Sometimes I talk about Jesus on Facebook. This is the second installment of my Facebook reflections on Jesus. To see the first installment, click this link: My Facebook Reflections on Jesus: September 2010 to the Present (May 15, 2015)
The following is everything I have said about Jesus on Facebook since June 7, 2015 to the present in chronological order:
· I think young people want to see how the church loves the world, not how the church judges the world. If the church falls in love with the world with its whole spirit, being, and doing; young people and people of all ages will fall in love with the church and will see and experience the way of Jesus in the world.
· “If you want to know if somebody’s a Christian just ask them to complete this sentence, ‘Jesus said I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you….’ And if they don’t say ‘welcomed me in’ then they are either a terrorist or they’re running for president.” – Stephen Colbert
· Here is my take on Wheaton College’s reasoning for suspending Larycia Hawkins for quoting Pope Francis in maintaining that Christians and Muslims worship the same God: It is quite possible to hold a monotheistic trinitarian relational understanding of God and still understand the God of Christianity to be the same as the God of Judaism and Islam. Pope Francis is clearly a trinitarian, yet he still understands all three religions as relating to the same God but with different interpretations of God. Many Muslims do not think that the God of Christians is a different God than the God of Muslims, they simply think that Christians have an incorrect belief and understanding about the nature of God and how God has expressed God’s self through Jesus. Evangelical Christians can hold a similar view about Muslims without thinking that the participants in the two religions “worship different Gods.” Unfortunately, the fundamentalists in both Christianity and Islam want to focus more on what divides us rather than what unites us. It is clear that members of ISIS do not think that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, and it is clear that the presidents of Liberty University and Wheaton College do not believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, but there are plenty of Muslims and plenty of both evangelical and ecumenical Christians (including Pope Francis) who think they do, and it does not warrant suspending a college professor who holds this view – a view which is in no way a threat to an evangelical trinitarian understanding of God.
· Jesus is not to be found in security, a wall, a gun, or an empire. Jesus is to be found in the vulnerable, the homeless, the hungry, the humble, the poor, the prisoner, the sick, the oppressed, the earth groaning in travail, and the refugee. Carrying a gun, building a wall, using prisons for profit, impoverishing workers, making healthcare inaccessible, feeding the military industrial complex, ravaging the planet through extractive industries, and rejecting the refugee will never bring true peace or true joy. If we follow Jesus, we follow a way of sacrificial love, justice, grace, and forgiveness – not the way that cultivates fear, hatred, and separation from our sisters and brothers and from the earth itself.
· On more than one occasion I have noticed persons being critical of Senator Sanders for being a humanist as opposed to being a Christian or a practicing Jew. Some of the most wise and most loving people I know are humanists, and I am thankful that Senator Sanders is truthful about his views that we are all in this together and that we should be working for more peace, social and economic justice, and ecological sustainability. As a follower of Jesus, I find Senator Sanders’ views and actions to be very reflective of the way of love and justice in this world for which I think all persons should be striving. In my opinion those who are going after him on his religious perspective are doing so because they are losing the political argument.