Showing posts from October 11, 2015

Friend of Tax Collectors

Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen! But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds." Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, b…


There are two contending definitions of power. Both sides agree that power is needed to hold people together in social structures for the benefit of those involved. However, what constitutes effective motivations for maintaining a cohesive society depends entirely on what paradigm one embraces from the beginning.
In the spiritual arena, many insist that right living must be supported by a background of threats of punishment if right choices are not made consistently enough. In this external oriented system, good needs to be rewarded while punishment is always waiting to be inflicted for non-compliance with the rules. What is less noticed but is fundamental for this system to be successful is that the incentive for avoiding punishment is to avoid pain and appeal to our natural desire for self-protection. Likewise hoped for rewards also appeal to our natural cravings for pleasure or recognition. Yet in truth none of these motivations do anything to develop a genuine sense of caring or …