Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Washing Machine Theology

The Gospel according to Tide - or Gain - or whatever laundry soap you may use. To get your clothes really clean you need their product - no hot water necessary - just some magic granules mixed with water and agitated with your clothes for a wash - that is not only sparkling white - but smells of sunshine. Over the years the rules for washing clothes have changed - according to some - you no longer have to separate the white from the colors - the darks from the lights - the coarse fabric from the delicate. One rule does still remain - no reds with the white or lights - unless you are daring enough to risk various shades of pink. Discussing the various hows and whys of laundry is similar - to the way many people approach religion. Is water really necessary for baptism - does water baptism compare to baptism of the Spirit - is Holy Scripture really holy - why do  those words have more importance than other words - is the Bible really the Word of God - or just a nice book that has been #1 on the best seller list for decades - is Jesus really present in the Eucharist - or maybe just a symbol as some claim - is a priest really necessary for confession - or can I just talk with God direct. Like throwing clothes in a washing machine - people take bits and pieces of theology and throw it all together in their "spiritual" washing machines - to come up with their own theology - their own knowledge - of the truth of God. In some cases - they select well - following the teachings of the Church - in other instances - a mixture of poor theology results - causing confusion - dissension - unhappiness.
Jesus made it very clear when asked which commandment was the most important - He said to love the Lord your God with all your heart - with all your mind - with all your soul - and your neighbor as yourself. Simple - to the point - direct. No need to pick and chose - no confusion - simple and easy. Yet today - many - complicate - confuse - add - subtract - from those words. In this Lenten time of prayer and reflection - all of us - need to get back to the basics - to love as He commanded - simple and easy.

Deacon Dale