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Thursday, April 07, 2016

Not everything biblical is Christian part 20: condemnation

In the series "Not everything biblical is Christian" I've stayed on Bible texts specifically. For those who know the lingo, I have been proof-texting, pulling up a text, contrasting it to the life of Jesus and "proving" that they are in tension and resolving it by giving Jesus the final say. This post is different in the lack of a Biblical text. Instead I have included a screenshot from my Facebook timeline, about a month ago, with two different approaches to homosexuality, the way of the law and the way of love. I have lived most of my Christian life with the focus on the former, so I completely understand where the first writer comes from. Yet I have come to embrace the way of love and grace. So the day these posts appeared in juxtaposition I saw myself in two acts. Act 1: the letter of the law, a Javert. Act 2: the way of love. not even a Jean Valjean, even less a little Christ. The law is fixed. Love ever expands.

Now the screenshot.

The first post sees an error in the application of law. The second post sees an opportunity to love, comfort, cherish and enjoin. Our years are short on this rock floating through the universe, why was I so certain, like the critic, that it would be better to make life worse for someone? Some of my friends would say I have never been so cruel, but I know in my heart how I was. And I have many stories here on this blog of when I have been cruel in the name of Jesus.

I want to tell the critic, "it gets better," he can move on from condemnation, but that slogan has been used to encourage gay youth so that they do not kill themselves before they have an opportunity to love themselves and be loved for who they are, not for who they are not. Not enough kids have parents like Austin's who affirm him for who he is, a beloved human being made in the image of God.

A theology of love and affirmation will have a tremendously different impact on anyone over a theology of depravity and self-hatred.

If God is love, and there is a proof text for that, then God loves all of us the gays and the stone throwers. For this, I am grateful.


This is part 19 of the series, Not everything Biblical is ChristianPart one points out that the words of Satan recorded in the Bible are not Christian doctrine. Part two shows the Sermon on the Mount overruling the cursing of enemies exhibited in Psalm 137. Parts three and four show Moses getting overruled by Ezekiel and Jesus. Part five merely brushes the concept of source criticism.  Part six looks at the Old Testament application in the early church: a brief summary of the book of Acts. Part seven looks at how the church has worked this out regarding slavery. Part eight, showed one example of how an unchristian part of the Bible helps tell the Christian story. Part nine asks who would Jesus hate? Part 10 discusses women as Biblically approved spoils of war. Part 11 discusses divorce. Part 12 discusses the imposition of Bronze Age social constructs onto our diverse and complex modern world. Part 13 discusses women as property in the Biblical world. Part 14 discusses dehumanization of people with Biblical support. Part 15 discusses the evangelical culture that tends to proclaim the terrible day of the Lord is around the next corner. Part 16 shows how the end of the book of Job overrules 90% of the soliloquies in the book. Part 17 discusses a Psalm of confession. Part 18 discusses more Psalmist theology. Part 19 discusses something in the New Testament writings of Paul.

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