own sin.

Richard Rohr, from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p.18

Perhaps we in the Western churches need to think this one through a bit. We are so often at ease with the structures of power, keen on (ecclesiastical, even) prestige, and desperately concerned with our own, and our churches', possessions. We have become comfortably numb. Our ears are stopped, our eyes clouded, and our hearts... I don't even want to talk about our hearts.

[We] have gone astray like lost sheep; seek out your servant,
for [we] have not [yet] forgotten your commandments.

Psalm 119.176

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is very provocative. (I couldn't resist using another P.)