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A Christmas Meditation or Rant?

Dec 18, 2014 at 00:20


Friends, In a galaxy far away and a time long ago I might have enjoyed theological/biblical debate and in this galaxy and in this time I continue to value clear thinking but my face book feed is making me cranky.  Universalism and its  new monikers, of inclusivism or ultimate reconciliation versus eternal judgement;  stuff for and stuff against Rob Bell (I guess they got tired of Mark Driscoll!);  penal substitutionary atonement versus Christus Victor;  is radical grace grace or is it  greasy;  and the list goes on and on but would not be complete without all the “prophetic” stuff about God is judging America for (pick your favourite sin to hate) and how we have to repent and pray more to avoid the next flood or tornado.

Your first observation might be that I need to de-friend a lot of people and that is probably true.  However, an alien from a galaxy not so far away looking at my face book feed might conclude that Jesus came to start a religious debating society and that the bible must be a strange book indeed since folks can claim its absolute authority and quote its words to argue diametrically opposed positions.  

The rational dissonance gets even more intense at this time of year as millions of people will gather in billions of dollars worth of religious buildings to celebrate the birth of a homeless man while mostly ignoring the homeless around them. 

I do not think a kid in sexual slavery is concerned about whether or not hell is eternal.  Their hell is now and it feels eternal. 

I do not think a mom who cannot feed her kids is concerned about extreme grace leading to sin.  She is praying that someone would be gracious to her and help her.

I do not think a father who cannot provide shelter for his family is worried about what Rob Bell is doing with his life. He wants a job.

I do not think a young man being executed for following Jesus is worried about the technicals of the atonement. 

I do not think God is judging anybody for anything.  When we see the needs and ask, “Where is God?”  do we not realize that God is asking, “Where are you?”  When will we stop using the God is judging line as an escape hatch from the personal responsibility to love our neighbours!

Forget the money spent on pet food that would feed the world’s hungry.  Forget the money spent on arms and war that would clothe, educate and feed every poor person on the planet ten times over.   Forget what the 1% do with their wealth.  The money spent on religious buildings by those who claim to follow Jesus would also feed, clothe and educate every child born into poverty.  

This is not about a scarcity resources.

This is about misallocation of abundant resources.

This is about actually following Jesus who said, “Whatever you do unto the least you have done unto me."

Thank you to each of you who has partnered with us in helping women and men at risk in Central Asia.

Thank you to each of you who has partnered with us in helping some kids in India have a home, food and an education.

Thank you to each of you who has partnered with us in helping a growing number in Africa to see they can multiply disciples without budgets, big shots and buildings.

Let us to be humble enough to admit that there is lots in the bible that is open to disagreement and difference and focus on what is clear and disruptive to our comfort zones- simple obedience to the clear instruction and example of Jesus as we live our lives in this present, abundant, eternal life.

Your brother and sister

Steve & Marilyn 

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