Someone to Learn From

Desmond Tutu 2007 at the Deutscher Evangelisch...

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While doing one of my favorite things (drinking coffee and skimming through books at Barnes and Noble) I came across a marvelous quote by Bishop Desmond Tutu. During this period in which many quite ignorant and intolerant speeches are being made that distort the essence of Christianity, it is refreshing to come across someone whose words reflect its beauty. I share his words with you:

“Any authentic Christian spirituality is utterly subversive to any system that would treat a man or woman as anything less than a child of God. It has nothing to do with ideology or politics. Every praying Christian, every person who has an encounter with God, must have a passionate concern for his or her brother and sister, his or her neighbor. To treat anyone of these as if he or she were less than a child of God is to deny the validity of one’s spiritual experience

Our love of God is tested and proved by our love for our neighbor.”

(Desmond Tutu, The Words of Desmond Tutu, New Market Press, N.Y., 2007. 26, 29.)

Christian theology makes a number of bold assertions about the nature of things. Christian  theology contends that the entire cosmos is created, loved and sustained by God. It contends that each and every human being is created in the image of God and that there is no human being anywhere who is not created in the image of God. It argues that there is no place where the Spirit of God is not present.

Bishop Tutu is absolutely correct to assert that “Christian spirituality is utterly subversive to any system that would treat anyone as less than a child of God!” Christian theology would argue that there are real differences between religious systems and not every system is healthy or true. But no one exists apart from God, and no one is to be treated as if he or she were any less than a sacred person created and loved by God.

As someone else has said, how can we say we love God, and then be quick to do harm to that which God creates and loves?

I have seen and heard such ugly distortions of Christian spirituality plastered in public places that it makes me want to choke. I pray that these are recognized as the ideological distortions that they are. May better voices, such as those of Bishop Tutu prevail.

(If you would like to see and listen to Bishop Tutu, click on the link located in the right column of this page. )

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15 thoughts on “Someone to Learn From

    • It is one place where my wife and I spend many afternoons. Tutu is someone I’ve read and appreciated for a number of years now. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. – Bill

    • Thank you for your comment. I would love to hear more abut your experience, if it is ever possible and something you would lke to do. Bishop Tutu is someone I’ve really come to appreciate. I’ve read his books and a biography. And am amazed at what he has done. – Bill

  1. Desmond Tutu is spot on.
    Why have we as a culture (of Christians) favored the noisy gong rather than the humility of love???
    I am astounded at the lack of love for the brother and sister who clamors for affection and only finds it in the streets.

    Thanks for your visits to my blog and kindness Bill

    Moon smiles

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