a Pharisee in Jesus’ clothing

Christians can be…… harsh.

We can be brutal, hostile, full of venom and hate actually. And no I don’t think that’s a little harsh.

I’m careful to use the word we here. I’m right in the thick of this. Trust me, I see my own plank.

But how? Why can’t we see what we’re doing? How do we get dragged into, or perhaps down to, this type of posture?

Well, we speak the truth and love and sometimes love is harsh. Sometimes we need tough love. Sometimes people need a dose of reality to learn, change, grow, etc.

At least that’s the narrative.

There’s a story that comes to mind when I think of “speaking the truth in love.” A proof text to share why the shaming, blaming, calling out and judgment we are setting upon someone is ok. “….go and sin no more.”

It’s the story of a woman caught in adultery.

The sad reality I’m seeing is that while we want to be Jesus, full of grace and hope, restoring and offering a life of depth and beauty that isn’t’ found elsewhere, we often aren’t. Sure sometimes we’re the woman, our shame for the world to see, naked and afraid of what this humiliation will mean.

All too often though, we’re the Pharisees. But we’ll get to that in a minute. Continue reading

what if Jesus has nothing to do with hell?

This may be wildly inaccurate.

It probably is, but I’m ok with that.

I’m not a theologian. I don’t make claims to be. But this idea has been rattling around in my head and even if it’s not theologically perfect, the lens it creates is amazing.

So I’m going to share it. The idea comes from Brian Zahnd, who by the way knows his stuff.

He recently wrote a brilliant blog called “sinners in the hands of a loving God

In that he wrote:

“But the deeper truth is that we are more punished by our sins than for our sins.”

And this idea is challenging and changing so much for me. I just see implications everywhere.

At its core the idea speaks to our concept of judgement. Continue reading