Ok back to theology...And point two from Friday's blog...
At this Unity Service I went to last week, the sermon was basically an extended metaphor. The church, the preacher said, is a hospital; when you go to a hospital, you expect to see sick people, so why are we surprised to meet people who aren't spiritually perfect when we go to a church. In a hospital, there's a pediatric ward, and in church you will meet children, as well as some adults who act like children. Most hospitals have a psych ward, and you'll meet some of those patients in the hospital. But, the preacher said, I don't let those folks ruffle my feathers, because I am busy taking care of people in the ICU. By which he meant people like myself. People who aren't Christian.
It wasn't just the exclusivity of that message that made me cringe, but the entire metaphor. The view of the world as sick, or rotten. Another metaphor the preacher used was that the world is like an apple. When Adam sinned, the big, beautiful, ripe apple fell from the tree and got a bruise on it, just a little spot, but that's where the rot set in and now the whole world is rotten.
I just don't see it that way. People aren't rotten, they are fallible. God doesn't expect us to be perfect, just to strive to be our best. Sure lots of people do things that are stupid, mean, selfish, etc, etc. But I honestly believe that the vast majority of people do so thinking they are doing good, or in moments of uncontrollable passion. Most parents who hit their kids believe that they are giving them the discipline they need to get ahead in life. (They need to read a few child-centered child raising books, but I know they do think they are doing their kids a favor) Most republicans really do believe the trickle down method is the best way to stimulate the economy and make life better for all. (Despite the obvious problems in our economy and the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor.) And so on.
Fortunately, God is Understanding and Merciful, and forgives those who are sorry.