The gospel can be cut so many ways. “Good news” for a woman begging is different than for a rich Westerner, or trafficked boy. But concepts like unconditional love and freedom keep me busy.
I’ve heard many Christians stress about people needing to “convert” or “be saved” to avoid hell. Was it similar thinking that sparked the convert-or-die theology of the Crusades?
My son is a self-proclaimed ‘collector of stones.’ When I see a driveway full of rocks, he sees treasure. He searches for favorites and shows me his joys, describing and identifying beauty in each one.
I’m always surprised how unique they are when I start looking, despite being just rocks.
Does God see us and seek us like this?
It’s a questions all Christians could ask themselves: Who would you rather rule over you–or even the world? Jesus or a Pharisee? For those who don’t know what a Pharisee is, they were the religious learned of Jesus’ day. Those who studied, meditated on, and taught from God’s Words, and one would expect them to know God best.
But Jesus bumped heads with them regularly…
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. (Matthew 23:27)
God was always more concerned with our inner condition than our words or actions. Yikes.
Religion, on the other hand, is easy. It skips the inner transformation and focuses instead on appearances, rules to keep, e.g. don’t touch, don’t taste… and God forbid you question or break a rule-Woe to you!
We have a “rule” in our family about name calling–namely, don’t do it.
I know people like to joke and call names in jest, little kids yelling, ‘come on poopy head’ or friends teasing, ‘hurry up slowpoke.’ But I’m pretty sensitive and don’t like any of it.
Especially when I realized it’s happening all over the place, not just as playful or derogatory, but as identifying labels…
Gay, Straight, Beauty Queen, Jock, Vegetarian, Vegan, Republican, Democrat, Nerd, Rebel, Techie, Trekkie, Californian, Christian….
It grieves me that society makes us feel the need to label-up: “I’m Gay,” “I’m Straight,” “I’m Bi,”.. “I’m …” etc., as if that’s someone’s identity.
Your life is so much more than your love preference, food preference, political preference….etc.
Do we dare ostracize others for any of these things? In a world so focused on the external, its easy to forget what really matters:
Kindness, Compassion, Honesty, #1Cor13 Love…
On Day 2 of this “Wild God, Wild Kids-31 Days Looking at God’s Heart” series I shared how a
store clerk reached out to touch the cheek of my 5month old baby. My gut jumped: hands off Lady- he’s not yours!–but I live in a (ahem) civilized world where kindness is (ahem) important so I accepted the touch, reasoning he was brightening her day (that’s not his job, Lady…! Chill Jasmine.)
My brain says suppress these ferocious feelings since they’re not ‘soft and sweet’ like “good Christians” should be, but something else in me says the flare-ups are part of my God-given, God-DNA.
When I started this “Wild Kids, Wild God – 31 Days looking into God’s Heart” series, I had no idea how deep I’d go.
In recent posts of this series I started noting:
I use ‘He’ and ‘His’ as pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with both Male and Female ‘identity’–for lack of a better word–, as evidenced by the human race and through the Bible…” Post coming soon!
This is that post, and the topic is dear to my heart. It may disturb, but can also encourage, and my desire has been, as best as I can, to put God’s Heart ‘out there,’ crazy as It may be.
So let me “come out” about this.