I was recently reading Shane Claiborne‘s article What if Jesus Really Meant All that Stuff on Red Letter Christians and I just gobble it up. I kept responding “I know!” (in that Monika Gellar voice) and “totally” and “couldn’t have put it better myself” and to basically everything he stated in the article. Please just read his article… It’s just so good.
Here are a few key points I’d love to highlight for you that were particularly intriguing for me and sorta wish I had written them myself. Thanks Shane for being so good at what you do!
- Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. The sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.
- God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics.
- The Bible that I read says that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it.
- For those of you who are on a sincere spiritual journey, I hope that you do not reject Christ because of Christians. We have always been a messed-up bunch, and somehow God has survived the embarrassing things we do in His name.
- the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David… at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since.
- In fact, the entire story of Jesus is about a God who did not just want to stay “out there” but who moves into the neighborhood, a neighborhood where folks said, “Nothing good could come.” It is this Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and rabble-rouser for hanging out with all of society’s rejects, and who died on the imperial cross of Rome reserved for bandits and failed messiahs. This is why the triumph over the cross was a triumph over everything ugly we do to ourselves and to others. It is the final promise that love wins.
I was totally won over by this article. It was refreshing for me. In what a few hundred words can say and revitalize me and help put some of my thoughts, that I’m not so great at articulating out there. How many times have I thought that we are all so messed up, God still uses us, and lets just bring it back to Jesus’ life and teachings. How glad I am that I fully know that I am saved by His Grace.