Thursday, August 08, 2019

The Potential of Ragged, Reckless Love

Very early in my journey of faith (circa 1970’s) I was confronted by the fundamentalist doctrinal establishment of the denomination God was using to draw me to Himself when I heard (loud and clear I might add) that divorce was a clear “Biblical” infraction. So clear an infraction that it would forbid anyone from serving in any leadership level in a local assembly. 

In Bible College, when I verbally noted (in contrast to this hard nosed view) that recovering drug addicts were beautifully preaching and leading us in a vibrant renewal, I was told that I was “young in the faith” and naive. And, after all, there was a "clear Bible teaching" about marriage and divorce. 

Well, I’ve observed that today’s “clear Biblical teaching” can easily become tomorrow’s sad commentary on our lack of love. There are so many examples I could cite …like racially mixed marriages (clear Bible teaching), men with long hair (clear Bible teaching), worldly entertainment (clear Bible teaching)... just to name a few.

What if today’s limited understanding of a wide range of cultural challenges will one day be compared to the ignorance about racial integration in the USA from the 1950’s and ’60’s? We had Bible verses! What if we’re so afraid of the extremes, the aberrations, and the fear mongering that we can’t see ONE person sitting in front of us asking for love? Asking for acceptance? Asking for a simple margin of patience from us while they sort out the madness (ours, theirs, and the wide world)?

Love refuses to lump anyone into a monolithic category. Love floods our vision with insight, sight into, and simply SEEING that one person beyond any and all character assumptions and assassinations. Love respects ALL humans even when a Bible verse seems to disrespect that very same human being. Love never fails.