Here are some blogs and articles I came across this week that made me think. Inclusion does not mean full endorsement. Anything in bold is an emphasis made by me.
“The most important command Jesus specifically gave was to Love your neighbor–this command was put on the same level as Love God. What does Love your neighbor look like? It looks like finding a beat up, half-dead member of ISIS on the side of the road, stopping, taking him in, bandaging his wounds, and spending your own money to care for him. Knowing he is your biggest enemy and showing him Love anyway.”
Not Your White Jesus by Sheri Faye Rosendahl
“Augustine didn’t believe in literal creationism. Heretic.
Galileo thought the earth revolved around the Sun. Dumb heretic.
C.S. Lewis may have believed people of other religions could find Jesus without knowing it. Both dumb. Both heretics…
But I’m not concerned with the validity of these heresy claims so much as the joy from which they are shouted. Move over baseball, because exposing heresy has become America’s new favorite pastime…
Pride explains almost all human behavior…
When we label someone a heretic, we are implying that we aren’t. By claiming someone’s theology isn’t correct, we are claiming ours is. It’s a roundabout way of elevating ourselves in relation to one another.
In turn, refraining from heresy labeling is to say we might be wrong about some things. We are admitting other people have solid points that demand to be considered. As we are naturally prideful, no one really wants to do this. So, we dismiss them as heretics.
The easiest way to elevate ourselves is not to build ourselves up. The easiest way is to tear others down…
We can’t just accept any assertion about God as fact. I agree. But truth is hard to write down when it’s incarnate. It’s easy to cry heresy when truth is a sort of celestial constitution by which we all measure our beliefs. It’s not so easy when Truth is a person…
I’m not proposing we stop thinking about God. It’s actually the opposite. We have to engage with foreign and challenging views of God honestly and humbly for the sake of our spirituality, knowing God isn’t defined by what we believe in our three-pound brains. We have to realize this isn’t a competition, and evolving views of God don’t disqualify us from knowing Him.
We shouldn’t be afraid of material like The Shack, or anything else deemed heretical by some. After all, it’s only after we engage with and consider these challenges that we can then accept or reject their ideas. But we must do so knowing pride drives our innate motivations.”
4 Bad Reasons Christians Call Each Other ‘Heretics’ By Peter Northcutt
“…That’s what Jesus is saying. “The poor will always be with you” because you are disobedient, hardhearted, exploitative and devious. The presence of poverty is not some inevitable law of the universe, it’s the consequence of sin — your sin, the sin of the wealthy, not the sin of the poor. The fact that the poor are with us is a rebuke. It is evidence of our guilt and failure and wicked thinking….
This is the argument we hear 99.9 percent of the time we hear anyone reciting those words from Jesus. It’s an anti-biblical, anti-Christ argument. It’s biblically illiterate, stupid and cruel. It is used, always, to harm and to deny help to others.”
“You folks don’t — and can’t — understand us because you’re fundamentally unlike us. The premise is that city folk know nothing about small-town folk, and yet that somehow small-town folk know everything about city folk…
And yet they assume that the same thing doesn’t apply to them — that they are able to speak with certainty about the values and character of those people over there, the ones who live under those city lights, without ever taking a ride around those places and getting to know those people…
His talk about “the importance of family” was his attempt to explain why the congregants in his white evangelical church in Wisconsin voted for Donald Trump.***
But that’s not accurate. They did not vote Trump because they love their families and because they value hard work. They did so because they wanted and needed to believe that other people — those people — do not love their families and do not value hard work. They wanted and needed to believe that loving their families and valuing hard work makes them exceptional — better, more deserving, more entitled, and wholly distinct from those people over there who don’t love and value those things.”
“Leslie’s life served no other obvious purpose, he did not contribute to society or serve his community and he possessed no redeeming qualities besides quick whited [sic] sarcasm which was amusing during his sober days,” it reads. “With Leslie’s passing he will be missed only for what he never did; being a loving husband, father and good friend…”
“Leslie’s passing proves that evil does in fact die,” the obituary said, “and hopefully marks a time of healing and safety for all.”
‘Evil’ Man’s Family Gives Him the Obit He Deserved by Lauren Evans
“The reason I am sharing this is because people think it is funny to laugh at people with disabilities. You cannot see my disabilities but they are there and they are real. So next time you see photos making fun of people just remember you know nothing about these people or the struggles they face every day. It is never just harmless fun to laugh at someone.”
What You Should Know If You Laughed at This Viral Photo of Me by Jennifer Wilkinson
“We are doing everyone a disservice when we act like this is an issue about where someone gets to pee. This is a fight to rigidly enforce patriarchal gender roles and a gender binary while erasing those who don’t conform to it. It’s about making every person who doesn’t fit into that gender binary think about the fact that society doesn’t acknowledge us or respect who we are. It’s about creating a demonized and pathologized image of transgender people so that society will accept discrimination against them, even arguing that it’s for our own good.
This isn’t a transgender issue. This isn’t even an LGBTQ issue. This is an issue that affects all of us. It’s not about where some kid gets to pee; it’s about you being assigned a gender role and ensuring there are reprisals against those who dare to push back against them.”