Sunday, August 5, 2012

Greg Boyd, "The Deadly Nature of Religious Idolatry"

I’m in the process of fleshing out the core convictions of ReKnew as I laid them out in the “ReKnew Manifesto.” Our first core conviction concerns where we are to get our LIFE from, so in my previous post on this topic I addressed “The One True Source.” Before moving on to the second core conviction of ReKnew, I thought it might be good to share an experience I had that illustrates what happens when Christ isn’t our source. It’s the moment when I first experienced the religious idolatry that kills.

I was attending the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society several years ago when I was approached by an angry-looking, heavy-set man dressed in a suit and tie. His face was red and he had beads of sweat on his brow. I remember thinking to myself that this dude looked as if he was about to keel over from high blood pressure. “Mr. Boyd?” he asked with a thick southern drawl and a slight quiver in his voice, the kind you sometimes hear when people are struggling to hold back a strong emotion. I glanced at his conference nametag. His name was Karl, and he was an instructor at a Bible school in Tennessee that I’d never heard of.

Sensing this was likely to be an unpleasant encounter, I mustered as much friendliness in my voice as possible and replied, “How’s it going Karl?” We were now standing face to face in the middle of this hotel lobby, and I could clearly see rage in Karl’s eyes. As I’ve trained myself to instinctively do whenever facing aggressors, I began to pray a silent blessing over Karl. Whatever else it may do for the aggressors, I’ve learned it’s the best way to keep my heart in the right place and not allow my amygdala to take over when I find myself in conflict.

Folding his arms and lifting his chin slighting so that he was almost looking down at me, Karl said, “I’m curious Mr. Boyd.” The quiver in his voice was now more pronounced. “I’m curious about the depth of evil that resides in your heart, because I frankly can’t imagine the depth of darkness it would take to compel someone to so arrogantly assail the sovereignty of my God the way you have.” Whenever people say “my God,” I know I’m in trouble.
For the rest, click HERE.


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