Ok, this one is long! We thought we were doing a 15 minute follow-up to week 2 and it turned into 45 minutes! We are sorry but decided not to try to edit and just let it go.
This week you can feel some of the evangelical/progressive tensions as we talk about who is in and who is out.
Karl makes the statement that he harbors an “agenda” that could be described as wanting to see people meet Christ. To be saved. Karl does not believe that God loves one person more than another, yet he wrestles with the idea that God has always used a special nation (Israel) and then a special people (The Beloved or Christians) as those who experience His love in a unique way. The New Testament seems to be written with the perspective that all who “believe” are now in a unique family relationship with each other and God. For him, this verse is important: “But to all who received Him, those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God” John 1:12, NIV
Kathy struggles with the exclusivity of the language and also that only people who identify as Christians would be thought of as “brothers and sisters.” The in and out, the better than, the “we’ve got it and you don’t” kind of conversations are really hard for her and it comes out in this conversation. For Kathy, so much comes through the lens that we consider the scriptures through. When we are taught that there’s only one lens, we come to a certain conclusion. But what if there’s a much wider lens that expands our view and changes how we see others, ourselves, and the body of Christ.
Our hope in these conversations isn’t that we have everything buttoned down but rather that we process out loud and you have a chance to consider what you’re wrestling with, too. Remember, you can join in a more in-depth conversation at Faith Circus-ing, our closed group, on Facebook.