A Few Things I Know & Where They Take Me

I’ve always been interested by people who don’t get tied in knots over issues because my second most frequent place of residence is A Quandary. When I’m feeling stuck there, often in a never ending circle of argument with myself, all I can do is think of the things I know for sure and put away the bits that confuse me till they come clear – and they often do.

So here’s what I know. (If you’re not an overthinker, chances are you won’t get to end of this post, but you’re welcome to try.)

  • That all people fall short of God’s glory. Every single one of us. And don’t you dare add the word But to that.
  • That the Bible says what it’s always said but the cultural lenses through which we translate and interpret are always changing – even for those who would describe themselves as “Bible Believing”.
  • That there are many many things in my everyday life that were not forseen during biblical times and yet, people themselves, their temperaments, humours, and gifts, their tendancy to be selfish and seduced by wealth and power, haven’t changed.
  • That social mores are constantly changing – evolving or disolving depending on your perspective – and one generation or another is always going to be part of that change. My grandmother didn’t have the right to vote until she was 28 years old. James Hood, only 17 years older than me, was rejected from attending an American university because he was black.
  • That “Bible believing” evangelicals fought for and against slavery, for and against the right of women to vote and for and against the end of segregation. I can’t help but pray that I would have been on the right side of those issues and I use the word “right” with confidence.
  • That the two hottest topics in the church right now are the acceptance of women in church leadership and the acceptance of same sex couples in church at all.
  • That there are ultimate logical conclusions to our religious beliefs.
  • That there is not so much a slippery slope as a continuum from condemnation to grace and the darkest edge of condemnation is supported by people whose views are considered religiously correct. Just for example: Uganda and India.
  • That I decided a long time ago which direction on that continuum I want to be walking – and am willing to risk being “unbiblical” in the process. I’m going to be face down to the floor when I meet God anyway so I might as well add this to the list of reasons to be eating holy dust.
  • That I will welcome gay people into my life and my fellowship and encourage them in their Christian faith and their relationships.
  • That I will “sit under” the leadership of women who are gifted and called to be leaders.

Discussion of “yes, buts” welcome but a spirit of grace is mandatory.

It’s Arrogant to Call Bono Arrogant

I seem to have lost the ability to write in paragraphs so welcome to Blog by Bullet Point. It kind of reflects how my brain works when I think deeply while trying not to trip over curbs/tree roots/small dogs or get hit by traffic.

Running this morning with iPod when Vertigo comes on. (You know, U2: Uno, dos, tres, catorce..)

And the line, “Your love is teaching me how to kneel.”

And I get thinking about humility because that’s what Bono’s describing.

Your love is teaching me how to kneel.

And then I think of what I’ve heard people (Christians in particular) saying about Bono.

Arrogant

Pompous

Egotistical

And this takes me to the parable of the talents.

A wealthy master entrusts portions of his wealth to various servants each according to their ability.  The person who’s given the most money goes out and doubles it.

When he gives the great wealth back to the master, the master is very pleased indeed.

“Well done good and faithful servant.”

I wonder if that servant was an unassuming fellow who sat at the back of the temple and spent his days quietly going about doubling his master’s money by studying business and accounting.

Or, I wonder if he had a great big personality, enjoyed a party and told stories about what a wonderful master he worked for – who doubled his master’s money by using the huge network of contacts he’d developed thanks to his gregariousness.

Does it matter?

Does the bible say anywhere that anyone other than “the master” was pleased with this person?

So why are Christians so happy to despise Bono?

Arrogant? Is it possible that people are mistaking true humility for over-confidence?

True humility is having an accurate understanding of everything you’ve been given by God and using it for the sake of the master, according to your ability.

And what if, by doing that, you end up getting a lot of attention and (cringe) wealth?  Is that something to despise in a man who unceasingly talks about his master in the most public of forums.

Would Bono be a better servant if he was a never-swearing, teetotal volunteer worship leader in a little Dublin church?

Or does he serve his master better by being a rock star on the world stage, unabashedly talking about

justice for the poor

grace

the cross

reading the bible

looking for God in a messy world

If we despise brothers and sisters in Christ because they don’t fit our expectations of what a Good Christian should look like, then we need to do a little

Pharisee Check:

Question: Is Bono the perfect follower of Christ?

Answer: Am I?

Put down the stones people

and enjoy my favourite Bono interview ever.

Amen.