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The gospel message of Jesus is about love. God is love, and God wants us to reflect this reality to the world around us. But while Christians have been taught this simple reality for years, it’s easy to complicate the love of God. Here are five common ways we continually mess it up.
Sometimes we dehumanize people by speaking, thinking, or imagining about them in generalizations, by covering their true identity with generic labels and terms that are impersonal, cold, and less meaningful. For example, you can refer to your brother as “someone that I know” or your best friend as “this one guy.”
We often do this when we want to create separation or disassociate from others—often in order to protect ourselves, make ourselves look better, or attack others. Thus, we refer to our spouse as “this person I know” when we’re agreeing with a coworker about people who hold an opposing political belief we disagree with, or offhandedly use the phrase “this guy I know” about our dad when talking about annoying habits that we can’t stand.
Rob Bell has been in the news a lot lately. His new TV show has launched, and he co-authored a book about marriage with his wife, but one of his finest pieces of work continues to go largely unnoticed.
A Christian author has published a book on marriage, and the New York Times writes:
…the book contains few overt references to Scripture. “I wrote it intentionally so that non-Christians and Christians would read it,” he said.
Additionally, the author–who admitted that the book doesn’t heavily reference Scripture– has used Oprah to extensively promote his book on her show.
The author: Gary Chapman
The book: The 5 Love Languages
Jesus was brutally tortured so that others–including our enemies–wouldn’t have to be.
When we look at the crucifixion story, we see Jesus being unjustly accused because of the influence of political, religious, and social schemes–through the workings of a powerful Roman Empire.
The recent Torture Report should be a wakeup call to American Christians about what happens when the love of Christ is replaced by the fear, hate, power, and influence of a sinful world.
The first few books of the New Testament reveal its own “Torture Report (about the crucifixion of Jesus),” lets take a look at some of the parallels:
Imagination is defined as, “The faculty of imagining or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.”
For privileged Christians who have lived the majority of their lives receiving the benefits of systematic wealth, power, comfort, favor, and convenience, it can be almost impossible to conceive of a world where injustice, inequality, and perpetual oppression are daily struggles.
Many privileged believers experience an entire existence completely devoid of the suffering, trials, and endless forms of racism, stereotyping, and injustice that are the daily realities faced by the likes of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and millions of others who have lived under completely different — and radically unfavorable — circumstances.
Well, after nine arduous months, we’ve finally sold our home and are in the process of moving! We’re still going to be in St. Paul, but we’re excited about this HUGE answer to prayer.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support over the last few months. It’s been a crazy time full of stress, some family tragedies, and many really tough times, but God has remained faithful and my faith has grown during this time.
I hope to continue blogging more regularly once we move into our new home in a few weeks, and am also working on some larger projects as well! Will keep you posted!
Every mother and father know the struggles, frustrations, unrealistic expectations, horrific fears, and exhaustive drama associated with raising children, but let me just say this: Christianity adds an entirely new dimension to the chaos that is parenting.
During the Christian spiritual journey, followers of Christ are forced to eventually face some basic faith-related questions. Here are a few of the most common ones: