Starting this series again: highlights and lowlights from a week around the tinternet!
The lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortable myths about poverty : Fascinating, scary and challenging document revealing the truth behind myths we believe that seem to stop us acting on poverty. This is a document written by a collation of Churches and is aimed at people who identify themselves as Christian. This could be a blog series in itself but I suggest you read the first couple of pages which briefly outline the myths we believe. Thanks to James Prescott for bringing this document to my attention.
Several things clicked at once: These guys had burdens placed upon them by others(people like me) that had nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus said his interpretation of religious Law, his yoke, was easy and his burden light (11:38). His opponents, the religious leaders, accused him of abolishing the Law (5:17) and ignoring their pet scriptures about holiness and who was “in” and who was “out.” The fundamentalists of Jesus’ day were threatened by his message of an easy yoke, and they made his followers out to be “abolishers of the law.” In response, Jesus commanded his followers to out-love, out-pray, and out-give his detractors (5:21-7:27).
Rachel Held Evans continues her “Ask a…” series with a conversation with Shane Claiborne. Very encouraging interview where Shane answered questions from Rachel’s readers. Rather than quoting any of Shane’s response, here is part of a question posed to him:
I desire to use my life to bring others to the understanding that following Christ is radical. I know others are in the same boat as I am, some in churches, jobs, etc who see the great need for change, and are unsure as to how to proceed. Do we change everything or do we work for little victories where we are already and hope for long term change. Or are we just contributing to the problem, maintaining the status quo. As someone in her 50s, I realize just how short life really is. With your broader view of where America is going – Christianity and the Church in particular – I would like to know where you think we as Christians should be dedicating our time and resources most.
As a younger Christian I got the impression that everything to do with Christianity pretty much came down to heaven and hell. That was the whole point of my existence. Life was a sordid little waiting room we had to put up with until we died or Jesus returned and then we got to party forever. I also got the impression that what decided whether I was going to heaven or hell was what I ‘believed’. That was what people meant by ‘faith’. It was about doctrine, what theology I signed up to. ‘Good works’ were almost treated with suspicion because then we might think we could ‘earn’ our way to heaven.
But Jesus didn’t go around making sure everyone’s statements of faith were ‘sound’. He spoke in riddles and parables, sometimes deliberately leaving people unsure of what he meant. He would have got low marks for his evangelism technique from some Christians I used to know. He healed the sick, he hung out with outcasts and freaks, he talked about meeting the needs of the poor; he spoke truth to power. The people he really had a beef with were the Pharisees, the religious establishment who were obsessed with correct doctrine.
Tweets of the week:
Jonathan Merritt : We have taught our children that violence is bad only if bad guys do it. If the good guys it, everyone is allowed to cheer. -B. Brown Taylor
BishopMark1: The great missiological theme for this generation is Reconciliation
Bible Students Say:“The bible is a gateway that allows poorer people, to find an outlet for their own inkling.” (Wait…what?) *If you’ve forgotten, Bible Students Say tweets bits of Theological essays from students…yes it is mockery, yes it is blummin funny, and yes, a little bit scary!