According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Christian Apocalypse and End-Time Judgment of Care and Love For One's Fellow Human

Lately the Christian message of xenophobia, Islamaphobia, and "marching to war" has dominated the headlines and is the answer to all things different from and unlike the "westernized American version" of church civilization. This dire message is in the news media, preached on the political dias, and can be found throughout social media networks.

As a bystander observing the crazies of my Christian faith and the rashness of America's governmental leaders I might suggest that the Jesus of the Bible is one of "victim, and sufferer, and minister" to all the wrongs of society. And because of Jesus' apocalyptic vision of love and peace He was unjustly scapegoated and horribly crucified for his religious views and acts of ministry (sic, Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory of Scapegoating and Victimization).

Might I also suggest that this same Jesus is the one whose beloved disciple John looks forward to in the book of Revelation as the world is shown blowing itself up in the rage and turmoils of its economic, ecologic, and societal wars. That John envisions this "helpless God" once crucified as the "Lamb of God" to return as the "Lion of Judah" to end sin's judgment of evil behavior and acts of injustice. That in His coming Jesus will resurrect what He had begun before dying at the hands of His "religious" countrymen and secular governments.

And lastly, might I also suggest that rather than purposely hastening the "Coming of the Day of the Lord" through prayerful glee and unholy vindictiveness we might step back and consider the spiritual importance of the church's role as God's peacemaker, mediator, and arbitrator of sanity, to an insane world locked in its many apocalyptic versions of end-time religious battles, economic/ecologic woe, and civilization's collapse?

That perhaps the biblical future we tell ourselves, or imagine, is not the one we think we read  and rant about. That those popular imaginings might be an incorrect view playing out our own hatred, fears, and racisms. That the conquering "Jesus of War" we envision striding through the bloody fields of our slain enemies might actually be a Jesus marching through the aftermath of what we have done to ourselves. A Jesus terribly angry, whose wroth would smite any refusing to relent of their hatred and anger to one another.

Now that would be a Jesus I think many of us may not wish to welcome. A Jesus who comes to judge all mankind and not just the ones we think He should judge. And isn't it written that Jesus will judge both the sheep and the goats? That He will open up "the books of deeds and of life" to find all those who acted - or didn't act - according to His Holy Will? And if so, then this is a truer picture of an end-time apocalypse than the one I hear so popularly preached defending our actions of economic usary, enslavement, greed, inhospitality, and callousness to the suffering and oppression of other society members, cultures, genders, and races. This is the kind of stuff we find in the books of James and 2 Peter judging our words and behavior with eternal consequences.

So then, my plea is that the church learns to hate war; seeks to make stronger efforts at waging peace with her enemies; and immediately forsake all sinful idols of self-righteousness and unholy anger. That we be in our own selves God's worthy lambs and emissaries speaking His words and acts of peace, love, mercy, and forgiveness. For without these holy jewels we are all the more impoverished and destined to self-destruction, perhaps eternally. And if this happens, then yes, all has been lost... even the eternal life which "the Prince of Life" had promised.


R.E. Slater
November 18, 2015

Tony Campolo - Religious Alternatives: Choosing Love Over Power

Tony Campolo - "Red Lettered Christians"

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