Get back with that Bible!
When Jeff Sessions uses it to support ripping nursing children from desperate, refuge-seeking parents, and the WH Press Secretary–a parent herself— doubles down, I only have one advice:
If your bible encourages, or justifies you hating someone, please: Chuck. It. It’s better to attempt love without fully understanding the how or what, than head for hell clenching the good book in your fist.
That “good book” has been used bigly to justify fear, hate, greed, horror and flat-out atrocities for ages. Repeatedly we see it’s possible to know– and maybe even love— God’s Words, but fall flat when it comes to *His Heart.
I know, that was me.
In February I got an email from my kids’ school to be alert for “trends and hypes.” All parents were encouraged to give extra thought to the cartoon figures we let our children wear or bring to school, via bags and lunch boxes. My kids attend a school that identifies as Christian, so we knew, in addition to extra singing/music, bible stories and praying, there would be attention to avoiding really frightening stories, or stories of witchcraft, zombies, etc. But this email called out Elsa, Anna, and even Superman. Uh, What??
Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweets, and Dutch “gezelligheid” – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly ‘nice/comfy/friendly/cozy-ness.’
Some think of “baby Jesus,” others of making everything “just right”, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some who’ve suffered so much, and I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to the oppressed. Or maybe just more perspective beyond the baby in a manger…
Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse our divine identity and sacrificial love, but Brave touches on the reality of our love-hate relationship with God. (Warning, spoiler alert.)
Fiery and fun-loving Merida wants to live life on her own terms, like the rest of us. But rules and traditions oppress her spirit. Mom does her best to prep Merida for the standard way of a princess, eg arranged marriage and great authority, but the two are losing their minds, and eachother.
When did two people getting married become a bad thing?
When did consenting adults committing to a life of love and faithfulness together become something to mobilize against– by people professing a doctrine founded on unconditional love??!
There’s much judgement and hate directed towards those with a homosexual or bisexual lifestyle, and those identifying as transgender have recently been called out of Armed Service, cruelly (e.g. via twitter), and without genuine cause, despite each of these people writing blank checks to Uncle Sam payable up and unto their very lives.
You want to watch these remarks from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to US soldiers deployed in Jordan.
Why doesn’t Lightning come down straight? It’s ferocious and 5x hotter than the sun, so shouldn’t it just, literally, charge down? I never gave lightning much thought untill I heard a Capital Kings track, Forever. One lyric line, “I feel Your Lightning in my veins,” touched something in my heart and I was inspired to find lightning for my phone wallpaper. As I admired, I realized how much lightening looks like our veins…
Remember Claude Frollo? That gypsy (foreigner)-hating, child-manipulating and emotionally-abusing, lust-possessed, uber-religious Judge from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame? That man prayed. A Lot. Remember him pouring out his heart in the dark song “hell fire–desire”? (Yes, not all kids movies are for kids).
How many Frollo’s, to varying degrees, do you know? How many have we caught glimpse of since the US election?
If this election has done anything for us, it’s certainly put a magnifying glass on the blinding hate that can reside in hearts of those who wear crosses or call themselves Christian.
Maybe that’s why Jesus Himself is getting a new name (Revelation 3:12), and why he was the angriest in a Church, NOT some city square (Matthew 21:12).
Before the US election, I heard many Christian-identifying Americans say: “this is a difficult decision…”
How do we have the bible in every language and version (e.g. NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, …), study guides, teen/mom/soldier/woman/early reader styles, Comic Bibles…. and still miss the main message?
I didn’t know I owned so many bibles–granted, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering pharisee so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it wasn’t until a friend visited from a country where being Christian is a crime and her daughter longed for a bible, that I really got thinking.
The world puts people in boxes: you’re female so you feel like this, you’re Christian so you think like this, you’re American so you act like that…
God likes to mix things up to help break the social/tradition walls we build between people. Just consider the movie Hidden Figures(based on a true story) where we see brilliant, computer-like brains placed in– not just black, but black, female bodies– in 1960s America. LOL, God is such a rebel…
Our lives have been marked by boundaries: the boundary of the womb, the boundary of the crib, the boundary of the skies… and we push these walls, kicking against the dark in the uterus, climbing out of cribs, dreaming of flight and touching the heavens.
It seems like all boundaries–from the glass ceilings to the Berlin Walls, were meant to be destroyed…
But some of the greatest walls rest in our Hearts.