sometimes i invite it.
yesterday i was encouraged to hear that my previous days’ post at RLC on the evangelical reaction to rob bell’s support of gay marriage had helped bring about the highest traffic in the website’s history (in conjunction with this post) ::
— RedLetter Christians (@RedLetterXians) March 20, 2013
that was encouraging.
i also received plenty of facebook messages, emails, texts and DMs on twitter stating an appreciation for my words. comments ranged from ‘catchy title’ to ‘very carefully written’ calling the article ‘thought provoking’ or ‘beautifully worded.’
other comments were…less encouraging.
a quick tour around the comment section of RLC or on reddit (where the post was also apparently shared) showed that not everyone appreciated rob’s sentiments – nor my questions regarding how the church can best show love to the Other in the midst of this very clear cultural shift.
somewhere in the middle of the two ends of the spectrum was this note, sent yesterday ::
‘In several of your blog posts you mention Jesus having a ‘radical inclusion’ in contrast to the church’s exclusion of people. I see Jesus as having a ‘radical invitation.’ The idea of His offering inclusion to everyone seems to imply an across the board partnership with all peoples.’
the email went on to ask for my thoughts regarding christ’s call (or invitation) to living the way in which he ‘calls the shots about how life is to operate and does not include those who choose not to embrace his paradigm.’
here’s a snippet of my response, to which i’d open up the conversation to us here ::
‘it seems to me from my reading of the gospels that the only folks whom jesus doesn’t include are the ones who feel they’ve already got it figured out – the religious elite.
jesus continually intentionally pursues that which is disconnected, even going so far as to stepping outside the boundaries of tradition and law (we christians don’t like to phrase it as ‘breaking the law’ but essentially that’s what he did…repeatedly).
in doing so, jesus points toward a fulfillment of the law – the point of it, in fact.
there’s a graduated understanding from the ‘we’re chosen, you’re not‘ mentality into an ‘all are welcome into the kingdom‘ mentality. that’s why (in my opinion) jesus spends so much time with the outcasts of society – the tax collectors (essentially thieves), the prostitutes and drunkards, the lepers, the blind, lame, et cetera – ‘the Other…’
it’s surprising stories like these – found again and again in the gospels – that have led me to the conclusion that christ stands in solidarity with the Other – no matter where they are…
so yes – an invitation toward a better way of living – a kingdom way of living – to ‘go and sin no more.’
but regardless of the invitation, it seems christ’s inclusion is not dependent upon our response to the invitation; rather, we hear his invitation in the context of already having been included.’
what do you think?