I’ve gnawed on that grief this summer, mourning Eugene Peterson and raging at the Nashville Statement. I’ve processed the loss of trust, the hypocrisy of a Church that told me that only the Gospel mattered, and then snuck in a bunch of fine-print clauses at the end. I’ve wrestled with being betrayed by a community that talked a big talk about saved-by-grace-alone, and then tacked sloppy works-righteousness on to their statements of faith.
What the gatekeepers of evangelicalism always seem to miss is that we wouldn’t care about being “left out” if we didn’t still love the same things they love. We are not clamoring to return to our old ways of thinking, but we’re also not trying to infiltrate and corrupt people with mind games.
You made us look foolish, Eugene. You made the lives of hope that we lead look foolish. God grant me the courage to not let my cynicism win. God grant me the courage to look foolish, again and again, because I haven’t stopped hoping.
When did loving our neighbor as ourselves become a matter of convenience or preference?
Why would anyone ask questions and express doubts—in a church—if a Christian is likely to tell them they are wrong for questioning or doubting? Who wants that? No sane person. And certainly not Jesus, either.
What the world needs now is for dividing lines to be seen but stepped over, to be recognized but not given power, so that on either side of everything, we understand who we are to be – people to other people; friends to enemies; lovers in the midst of hate.
This tells me you haven’t engaged with my story. This tells me you aren’t really interested in hearing what Jesus is doing my life and are more interested in pointing out the sin in my life and trying to save me from myself.
We need to hold Christians accountable, and we need to lay waste to the idea that the only good Christian is a gentle one.
If we continue to choose silence and submission in lieu for purpose and mission, we lose God's hope and we destroy our calling to perfection.
We have all been raised in environments with prejudices that have rubbed off on us. Do NOT become paralyzed with guilt. Give yourself some grace for being human.
This Lent, I'm taking up a #BlackLivesMatter reading list. I'm doing this, because as a white Christian, I need to repent of my own complicity in a culture of white supremacy and listen to the stories of my black brothers and sisters long ignored and neglected by our society.
We were all born to be better. We were made to receive the love of God and to be with other people. There is no limit to the goodness you and I are meant to behold and to reflect, no end to the joy and love we can spread.
The church has largely become a self-righteous, spiritually arrogant, sin-focused, Bible-weaponizing, people-condemning kind of monster that has lost much of her credibility among thinking, human-loving people.
If the Women's March does not become intersectional, it will merely be a continuation of what feminism was in the beginning: catering to the needs of white women and ignoring racism, LGBTQ discrimination, transphobia, the exploitation of indigenous people, and so on.
To love neighbors as ourselves demands movement into places of discomfort. Vulnerability. Risk. Because that is what we long for from others.
Jesus is not the God of those who close doors in the faces of people He made. He is the God of open doors, of broken-down ones.