The Freedom of Living Outside of Your Bible

The Freedom of Living Outside of Your Bible August 10, 2015
Photo by Rajat Adhikari, courtesy of Jim Palmer

I came from a conservative evangelical background and was turned away from church, family members and friends because I love and affirm my LGBTQ child. Most of the Moms in my secret, private Facebook groups have the same story.

As a result, some of us have become quite liberal politically – believe me, it can be hard to stay with a group actively fighting against your child. Others remain conservative. Though we are in complete agreement about defending our kids and the rest of the LGBTQ community, we can become pretty animated in our political conversations.

I had messaged an admin on one of the FB groups, and we were chatting about how to navigate these political discussions in our moms group. Should I set limits to these conversations or let them go?

She texted back, “Being from conservative churches, we are so used to everyone agreeing on everything. We have lost the ability to disagree and still be friends. I think we all need to live outside of our bubbles – and allow these difficult conversations.”

Spot on. Conservative Christians are extremely bubble-prone, and it is exactly what the behavior-focused, non-affirming church teaches.

Is it safe to question things there? Is it safe to step outside the box that has been constructed for you?

Not at all.

And if you do, it is common to be branded as a trouble-maker, heretic, apostate and so on.  Recognize those terms? Yep, they were some of the things they called Jesus. So, you are in good company.

Living inside a safe bubble, a safe box, is NOT what the body of Christ is meant to be about. Her advice was great.

I messaged another admin via talk-to-text. But iPhone’s Siri, who’s rather mischievous from time to time had written, “We need to live outside our Bibles.” LOL! I thought that was hilarious, sent it as is, then followed up with the corrected, “live outside our BUBBLES!” We both had a good laugh over that.

The more I thought about it, the more I loved that mixup. Conservative, non-affirming Christians definitely need to live outside their bubbles. They need to understand there’s a world out here that their bubbles exclude and send to the margins, to whom they will, directly or indirectly, not extend the love of Jesus, even though God loves all, unconditionally.

They also need to live outside their Bibles. It is how to become free!

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus

Rebel was another name they called Jesus.

The people Jesus wants us to love live outside our Bibles. The problems people deal with, and the food and clothing we can offer them live outside our Bibles. The issues we need to deal with ourselves live outside our Bibles.

And Jesus lives outside our Bibles. His truth is very different from what is taught on Sunday mornings in way too many churches who claim his name.

Jesus lives among the poor, the homeless, the disenfranchised. Jesus had a special place in his heart for the marginalized. Jesus lives among the least of society.

Jesus told the law-focused religious leaders of his day to live outside of their “Bibles.” Those religious leaders were OBSESSED with their written scripture so much that they missed the entire heart of it.

They walked by the very ones their church positions require they help.

They kept out the very ones their church was meant to help.

They used their rules to excuse self-serving and self-righteous behavior.

Does any of that sound familiar when you think of today’s non-affirming, anti-gay religious leaders and church, and the LGBTQ community?

Please. Live outside your Bibles. And live outside your bubbles.

Out here is where your life and love are needed. Out here is where life and love are found.

There’s a whole world of people out here who desperately need to hear that God’s love for them is unbounded, unconditional – as they are, for who they are.

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