Love Like Jesus?

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“What if instead of trying to defend our religious rights, Christians concerned themselves with siding with others whose rights are routinely trampled? What if instead of trying to legally make life more difficult for gays, we worried only about how we could affirm their unsurpassable worth in service to them? … What if we just *did* the kingdom?” Greg Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation

Sounds a whole lot like Jesus, here. Sounds like what he told us and what he did. He affirmed people’s unsurpassable worth by healing them, chasing away their accusers, dumbfounding their attackers. Jesus loved without stratifying… unless you count the prideful, rule-enforcers… those he wasn’t too lovey-dovey.

Jesus never made the common people’s life harder. He didn’t cite any rules to curtail people’s sin; he gave them life to curtail their death. He said, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing.” Okay, I am not even sure what he means by that statement — it’s pretty exciting to imagine what he might have meant, how much life that could usher in. But I’ll tell you this: this trying to legally make life more difficult for gays, that is NOT what he meant.

Jesus was full of miracles and power to love others and care for others — the very thing he gave us to do. Nowhere, nowhere does he tell us to use the legal system to make life harder for people in this way.

The kingdom he was talking about was about loving and embracing and being there for each other.

Reminds me of John Wimber saying, “Just do the stuff!”

“Shortly after John Wimber became a Christian, he became a voracious Bible reader. The Scriptures excited him. Finally, after weeks of reading about life-transforming miracles in the Bible and attending boring church services, John asked one of the lay leaders, “When do we get to do the stuff?”

“What stuff?” asked the leader. “You know, the stuff here in the Bible,” said John. “You know, like stuff Jesus did-raising people from the dead, healing the blind and the paralyzed.  You know, that stuff.”

“Well, we don’t do that anymore,” the man said.  “You don’t? Well what do you do?” asked John.

“What we did this morning,” replied the man.  In frustration, John responded: “For that I gave up drugs?”

Like so many of us, John was taught by example that the contemporary Christian life was radically disconnected from the power and awesomeness of the Scriptures.  Throughout the remainder of his ministry, however, he proved that the disconnection was unnecessary.”

What might the world look like if we just did what Jesus asked us?

What if we just did the kingdom?

What if we would just do the stuff??

11 thoughts on “Love Like Jesus?

  1. After coming out just 4 years ago, I have to say the thing I miss most is church and being part of a community of believers. In being honest to myself, I lost my Christian family. It’s been a tough ride.

  2. Would love YOUR take (yours and Susans) take on the recent ‘religious freedom’ act stuff. The one where certain employers can now withhold contraceptives from their employees. You mention ‘rights being trampled’. Do you believe the rights of certain Christians are being trampled?

    • Those whose “rights are being trampled” in the quote above are LGBTQ people who are denied marriage under the law, and that is the spirit in which I am using it. Our (religious) “rights” include personal freedom to live, speak and act as we choose, and that freedom necessarily ends where another’s begins, meaning we do not have the right to tell others how to live, speak and act.

      Christians in this country enjoy religious rights, because no one is being arrested for their beliefs, for speaking the gospel, for reading the bible. In many parts of the world Christians’ rights are trampled because they are imprisoned or executed for their beliefs. I am pointedly not political on my blog; it’s not what I do. But I take example from Jesus who, when asked whether to pay tax, first pointed out that just by carrying those coins (with a graven image and divine title of Caesar), the Jews were already breaking the first two commandments.

      Jesus’ beautiful answer was to give Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give God (in whose likeness WE are made) what is due God. He did NOT say, you don’t have to pay the tax, because to do so you have to go against your conscience; he said pay it, and give the rest of yourselves to God! I have not yet written about this, though I have wanted to, but I found an article that expresses my thoughts very nicely.

  3. 🙂 I am from the deep Southern Baptist south, where the (most) finest of church folks are also the most racist homophobic, holier-than-thou bigots a person could ever know. It took a few years but I quit the visible church and haven’t been back. All I can say is, “forgive them father, for they know not what they do”.

  4. I love this. I have lived this sometimes during my life … and every time I let go of it, I find myself wandering a barren wasteland. What you have written here is a powerful reminder that following Christ can be such a simple matter, if we only do what he did, one choice and interaction at a time.

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