This article was so refreshing—and insightful. I would add that this prohibition against gossip is also a detriment to healing—either through redemption or divorce—for spousal abuse. It’s the same scenario, but in an even more private/secret arena where only one person and the children know what is really happening.
Although this article seems to be more about whistleblowing than the undermining work of gossip, I would like to add this caution: Without accountability, gossip can be lethal wherever it is allowed to blindly spin its courses. The Christian community must strive for higher standards than the secular world around us.
Sun City, AZ
“Diversity” should not just be about broadening the student body to reflect the body of Christ. Any institution or organization committed to Jesus Christ must constantly self-reflect on the nature of God and the rightness of systems and structures that have, albeit mostly unintentionally, hindered those created in God’s image.
Newport Beach, CA
It’s all well and good to let the little children come to big church, as long as big church will become little-people friendly. Heavy theological words given in a 45-minute-long sermon can literally invite fidgeting and boredom—and certain punishment when they get home for “misbehaving.” I have many cringing memories of seeing parents haul young children out of church and smack them soundly for fidgeting. It’s true that “more is caught than taught”—except when it isn’t.
It’s about time evangelicals start listening to our Black brothers’ prophetic words and, as our brother Dennis says, let the agitation of prophets clean up our toxic institution which we call the church. Dennis—we hear you, brother! Thanks for your courage to speak up.
While Matthew Anderson made several points I had not previously considered, I disagree with his statement “Mercy is the highest of all God’s qualities.” The Bible from cover to cover repeatedly reveals that love is God’s highest attribute and therefore the source of his mercy and grace.
Camp Lejeune, NC
Evangelicalism has lost its moral high ground, precisely because it failed to act with mercy or grace toward LGBT people but also toward divorced people, millennials, Democrats, and pregnant women. The point was never to win the political day or to get the power to write laws that circumscribed everyone else’s behavior. The point was to “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Pet. 2:12).
I was surprised that Anderson failed to address the indignities heaped upon the homosexual community by evangelicals at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. A colleague once shared about his fear of threats that homosexuals would best be herded into concentration camps, a suggested antidote by some to the spread of AIDS.
If we truly accept that America is for all the people, we should not fear the rise of the minority parties from insisting on equality. This includes LGBT issues. The church should continue to preach against sin, but to single out a specific sin is disingenuous. Preach love and inclusion and allow the working of the Holy Spirit to change lives.
Until his passing, I lived across the street from Colin Brown, an iconoclastic polymath who taught systematic theology at Fuller Seminary for 48 years. He told me that, historically, the church had not forgotten the Jewishness of Jesus, but rather they suppressed it! I know that Dr. Brown would have loved Jen Rosner’s insightful article. And so do I.
Scholars and others have been saying this about the Bible for a long time: that it should be enjoyed, in the fullest sense of the word. I read through the Bible about twice a year because I enjoy it. Beginning at Genesis becomes another journey with friends and mentors I am getting to know better. So, happy to see such a book, but shaking my head and sighing as to the reasons for it.
This is so true. But also, so hard to do. Especially when all culture around teaches people to define success and worth based on income only.
Sam Abdalla (Facebook)
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