Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sermon Pentecost 7C

(NB: With help from Willimon's Pulpit Resource)

Sometimes people ask me, “Do you think Muslims will go to Hell?” It doesn’t have to be Muslims each time the question is asked. You can fill in the blank with any faith group that’s not Christian. Or even non-faith groups like professed atheists. 

At it’s heart is the question of judgment. Who will God judge? And maybe by extension, who can WE Christians judge.

I don’t think that question is very biblical. When God is in a judgmental mood, God’s most intense condemnation isn’t for Muslims or atheists, or anyone else those outside the faith. In the bible, God’s saves the most severe judgment for those who seem closest to God: Israel, the church. Especially church leaders.

Today’s gospel, popularly known as “The Good Samaritan” but really should be called “the bad pastor.” The pastor, who ought to be in the business of helping people, passes by the man in the ditch. There is judgment in the story. It’s subtle. But everyone know who Jesus is talking about.

Judgment begins with God’s own house, say the prophets. This happens when we get too high on ourselves, thinking that to be part of God’s people means to be - somehow - better than others.

For those paying attention you might have noticed...(Whole thing here)

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