You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Read the rest of today’s Bible Chapter here!)
I was going to write about circumcision today, but given that Paul talks about that a lot, I’ll talk about it another time. I am doubling down on the blog in 2020, because I believe that I am sharing a message that needs to be heard: and that is a message of radical love. I suppose most Christians claim to be doing that, and many of them are. What I am saying on this platform is probably not all that unique, and I dare to hope there are a lot of Christians out there that hold my same views. But there are other so-called Christians who spew vitriol and hate, using Bible passages out of textual and historical context to back up their selfish lies. And there are lots of them. So even if this blog is just one of many other progressive Christians saying basically the same thing, at least I am adding my voice to the fight.
I worry a lot. I worry that some people may dismiss the message of “radical love” as an easy one. It’s easy to profess that you love your neighbor when nothing is required of you other than to say the words. And really, that’s all a blog is: a bunch of words. I also worry that other people will dismiss my writings as deliberately controversial in an effort to get attention, that I’m out here seeking alternative interpretations just to be contrary and rock the boat.
But radical love is not easy, and it should rock the boat. It means putting everyone on an even playing field. While that more often than not means lifting someone up, it can also mean tearing someone down. This is why this blog has been renamed from A Liberal Christian Reads the Bible to God Vs. The Patriarchy. The mission remains the same: I will still be reading the Bible one chapter at a time, in an order that has not been pre-determined, to find evidence of God’s radical love of all humanity. I am here to counter-act racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia; economic, ecological, and social injustice. I am here to help tear down the patriarchy. If that wasn’t perfectly clear before, I hope the re-branding makes it so.
In today’s chapter, Paul tells us not to judge another because in doing so we condemn ourselves. Well, guess what? I’m here to cast the first stone, anyway. I stand guilty in just about any way you could charge me: I eat at McDonalds and do not live a plastic-free life. I have an iPhone and don’t know who made all my clothes. I apathetically follow main-line news and therefore only hear about global calamities that effect white people -and then only the “big ones.” I only sort of go to church, and have real doubts about a lot of the historicity and originality of the Bible.
But even with all my faults and all my doubts, I still believe in the message of radical love, and truly believe God wants us to dismantle any society that has become unjust. As unglamorous as it sounds, the best way to effect that sort of change is to do it small: brick by brick, or chapter by chapter. Nature, society, and the economy all abhor a vacuum. If I could snap my fingers and instantly end corn subsidies; outlaw gas-powered vehicles, and establish a universal basic income of $24,000 per person, the cascading effects of those changes would cause millions to starve, ignite a global war like you’ve never seen, and probably destroy the world. But that doesn’t make these ideas worthwhile goals, anyway, if we work towards them steadily and responsibly. Asking – demanding – more power, resources, and respect from the people who have more and giving said things to those who have less.
I know I’m in a position of privilege and I’ll have to change, too. Perhaps pay more in taxes, consume a little less or a little lower on the food and supply chains, make more room at the table for new voices to be heard. But time and again it’s been proven that the more diverse an organization is, the better is survives. Different ideas and problem solving skills can be put to work when they are allowed to exist, allowing for more innovation, responsiveness, organizational gain and overall satisfaction. Isn’t that what we should want that for Christianity? Our country? Humanity? It seems worth the trade-off. Today I re-invite you to join me as I use the Bible to think about ways to make the changes the world so desperately needs.