We all know the experience of walking into a lift after someone has…..ahem…
Watch two politicians on our various news programs from opposite ends of the political spectrum, and you get quite the same nauseating experience. A whole lot of hot air and nothing is settled, nothing is gained.
And it’s not just in politics, you see the same thing in Christian circles. Theology is a smoking hot topic, and if you raise a question on dearly-held beliefs, look out – the gospel police will be out to get you.
Jesus dealt with the gospel police constantly – of course, we know them as the Pharisees and Sadducees. Today’s gospel police claim that since we know what Jesus said, we can rest on those words and have surety what they mean and how they apply.
Isn’t it funny how people can make claims of a text written in a very different context, in a very different language? Jesus demonstrated that even the most pious, even those whose biblical knowledge was supreme, could be so very far from God.
I pray the gospel police of today would look again at the example of Jesus, but with new eyes. These eyes would see his compassionate reach to all of Israel. They would begin to understand the Kingdom of God afresh. They would baulk at injustice. They would reach out their hands in healing and their voices in faith. Rather than subscribe to an old story of a God who makes incessant demands, they would consider a merciful Father who loves both the rebellious and obstinate child.
Debate is the path of the self-righteous. The penitent sinner can never enter into debate, for they already consider themselves defeated, beating their chest in shame.
Have mercy on us, O God, for our sin stinks.