Theology happens not through the mere systemization of propositions but when one ceases trying to capture God and is instead, having been drawn in by inexhaustible love and grace, captured by God.
What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God’s love, a love we don’t even have to earn.
“If you are feeling pain, get deeper and closer to His heart. Press in for His face-to-face presence. Nothing will seem difficult when He is only a breath away. You too will be compelled by love. I know the Beatitudes are all true. God is worthy to be praised through any crisis, and in the end we will be blessed.”
Compelled by Love, Heidi Baker
“It is a fearful thing to hate whom God hath loved. To look upon another – his weaknesses, his sins, his faults, his defects – is to look upon one who is suffering. He is suffering from negative passions, from the same sinful human corruption from which you yourself suffer. This is very important, do not look upon him with judgmental eyes of comparison, noting the sins you assume you’d never commit. Rather, see him as a fellow sufferer, a fellow human being who is in need of the very healing of which you are in need. Help him, love him, pray for him – do unto him as you would have him do unto you.”
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
“Christian willingness to kill other Christians in the name of national loyalty is surely one of the assumptions many Christians assume is not to be questioned. Yet no assumption has contributed more to the accommodation of Christianity to secular ways of life than the presumption that Christians have no problem with war. For Christians to be nonviolent is not just another political position, but rather at the very heart of what it means to be Christian, of what it means to be human. I believe God created all that is with the desire to be nonviolent. We are not meant to be killers. That is why we have to be trained to kill. God wants us to be in love with God and with one another in a manner that our differences challenge our self-imposed desires. Christians in America have difficulty responding to September 11 as Christians because we are more American than we are Christian.”
Stanley Hauerwas, Faith Fires Back
Christ has initiated the ministry of reconciliation by becoming sin and taking our curse upon himself while we were yet sinners. We are now called, as Kingdom people to follow Christ’s example of humility and to restore shalom to this war-torn world.
Jesus proclaimed good news to the poor, but so few of us are willing to follow in his footsteps. The costs seem too high. Our love of wealth and comfort has dulled our senses to the needs of others. We have not been generous or merciful. Somehow we stopped teaching that we need to lose our lives to gain them, and we decided that wealth and worldly success are not the enemies of the kingdom that Jesus taught that they were.
Living Mission: The Vision and Voices of New Friars
Scott A. Bessenecker