Out of the comfort zones

RICHARD Rohr wrote that the problem of modern religious fundamentalism was that people thought they had all the answers and stopped listening, growing and being transformed.
“It’s a low point all over the world in all the great world religions – where the spiritual journey is no longer a journey in to the dark night of the soul or the desperate journey for God. It’s about having happy little answers and being absolutely sure about them so you never have to suffer humiliation, you never have to suffer insecurity.
“I don’t have any evidence in the Bible that God is offering us a little plate of certitudes.
“It seems that instead we are being offered a dark and dangerous and wonderful journey toward God. He’s offering us faith not certitude.
“One of the greatest heresies in the history of Christianity is we’ve turned the meaning of faith absolutely around to mean the exact opposite of what Jesus seemed to call it. Jesus seemed to be calling us out of our comfort zones – to get out of your boats and cross the shore onto the other side where the Pagans live.
“Jesus was always taking people where they initially didn’t want to go.’’


6 thoughts on “Out of the comfort zones

  1. Pingback: Profound reflections of a Christian theologian | Exploring Life, The Universe and Everything

  2. Seems like this fellow doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    1) There are fundamental beliefs upon which the message of the Bible is based. When people attack fundamentalism, they often attack the basic fundamental principles upon which the message of the Bible is all about. For example, this fellow talks about fundamentalism as somehow being about never having to face humiliation, never having to face insecurities. But what does the Bible say? Jesus mentioned that foxes have dens, but the son of man didn’t even have a place to lay his head. Not to mention that every follower has to take up his cross and follow Jesus (fundamentalist Christians know that this is about; I am not sure of the liberal Christians).


    • 2) After denigrating fundamentalists by attacking the Bible, he says that he doesn’t have proof that the God of the Bible is offering us a plate of certitudes. So does he believe that he is forgiven his sins due to the merits of a crucified and risen saviour? Does he believe believe that no matter how bad things get, Jesus has promised to be with his people? Does he believe that no matter how vile and sinful a person is, Jesus can turn things around and change his/her personality so that that person “goes and sins no more”? Does he believe the myriad of Bible promises that have sustained people during torture and persecution?


      • 3) This fellow does not understand the relationship between faith and certitudes. The promises of God written in the Bible are the certitudes that our faith is based upon. For example, it would have been easy to believe in God’s promises to help me quit smoking because I never really had to struggle with this habit. But it was another matter to believe God would help me overcome sexual addiction, when my atheist and pagan friends were egging me on to go further in this vile habit. When I had no willpower to resist evil; Yet it was the promises of God that eventually gave me faith to overcome and not quit when the going got tough.


      • 4) It is not true that Jesus calls us to go out of our comfort zones and go to the other shore where the pagans live, unless this is for the purpose of converting those pagans to Jesus’ way of thinking. The Bible mentions a couple of examples where the apostles and Jesus were unable to go into certain areas because the people were not receptive to His message. Furthermore the Bible does not mention anywhere that Jesus or the apostles went to the pagan shore to join pagan practices or adopt them. Yet by ignoring the fundamentalism that is inherent in the Bible, this fellow would commit us to a course of action that would entail the type of fellowship with pagans involving adopting pagan practices and ways of thinking.


  3. Reminds me of a very special and unexpected word of encouragement I and the others received at a at a prayer meeting, many years ago. The encouragement was from no other than the Lord Himself.

    I had just, very nervously, delivered my very first public message in Tongues. Didn’t have a clue what was being said, only that it was very different to the ususal prayer Tongues. Straight away, before I even had a chance to go and hide myself from utter fear and embarrassment, the Leader had the interpretation of my Tongues. Lucky for me it was recorded on tape. Awesome!

    “Why do you hold back? Why do you hold back so reserved from Me? Why do you stand back in the corner? Why do you hang your head? Why do you shrug your shoulders and say it can’t be me? Why do you not trust?

    Do you remember the disciples in the boat? Peter said to me, “If it is you Lord, bid me to come to you on the waters.” And I said to him, “Come!” And he stepped out of the boat. He walked on the water and as long as his eyes were firmly fixed on Me he stayed on the water. When he noticed the storm is when he began to sink.

    For I say to you my people, don’t hold back. Like Peter, step out of the boat. Like Peter, keep your eyes on Me. Like Peter, stride manfully across the water. But unlike Peter, do not take any heed of the storm. Unlike Peter, do not let your eyes turn away from Me. Unlike Peter, do not sink into the waters, for I bid you my people, “Come.” I bid you my people, step out of the boat in faith.”


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