Thursday, July 16, 2009

Truth in Love

Last week Mark came in with an article from Father Sirico about Pope Benedict XVI and his recent encyclical. He proclaimed, "Loved the article you wrote for the Wall Street Journal!"

Since I never read the encyclicals personally I do not have my own interpretation. But, the ideas portrayed by Father Sirico are similar to my own. Price and Cost are not the center of the economic world -humans and human behavior are the center of the economic world. I'm glad that more of our church leaders are thinking in this stream.

There is a darkness inherent in man regardless of the economic or political system. The Fall ushered sinfulness into the world -commonly called the "total depravity of man". This sinfulness is brought into all the spheres of human interaction: marketplace, politics, family, etc. But, like sin is in every crevice of our lives God is also in every crevice of our lives. Thanks be to God for the possibility of renewal! In fact, I'm reminded of a quote from John Eldridge's book Wild at Heart, "Sin is no longer the truest thing about a man who has come into union with Jesus."

The pattern of this world is selfishness and darkness, but Christians are called not to conform. We are set apart -that is a good interpretation of holiness. We are called to be set apart as God is set apart! What would happen if we carried holiness into every human interaction?

Another taste of an economists' interpretation of the encyclical is from The Economist website. This includes the Pope as well as other religious leaders

This is really neat because we the article titled "New Sins, New Virtues" is focused on "old-fashioned religious virtues". And, what I have been learning in the summer that it is really the small things, those "socially acceptable sins" that otherwise go unnoticed, that have large impacts. This summer I've learned a lot about my speech, frustration, discontent, worldliness, among other things. The sermon series at FSU Wesley has focused my attention on these things.

I've seen countless Bumper Stickers that say, "Shop Locally, Think Globally" if I were producing a Bumper Sticker mine would say, "Inwardness Locally, Impacts Globally". When we're spiritually sensitive our relationships in the marketplace, politics, family, etc. carry more of the grace of God. I believe that the grace travels farther than we know.

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