Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today's Pharisees -- Blocking Union with God

Back in Jesus' time, Pharisees, a very learned and devoted sect in Judaism, observed their religion to the letter of the law. Good for them!

Problem was they expected everyone else to be fanatics, too, and they condemned ordinary people if they didn't measure up to certain standards. They thought they were the most insightful and correct interpreters of Moses' laws.

Jesus, on the other hand, was all about showing people how to cut through the red tape and make a deeper, more heartfelt connection with God. JC was a spirit man, not so much a law man. So, when he came up against these Pharisees, he was very critical of them, calling them hypocrites who lay down heavy burdens on believers. I think Jesus was trying to say that those burdens get in the way of true communion with God.

The Pharisees live on. Today, it seems that there are plenty of modern-day Pharisees around us -- in all religions and in every part of our suffering planet. The ones I am most familiar with are those who run the Catholic Church. They can't seem to stop telling us how innately sinful and bad we are -- and setting up barriers to fulfilling our relationship with God.

Please take a minute to read my latest column, Rethinking Gays in Heaven, at United Press International, and let me know how you feel.

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