‘what you seek is seeking you.’
Archives For reform.
much of what we value as tradition or ‘orthodoxy’ in reality actually hinders (or even contradicts) the gospel.
‘what you seek is seeking you.’
‘We have always found Jesus easier to worship than to follow. Veneration of great people requires less than imitation. Jesus said, ‘Follow me’ not ‘Hallow me.’
these are the words of my friend stan mitchell, who is admittedly on a Facebook status update roll (friend and/or follow stan here). he leads a church in nashville, TN called GracePointe and – lest you believe stan stands alone – is part of a growing movement of outspoken progressive evangelical individuals, organizations and communities of faith coalescing around a broader effort known as OPEN. so am i.
truth be told, increasing numbers of us who grew up in an evangelical, non-denominational or free-church tradition are coming to terms with the fact that the version of christianity that we grew up with is less than good news.
not every moment is beautiful and good, but there is good and beauty in every moment.
seek it, and you will find it.
then seek it out more.
today, my friend david gushee wrote an interesting and insightful article on the drama happening at Wheaton College – the esteemed evangelical academic institution which is making headlines as they continue the process of firing their first-ever tenured black female professor.
first, dr. larycia hawkins wore a hijab – the traditional head covering worn by many muslim women. then, she was accused of violating its doctrinal statement because she wrote a Facebook post quoting pope francis which said that christians and muslims ‘worship the same God.’ hawkins told CNN the school offered her a ‘best case scenario’ to return to the college which ‘included two years of multi-layered, ongoing conversation about the theological implications of [her] Facebook post and [her] actions in wearing the hijab. For those two years, tenure would be revoked and restoration of tenure an open question at the conclusion of that period.’
in my opinion, standing in solidarity with muslims by saying they worship the same God as christians do is more of a historical than a theological statement – and it’s factual. YHVH God is, historically, the God of abraham. different interpretations (or, one could more accurately state evolutions of understanding) of that God are expressed through each of the abrahamic faiths – judaism, christianity… and islam.
for an evangelical academic institution to deny this is to show themselves either intellectually dishonest or intentionally ignorant of the history of our faith.
if the grace you extend comes with a ‘but’ at the end, it isn’t grace; it’s condemnation.
since the beginning of this blog, i’ve posted an annual ‘best posts of the past year’ which was based on which ones had been shared the most via social media, or had the most comments (here’s the top ten of 2013 and 2014).
seeing as today is the even of a new year, that’s this post; however, instead of linking my most popular posts from 2015, i’ve chosen to link those i believe to be the most important.
so without further ado, here’s my top ten from 2015 (with a bit of a teaser from each of them) ::
seek to see and celebrate the beauty of the divine image in every person
you come into contact with.
if you follow my facebook feed, you’ll know that leading up to this holiday season i spent some time defending my counter-cultural suggestion that since the jesus of the gospel narratives is quite clearly against killing people, folks who claim to follow him ought to be as well.
though it’s not the first time an impassioned disagreement has taken place in my world, i was surprised that the most vitriolic – sometimes even violent – responses came not due to my previous suggestions that the gospel is far better news than what we learned in church; or that the family of God expands beyond the walls of religion; or even that accepting syrian refugees and muslim immigrants is a christ-followers’ ethical and moral responsibility; but the assertion that christians shouldn’t kill people.
i don’t say so lightly. such an assertion flies in the face of the faith and family in which i was raised – and not just because we used to sing, ‘onward christian soldier, marching off to war…’ during children’s church.
for me, it started on the day i was born.
living as jesus lived and loving as he loved brings the kingdom of God here, and now.
the purpose of (un)common good collective is quite simple; we serve as a shared resource organization to provide services and fund work with churches, organizations and individuals within our growing circle of friends.
in more than two decades of doing non-profit and ministry related work, i’ve found the following to be true –
‘doing good’ is quite common.
there are countless people doing good in our world. it’s common. what is historically uncommon, however, is intentional collaboration and the sharing of resources within these communities of do-gooders. many times perceived competition for donor dollars combined with a scarcity mindset limits the range and effectiveness of the work – and stifles our vision of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.