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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Church is a home for everyone

I'm slowly reading Dominican Timothy Radcliffe's book, What is the Point of being a Christian. Here's a bit from his introduction ....


[...] Let me make it clear from the start that what may be strikingly different is not that Christians are better than other people. There is no evidence that we are. Jesus said, 'I came not to call the righteous but sinners' (Mark 2.17), and this he continues to do. He ate and drank with the disreputable. The Church is a home for everyone, especially those whose lives are a mess. It is fitting that the first Christian to make it to Paradise was the thief who was crucified beside Jesus. According to an early Syriac poem, when he arrived at the gates of heaven, the angel who looked after such things tried not to let him in because he was not the sort of person who belonged there! Anyway, a community which founded its existence on the claim to moral superiority would not only be repulsive but would inevitably invite people to search for our failures and expose them with glee. If the Churches are so often attacked in the press, and our every sin given banner headlines, then this is because it is generally but wrongly assumed that the point of being Christian is to be better than other people ....


I think I'm going to like this book :) I'll post more bits as I read along.


Blogger Cura Animarum said...

I posted a comment. Said a whole bunch of very eloquent things. And then it got lost in cyberspace somewhere. :o(

It was quite profound and deeply edifying though. No...really.

Suffice it to say I agree, I hate the fact that I keep running into people who think Christians are perfect (whether they be Christians themselves or not), and that very emotion makes me (by the interpretation of some) completely unfit to be in any other Church but this one. Thanks be to God!

Enjoy the book, hope you had a nice Memorial Day.

1:08 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Cura,

I was like that when I first took the RCIA class - I had never belonged to a church and I thought church people would be kinder and nicer and more good than the average person. It wasn't long before I was disabused of that belief :)

Hey, I'm going to Sacred Space almost every day now, thanks to you :)

2:43 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Cura and crystal. Just a bit of a contrarian view. I would hope that people AFTER they became christian might act in some way different than before they were Christian. Jack

6:17 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


It's interesting - a change of heart can make a person want to change their behavior for the better, but people are still people, even given their best intentions.

7:55 PM  

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