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Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things September 4, 2012

Neil Williams: “Does Christianity promote tribalism?”

What I am concerned about is something different — an exclusive mentality that leads to indignation, shunning, meanness, oppression, violence, and even murder.

Again, Christianity’s record is sullied. Common examples include the Crusades, Inquisition, and witch-hunts. But there are many others. For example, Philip Jenkins in “Jesus Wars” mentions an even greater bloodshed that occurred between Christians in the 5th and 6th centuries as they fought over doctrinal differences. Even today, many of us know pastors and professors who were fired because they came to accept modern science, or happened to disagree with some archaic point of doctrine formulated 400 years ago, or decided that women could become pastors.

… The great irony, however, of exclusive clubs is that they are based on pretense. The only way people can do this is through pretense — a form of self-deception. Pretend that men are superior to women, Serbs to Croats, Whites to Blacks, rich to poor, CEOs to workers, Americans to Iranians, Calvinists to … everyone else.

There is probably some spiritual law that the more exclusive the group, the more pretense is needed to establish and maintain the group, and thus the more self-righteous and immoral it becomes.

Fang-yi: “Father, behold me”

When you stand with other Christians, Father, and with them use the timeworn quiltwork of reasons to oppose gay people, please look at me. Look into your daughter’s eyes, and accuse me of being a pervert.

Accuse me of incest, polygamy, pedophilia.

Accuse me of bestiality.

When you stand with those churches that preach loving the sinner but hating the sin and accuse gay people of sinfulness, please look at me.

… When you stand with those who call themselves the “Holy Church” denying acceptance of those “unholy homosexuals,” please look at me. Look into your daughter’s eyes, and tell me that I am not holy. Tell me that the Holy Spirit is not present within the group worships that I lead. Tell me that my ministry reveals to you no sign of  the Holy Spirit’s work. Tell me, Father, that in my life does not appear heavenly blessings. Tell me that I do not know know God at all.

Michael Kimpan: “Me Neither: Jesus Draws His Line in the Sand”

The Law permitted a stoning. It even demanded it.

And just as their married friend had used her body for his pleasure, they would use her very life to trap this liberal Galilean and turn the crowd against his teachings of grace.

They threw her down into the dirt directly in front of Jesus, interrupting his sermon.

All eyes were on the Great Teacher.

She was crying and whimpering, each breath shorter than the last. The men were smirking.

This time they’d trapped Jesus within the boundaries of the law. The lines of this box were clear. The woman didn’t matter. She was a whore. She deserved death.

“The scripture clearly states that she should die, Jesus. What do you say?”

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