A North American Adaptation of the Lord’s Prayer – for too many Christians
A “Distortion” of The Lord’s Prayer as understood by too many North American Christians
(With interpretive notes)
Pray then in this way:
Our* MY Father in heaven,
hallowed be MY UNDERSTANDING OF your name.
Your SPIRITUALIZED kingdom come,
Your SPIRITUALIZED will be done,
On earth** AMONG MY TRIBE as it is in heaven.
us ME this day our daily MORE EXCESS bread,
us our ME MY debts,
we I also have forgiven our MY debtor FRIENDs WHO DESERVE IT.
And do not bring
us ME to the time of trial,
us ME from the evil ones WHO DISAGREE WITH ME.
For if you
forgive*** CONDEMN others of their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will
also ESPECIALLY forgive you;
but if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father WILL forgive your trespasses ANYWAY.
*This prayer is distorted to fit “modern” North American individualistic sensibilities held by many Christians. Toby Keith’s song “I Want to Talk About Me” can be sung after the prayer. It is based on the message preached and believed that all the followeres of Jesus are to focus on is individual salvation. This view forgets any mention of love of neighbor, the Year of Jubilee, Gospel stories about welcoming the outsider and stranger, Paul’s mention of each having gifts needed to be a part of whole community, historic practices of social-justice or ideas of covenant and commonweal.
** Faith in this view is all about heaven and the hereafter. It has little reference to daily life on earth. My current life is to get me ready for the “sweet by-and-by.” God’s will is meant only for those who think like me and believe the same theology and creeds that I hold. In other words, “on earth” is about how I treat those who are part of my tribe. This means, climate change is a myth, any government aid the poor is “evil socialism,” the earth’s resources are to be dominated and used up for my benefit and those who are like me. The earth is not our “Common Home” as Pope Francis proclaims. The United Methodist bishops calling for “environmental holiness” was wrong.
*** Forgiveness in this view is a sign of weakness… unless it is asking for a pardon for crimes. The individual praying the prayer doesn’t need forgiveness because he or she has the right answer on two or three critical issues (e.g., against homosexuality and all abortions) and all else is “up to God.” I don’t really need to ask for forgiveness as my way is the only way to salvation. The story about the prodigal returning home is always about “them” and never about “me.”