Doug Muder unpacking metaphors

Doug Muder has posted a sermon at Free and Responsible Search: Some Assembly Required. As ever, he has an engaging intro:

[T]here used to be a little sign on Highway 24 – I don’t think it’s there any more – directing you to the Ripley Church of God.

One of my character flaws is that I lack a proper sense of reverence. And so, every time I passed that sign, the same irreverent phrase went through my mind: Believe it or not.

Something similar happens whenever I pass an Assembly of God church. You know what phrase pops into my mind then? Some assembly required. I picture a bunch of people with a God kit and an enormous set of directions, trying to figure out how to make the omnipotence fit together with the benevolence.

That’s probably not what they do in Assemblies of God. But it’s not a bad metaphor for what Unitarian Universalists do. Our religion doesn’t come to us as a finished product; some assembly is required. As George Marshall wrote: “Don’t come to a Unitarian Universalist church to be given a religion. Come to develop your own religion.”

The meat of Doug’s sermon explores this quandary:

[S]omeone who walks in the door with the wrong metaphor, someone who tries to stuff us into the wrong box . . . well, they ask the wrong questions. And after you’ve asked the wrong questions, even the best answers might not help you.

He proceeds to reframe some of the “wrong” questions in order to make “right” answers possible.