Before terms such as social justice existed, God laid down the Sabbath texts that include green ecology laws as well as commands to care for the poor, not oppress the sojourner, and treat animals equally on the Sabbath. You don’t have to accept liberal theology to validate these ideas. God wants us to be known for our acts of kindness and healing, not our individual politics.
In the messy landscape of human perplexity, we are called to bring that kind of love into the world. May we relinquish our self-focus and pursue the only effective way to live together in healing and justice. This is the only way to follow Jesus.
When I was young and working in my family’s vegetarian restaurant, I often had opportunity to sit and have meaningful conversations with customers during my lunch break.
Conservatives tend to visualize God as well suited to meet their goal of social order, while progressives see God as better suited to meet their goal of social tolerance. In a sense, therefore, we all shape God in our own image and apply our perception of His authority to ourselves, which sets us up to experience God in specific ways.
I have encountered many authoritative Christians who seek to control people and situations by strictly adhering to rules, demanding the “right” answers, and correcting those who…
Tucked away in an obscure collection of texts in 2 Samuel 21 is a story occasionally cited to suggest that God’s avenging anger needs appeasement. Nestled within this depiction of atonement is the ancient notion of bloodguilt, while a lesser known story is easily overlooked, lacking the attention it deserves. It tells of a woman burdened with grief and searing pain because her two sons have been torn from her. Rizpah is her name. The story has not gone unnoticed, however, by many a brave mother gripped by despair and grief at the death of a child. Such women, left powerless and bereft, receive little mercy.
Too often, people interpret the Apocalypse of John through a sensational or speculative lens. One problem with obsessing over speculative predictions is that it eliminates the need for commitment in the present. We in the West tend to be oblivious to the suffering occurring around us, often placing prophetic fulfillment in the future, so we can relate. A future application of Revelation 13 can be argued, but I choose to read the issues presented by John on the island of Patmos as timeless values rather than just predictive events.