Raymond Theology

posted by Jeffrey on Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 9:06 AM

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I must admit, I've never really watched Everybody Loves Raymond, but yesterday I found myself listening to it in the background as I meticulously cut some potatoes into perfect fry like shapes (if you're a healthy eater you can make fries like this: cut potatoes, spray w/ a non-stick cooking spray, sprinkle some creole and Mrs. Dash seasoning, bake em for a while, and vio la...perfectly healthy fries that taste great). And before I get too far from the topic already, let me just say that my wife is the gourmet chef, but I can fix a mean salad and fries!! Anyway, I found myself intriguied with the theology of this man they call Raymond.

The episode opened with this family running a muck in an attempt to leave for church on time. The little girl (Allie I believe is her name) asks her mom why daddy (Ray) never has to go to church. Blah blah blah, the story goes on. Upon returning from church, Allie presents her dad with a picture--a picture of him in Hell. He obviously asks why she drew a picture of him in Hell, to which she replies, "that's where grandpa (Ray's dad) said people who don't go to church go."

Could this be true? Is all we have to do "stay out of Hell" go to church? Hmmm. We could pick that one statement apart all day long. There is no fault in the cultural perspective of "church". They simply repeat what the Church has taught them. We (the Christians--who ARE the Church) have taught the culture that church is a place we go. It's a place where we are are preached at about Heaven and Hell, morality, money, and where all the "bad stuff" we're doing is thrown back in our faces. There is no fault in culture's perspective of church, the problem lies with us...with the Church (again, the Church is the PEOPLE of God). Oh when will we truly live again as we were intended to? When will we move beyond our walls, beyond our shirts & ties, beyond our theological jargon, beyond our petty disagreements, and beyond our facades to meet the needs of the people?? To serve, to give, to love (without alterior motives), to close our mouths & listen, to build friendships with the "normal" people of the world, and to-as my friend Gary says-"do life together."

A thought: What if we excised the phrase "go to church" from our vocabulary??


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