I have tended to repair – rather than replace – my whole life.
Pulling out delicate springs from a tardy clock is always an adventure – but rarely confidence-building in those who wish a working timepiece. Repair is a form of tearing down – a pulling out of bits and a putting them back again – not necessarily in the right order – nor in the right place – and usually with a few bits left over.
“But a structure I now hesitate to tear down. Because Jesus never tore anything down. He only overturned a few tables. Yet He overturned so much more through not tearing down anything at all. And THAT troubles me.”
This small journey has sparked a fuse within. “The teaching of my time” troubles me. I am troubled by this focus on sin. And I know that the words which follow are not true of all, or applicable to all, or even kind to all. This post is about pulling out bits and hoping they all go back in again. Please turn away now in love – if you believe or sense that the words which follow are not for you.
This “LGBTQ” thing and some bits that “popped out”. The usual identity parade of “straw men” comes to mind. The expected goodies and baddies. Ignite the ones against. Elevate the ones for. Alienate the suspects. Play to the friends. Is not for me. It is a focus on sin.
So here is my case for love.
That each life is sacred. That each love is sacred. And love can be trimmed, catalogued, sliced and diced (like the very best killer verses). Except at the heart of love is kindness, is honesty, is trust, is simplicity.
The simplicity of “Follow me.”
“Follow me” does not demand cleverness or qualification. Does not demand experience or skill. Does not differentiate between a world-class athlete or a couch potato. Applies to the socially inept and socially confident. And is available without selection criteria. Like love. Love is infinite. Love is available without selection criteria. Unless we prefer cleverness, qualification, and differentiation. And then we are not following.
We are leading.
Because the bible says many things. The Old Testament was written by those who are not me for those who are not me – in a place not mine and in a time not mine. We read the Living Word and hear the bits we prefer. But this library of writing we call the bible is indeed Living. So alive we will each prefer different bits at different times of our own journey. My truth changes as I change. My preferences change as I change.
But should that mean I am more or less deserving of love? Does that mean I am not following? Am I to be selected out for not having the right value for the greater good? The value of contributing both the tangible and the intangible. Of contributing to the whole – the centre – the safe ground – the defended ground.
I have never been told I am not loved. Nor have I been told I cannot love fully. I am expected to love fully. Indeed if anyone should tell me I cannot love as fully as they – what would I do, what would I say, what would I think? I was born to love fully and freely. I seek relationship. I seek to consummate that exclusive and life-long relationship fully and freely. For that is a sacred right of all human life.
To love and be loved.
Except for those who must not. Those who are told their love is acceptable but only this much. Those who are told the bible says we can but you cannot. Those we say can follow but only in this way. Those who are as deserving of love but must not as much as me. Because the bible says so. The bible that is Living. The bible whose truth changes as we change.
I think – for me – the bits that “popped out” were not the bits I expected. It was not the bible that popped out. It was this drowning of life in infinite love. It was experiencing the wonder of love. Love that cannot measure and differentiate – because that is not the beating living heart of love.
Just as “Follow me” does not measure or differentiate.
Yes, the bible “says”. The bible says a lot. Except, just as a good accountant can make the numbers say whatever answer is required, so too the bible. And a good bible scholar can provide whatever answer is needed. But the best accountants will see humanity in the numbers – real humanity. Which is why “the answers” sometimes make no business sense at all. Not to those who prefer their numbers without the complication of humanity.
So my case for love is very simple:
Are we bible scholars who only weigh and measure sin? Or do we follow – do we seek the “complication” of humanity?