As I watch people create GoFundMes for cancer treatment, I wonder why so many people fight so hard to maintain a system where one had to put their hope in the altruism of others to take care of their needs instead of a system built upon the responsibility we have to each other.
Honestly, some of you are out there with a theology that all people are totally depraved, and still want to argue that the best way to deal with social ills is by trusting in each other's altruism.
Capitalism runs on an engine of financial/social Darwinism, so it's weird to me that people who follow Jesus don't recognize its limitations and abuses.
I promise you. When Luke tells us that Christians sold their belongings and gave to one another as there was need, that wasn't unorganized altruism.

There were expectations that being part of this community required learning to share. It wasn't magic selflessness.
When we teach that Christian benevolence was a magic transformation, we sow the seeds of selfishness.

Because ultimately that says, "If you don't feel generous, you don't need to be. The Spirit will make you want to share."

That's why there are so many greedy Christians.

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More from @jaysondbradley

24 Oct 19
When we interpret the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14–30) we tend to think of money/giving because that's the obvious one-to-one interpretation. Then we branch out to things like time, gifts, abilities (talent, duh).

But I think it should be read as a parable about love.
First off, the master is the major risk taker here. He invests in the servants and it's his resources at risk.

The Bible consistently portrays the dangers our free will, but so many theological systems pretend nothing is really at stake.
But the master gives his love to these servants with the expectation that they liberally spread it around.

One servent doesn't, because his view is that God's mean and exacting. He doesn't risk loving anyone because what if they don't deserve it? What if God hates them?
Read 6 tweets
19 Jun 19
I tire of progressive Christians being dismissed as people who don't take the Bible seriously and have an "anything goes" view of the Christian faith. It's nonsense.

I'm just as committed to gospel truth™ as a fundamentalist is. We just disagree about the fundamentals.
For instance, I think love is the fundamental and the expectation is that followers of Jesus demonstrate a love that is far-and-away above the love demonstrated by the rest of the world.

This is best represented by outrageous inclusivity rather than heavy-handed exclusity.
Inclusivity is like heat and exclusivity is like coldness. It's possible to reach absolute zero in our faith where no one is good enough for us.

It's impossible to find the lid on inclusivity. As with heat, there is no top register of who can be included.
Read 7 tweets
12 Jun 19
The church views singleness as an anomaly to be fixed. So many times, I’ve heard the words “called to be single” as if being single is some strange ascetic lifestyle that God foists on a strange, but chosen, few.
Paul definitively says that singleness is the preferred state of being for Christians. But I have never heard that suggested from a pulpit in my entire life.
Imagine you’re a lawyer visiting a church that was started out of the local pipefitters union. Every scriptural discussion is focused on how the Bible applies to plumbers. How long would do you think you’d keep going?

That's how singles often feel in our churches.
Read 15 tweets
11 May 19
The New Testament clearly teaches that the work of the cross applies to everyone (2 Cor. 5:13-17, Romans 5:18-19, 1 Cor. 15:21-22). I'm not sure I'm a universalist, but I am hopeful. Regardless, in light of these passages, we need to reframe the way we look at the world. 1/?
American Christianity is full of insider/outsider tribalism. You're a bad person until you're saved, and then you can have your debts removed.

Paul says the ledger is clean for everyone, and now we get the joy of telling them about the reconciliation that's already theirs.
I'm not a salesman trying to get someone to sign off on a luxury that *could* be theirs. I'm more like a lawyer telling them that they just received an inheritance they didn't know about.
Read 9 tweets
26 Apr 19
Any gospel message focused on stopping sin isn't radical enough. Jesus didn't come to stop us from doing bad stuff.

I could technically never sin again and never live up to the potential of someone truly following Jesus.

Every single one of Jesus' behavioral teachings was about becoming the kind of person who DID GOOD.

The parable of the Sheep and the Goats was entirely about what you did or didn't do. The Good Samaritan? Same.
The message was never "don't do to others what you don't want done to you." It was "do for others what you want done for you."

There is a galaxy of difference between those two ideas.

There is absolutely nothing revolutionary about "don't be bad."
Read 4 tweets
20 Mar 19
Incoming thread alert:

Let me publicly respond to this post and explain how LifeWay and Family Christian Stores contributed to our current negative and politically charged evangelical culture.
1.) Throughout the 80s and 90s, Christian literature experienced a huge boom. It was big money and chain stores like LifeWay and Family cornered the market. By deciding what was orthodox enough to carry, they decided what "truths" most street-level Christians were exposed to.
They weren't consistent with their decisions about what was acceptable (I know this as a former book buyer). Their decisions were mostly based on what would cause the least amount of static.

This meant that conservative politics and pre-trib books became their bread and butter.
Read 11 tweets

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