Thursday, July 28, 2011
And they say I am compromising!
As you might imagine, I get into some "conversations" with people of all different ideological bent. But it seems my most heated disagreements tend to be with the group that would be considered the conservative evangelicals. It is apparent that we disagree on a few things. But what is funny to me is that I find the same accusations that are thrown at me, are actually the ones I make of them. Or in the words of the sage 2nd grader "I'm rubber and you're glue everything bounces off me and sticks to you"
Ok, so what the hell am I talking about today? Simply this, I am often accused of compromising the gospel, or the faith. And the reasons I do this are varied but usually come to these:
1. to fit my own politically correct socialist ideologies
2. to try and be cool, or hip
3. to try and be liked by the non Christians, (both atheists and other religions)
So in order to be a cool, socialist who gets invited to non Christian parties, I compromise the gospel. But if I was a brave, man, and took the bible at its literal word, I would be a non compromising, despised, conservative man who lets God speak for me when I am reviled.
But this is the thing... I didn't come to my political leanings and then change my theological views. I am liked, and disliked by many people from other religions and non religions because I am unashamedly committed to the idea of the uniqueness of Jesus' as the God man, who's work was salvation for the cosmos. And, I quite frankly, am so damn cool, that my beliefs couldn't make me any cooler. :)
I came to my beliefs not because of any reason other than, I belief this is what Christ, through the biblical accounts in the gospels, teaches with both his words and his deeds. I am not trying to be a lefty, a hipster, a liberal, or even to not have to worry about sin, rather I am trying to follow Jesus.
But lets talk about compromise:
The gospels show throughout their entirety Jesus' animosity towards the religious and moral elite, yet the church of today in their calls for "holiness" regularly lift up these same attitudes, rejecting the very people Jesus routinely located himself among. We compromise the words and example of Jesus, by emulating the enemies of Jesus instead of Jesus himself.
Jesus continuously tells us to not trust in money, to not store up treasures, to give all we have away and trust God, to share with whomever has need ect. Yet we do not take those scriptures literally, of course not! Jesus couldnt have meant something that makes me uncomfortable. The truth is Jesus talks way more about what you do with your wallet than what you do with your dick, and I am the one compromising? Excuse me if I am a bit nervous, you keep smacking me in the head with that log when you are trying to get the splinter out of my eye.
Jesus was consistently caring for the marginalized. He tells us a story of what is essentially, the righteous heretic. He spends time among the pagans, the heretics, hookers and the race traitors. He parties with sinners. He loves and touches the ritually unclean. Yet we make sanctified church services that make people that can't afford a smart casual, or even formal outfit, feel unwanted. We impose burdens of righteousness upon others and exclude them. We do not spend time with those of other or no faith in loving communion.
There is assent to taking the bible as its literal word, and then it being thrown right out the window when it says: Love your enemy, do good to those that do bad to you, and do not violently resist an evil doer. Instead we make up this bullshit about loving your enemy in your heart while you drop bombs on him, his wife and his children in real life.
There is constant clamor about the literalness of the hell of the afterlife, yet no willingness to enter into the hell of the present and rescue people from their pain and oppression. There is talk about the literalness about the heaven of the future, but no willingness to sacrifice to bring justice, mercy and goodness to all now.
I am not advocating a lessening of Christian discipleship, but a raising of it. I am not advocating an easier discipleship but a harder one. I am declaring that the rigorous believism of our current Christianity is a fragile shell of the grace and power filled way of discipleship of the early church. That orthodoxy needs to give way to orthopraxy or we are just big brains and big mouths with no relation to the Jesus of the bible.
You want to see who is compromising? Who is caring for the widow, the orphan, the poor, the marginalized, the imprisoned? Who is loving their enemy? Who is actually walking out the fruits of the Spirit. Don't ask me what I think, ask me how I live.