Monday, April 24, 2017

On Principals

My thoughts a few weeks ago as I read a passage from Buechner's Wishful Thinking. These are words about Principles.

"Principles are what people have instead of God."

What? Think about that for just a moment. Do you agree with that? We've been raised to consider that principles are a good thing, and, honestly, I don't think Buechner is saying that's not true. So, let's keep reading.
To be a Christian means among other things to be wiling if necessary to sacrifice even your highest principles for God's or you neighbor's sake the way a Christian pacifist must be willing to pick up a baseball bat if three's no other way to stop a man from savagely beating a child.
Consider the Pharisees. Do you think they were holding onto - if not principles - then the law, above the love of neighbor? In the same way that a principled person is a good thing, a Pharisee was not a bad person. I think Jesus was trying to tell them that they were holding onto the law more than they were clinging to God.

Do we do that?  Do we hold on to our principles above our trust in God? 

"Jesus didn't forgive his executioners on principle but because in some unimaginable way he was able to love them."



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