Richard Rohr – A Case for the Necessity of Conversion

Conversion of St Paul

Michelangelo – Conversion of St Paul (detail)

Fr Rohr is sharing with us these days on his daily meditations a series of 57 reflections on the seven underlying themes of his teachings.

The meditation he sent to us today is one that may disconcert some people, both among those who idolise the text of the Bible and among those who view spirituality as something esoteric and disconnected from the life of God.

So, here it is. Warning: Bridle yourself for a rough ride.

* * *

The sacred texts of the Bible are filled with absolute breakthroughs, epiphanies, and manifestations of the highest level of encounter, conversion, transformation, and Spirit. The Bible also contains texts which are punitive, petty, tribal, and idiotic. A person can prove anything he or she wants from a single line of the Bible. To tell you the truth, the Bible says just about everything you might want to hear—somewhere! This is a sad and humiliating recognition. But you can relearn your way of reading Scripture in a prayerful, calm, skillful, and mature way. Then you can hear with head and heart and Spirit working as one, and not just a search for quick answers.

Maybe one of the biggest mistakes in the history of Christianity is that we have separated spirituality from theology and Scripture study. In other words, we put the Scriptures (and theology) in the hands of very immature and unconverted people, even clergy. We put the Scriptures in the hands of people who are still at the egocentric level, who still think “It’s all about me,” and who use the Bible in a very willful way. It is all dualistic win or lose for them. The egocentric will still dominates: the need to be right, the need to be first, the need to think I am saved and other people are not. This is the lowest level of human consciousness, and God cannot be heard from that heady place or met at that level.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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