The Shocking Revelation of Real Love

Sometimes, I wonder what it would have been like to be around when Jesus messed with people’s heads.

When Jesus pointed at the crowd and said “he that is without sin, cast the first stone”… that was not a normal event. It probably didn’t happen in any way like we have seen it portrayed in any movie so far. I image that some people almost feel over with mouths wide open. There were probably several audible gasps. People were probably acting like a freaking UFO landed in front of them.

Because that was how foreign the whole thing really was. It wasn’t just a new idea. It was a paradigm-altering, WTF?!?!, never seen this before, holy hell in a hand basket Batman kind of moment.

People met face to face with a shocking revelation of real love.

Yes, they could have stoned the woman to death. Jesus could have at least lashed into her in the same way He had lashed into the concept of adultery on other occasions. But he didn’t. We see that again and again in the scriptures. Jesus could have taken the commonly accepted road, but he pulled out his most shocking trick in His deck of tricks. Real love.

People probably felt like He had reached over and shattered their world with one small touch.

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Sure, Jesus argued with people a lot. People who that say Jesus never got into religious or political arguments obviously skip large swaths of the Bible. But when people’s lives were on the line? When hurting people were really asking for help? He ignored religion and politics and did a shocking thing: He loved.

metamodern-faith-avatarSo that is why I think people are so upset about World Vision’s decision to allow married gay couples to work there. They are shocked by real love. It may not be politically or religiously correct to take that stance in certain circles, but it is shocking act of love that says that starving children are more important that religious dogma.

So I stand with World Vision. They look more like Jesus now than they ever have.

EDIT: Even if World Vision decides to reverse their decision, my thoughts about their original announcement will stay the same.

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Yes, I Do Believe in Your Scripture De Jour, But….

Nothing gets certain corners of fundamentalism into a tizzy like being nice to gays. I’m sure by now you have heard the uproar over World Vision deciding to start hiring married people of the LGBT persuasion. Despite their best efforts to point out that this was a decision about letting churches decide theology, Christian leaders every where decided to become Christian mind and faith readers in attempts to condemn these actions.

Of course, none of these leaders spoke out about any of the sexually active unmarried LGBT workers that work at Chick-fil-a (since several spoke up during that controversy). I guess as long as you get a chicken sandwich from a “rebellious” gay teen its okay, but sponsor a starving child where a loving, committed lesbian accountant might touch your sacred money? Boycott! Condemn! Batten down the hatches!

What really gets me in these types of arguments is thinking like this:

Which was then retweeted by a professor at a theological seminary. I work at a university, so I thought they trained professors to recognize straw man arguments and not fall for them. Guess I should double check the hiring standards at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

These arguments are usually made against Rachel Held Evans and Jay Bakker and any one of hundreds of leaders that have declared over and over again that they follow the Bible. Today its over gay marriage, tomorrow it will probably be over the equality of women, next week it could be over whether God Hates Shrimp. Its always a revolving doorway of scripture de jour that involves questioning whether someone is really a Christian or not based on how closely they come to your particular interpretation of a scripture. Sure, progressive Christians are sometimes guilty of this, but this generally seems to be a major tactic in certain evangelical circles.

I don’t personally know Evans or Bakker or any other leaders that were questioned over this issue, but if I were a gambling man I would place BIG money on them believing that I Corinithans 6:9-10 is true.  And anyone being truly honest would have to lean that direction, too. They more than likely have differing opinions on what the underlying Greek really says, and how we are to translate those words thousands of years later across dozens of cultural changes.

But, hey… who cares about that pesky accuracy thing when demonizing opponents?

metamodern-faith-avatarOf course, the gross misunderstandings of developmental theory, educational research, and pure reality in the Gospel Coalition’s blog post about how children suffer in “non-traditional” marriages will have to be explored further in another post. But needless to say, exploiting starving children for a political point? Disgusting.