Some drink too much. Some curse extravagantly.

Some eat too much.  Some exercise too much.

Some are Republican. Some are Democrat. Some are neither.

Some worry too much. Some use the f-bomb to explain what they do not care about.

Some discuss hard issues about faith and the world…and doubt.

Some think they have all the answers…and are certain.

This group I’m describing are all people I know who are deeply committed to their Christian faith, and I couldn’t help but think of them in light of a recent conversation about holiness, where the discussion turned to what felt more like rules of how to act. I must confess that holiness as many use it is a dangerous construct for me. Its a frozen dogma or stagnant principles. It is used more for exclusion than inclusion.

Are there norms that Jesus described for his followers? Yes. You can find them pretty neatly laid out in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Yet I cannot help but think the things we use today to describe being (or acting holy) would be foreign to a bunch of fishermen, prostitutes, zealots, and tax collectors with whom Jesus dined, kept company, and called as his disciples. I don’t intend to make excuses for my or anyone else’s actions that are not in keeping with the previously defined holiness, but I do wonder if we spend more time on the things we can judge, rather than a call to mercy, compassion and love. If I recall correctly, Jesus knew a group that spent more time on outward appearances…and they had him crucified.

 

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