A Straightforward Reading of the Text

The quote is from Rachel Held Evans’ blog post, asking whether Jesus should inform our Christianity.

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  • Here is the comment I left on her site:

    (1) “Since He’s a Brother”
    You said: “Since he’s a brother in Christ, I’ll give Mohler the benefit of the doubt…”

    This phrase and the thinking behind it, is seen in many religions. It makes “being a Christian” more about being in a club than living well or a principled life. Why not say:
    “Since he is a human, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt…”
    That would be more keeping with the nonviolence thinking of this post.
    [So, if the person were a Muslim, a Hindu or (Lord forbid, an Atheist) — would she not give the person the benefit of the doubt — not love her enemy?]

    (2) Straightforward Jesus Hyperbole
    On another Christian site (British Evangelical), the writer argued that Jesus was not anti-family. He argued that verses where Jesus told followers to hate their parents, children and others if they did not follow him, were hyperbole for the importance of following his teaching.

    With this hyperbole hermeneutics, maybe Jesus was saying “Look, we go too quickly to violence”. Maybe a total nonviolence stance was not his point but merely to put a check on an all to easy option. How do we discern the hyperbole from the “straightforward reading of the text.”

    Are you advocating straightforward here? It seems sects divide over what to read straightforward.