Friday, October 17, 2008

Oprah or Opera and Dr Macnab

from w
I am still disturbed that St Michael's Uniting Church, in Collins Street, Melbourne, has swung in a different way - from a place of worship where I once found dynamic preaching to something not quite right!

Oprah or Opera
Wishy-washy new-agism or powerful life and death drama and mystery which often acknowledges danger, cruelty, sin and transformative love?

I read through Dr Macnab’s new ‘commandments’ (not that the word ‘command’ is right there is no personal God to address the people,) and conclude that it is a mish-mash of Oprah style new-age self-centredness rather than a religion. Certainly it is distant from the strong elements that carry the narrative of God’s dealings with humanity which is set down in the Biblical texts. It seems to be a soft wish-list of personal growth and a kindliness towards your neighbout. Motherhood statements are all fine but this is far from the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church so our Uniting Church leaders should clearly disassociate themselves from this new/old way of looking at our lives.

The following was taken from St Michael's website, so it is not a journalist's brief summary, but it comes straight from Dr Macnab himself. It's a bit out of order because it was in two columns.

Commandment 1
Believe in a Good Presence in your life. Call that Good Presence: God, G-D - and follow that Good presence so that you live life fully - tolerantly, collaboratively, generously and with dignity.
Commandment 6
Be magnanimous and excessive in your support of good causes, and use your affluence and material goods and scientific skills in altruistic concern for the future of the world.
Commandment 2
Believe in a God-Presence in your life that will lift you constantly to live harmoniously in yourself and with others, always searching for your best health and happiness.
Commandment 7
Study ways to encourage and sustain the dignity, hope and integrity of all human beings and study ways to help all human beings embrace their dignity, hope, and integrity.
Commandment 3
Take care of your home, your environments, your Planet and its vital resources for the life and health of people in all the world.
Commandment 8
Be alive to new possibilities, new ways, and to the unfolding mysteries and wonders of life and the world.
Commandment 4
Be kind and caring of the animals, the birds, and the creatures of land and the rivers and the seas.
Commandment 9
We often focus our lives on many things and pursuits that promise our fulfilment. Study the deeper things of the Spirit, and the things of ultimate concern for all human beings. Be part of an evolving life-enhancing Faith that will also bring a new resilience to the future.
Commandment 5
Help people develop their potential and become as fully functioning human beings as is possible from birth, through traumas and triumph to the end of their days. Commandment 10
Take time to worship the great Source of all the positive transforming energies of life, and search to be at one with "the spirit of the good, the tender and the beautiful."
So what do you think?

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