Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Saturday, October 29, 2016


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter

I watch too many true-crime shows on TV. Sometimes, though, my eyes are too tired to read, and true-crime is the only thing on the tube that has an actual story line.

I don’t like the gory shows, with the re-enactments of gruesome murders, always poorly directed and acted. But I enjoy matching wits with the perps and with the detectives.

That doesn’t work out well all the time, though. Just as I have realized who it has to be, from the clues I have, they say something like “All this time the detectives have also been working on this suspect we haven’t mentioned yet and they got a DNA match on him and so the case was solved.” Very unfair to the armchair detectives, withholding vital information from us.

Then when the narrator interviews the perp in jail, often she or he says, “I’m not really a bad person. Yes, I murdered those people or I abused those children or I swindled those old people out of their pensions, but I’m a good person.”

No, you aren’t. If you aren’t a bad person, then who is? Well, nobody, as it turns out.

I have not heard a prayer of confession in church in years, unless I was leading the service. We don’t have anything to confess; we’re not bad people.

Talk about “enablement.” The church enables every bad person, meaning everybody, to keep being addicted to badness because we don’t call it what it is: sin. That bad stuff we do is just a temporary interruption of our basic goodness.

Who was it who said, “The well have no need of a physician?” Oh, yes, that was the one we call “The Savior.” Except you don’t need saving if you’re already a good person.

You know the way to tell the difference between a good person and a bad person? Good people don’t do bad things.


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