Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Reimagining Christianity 1.5
Affirmation 5: Loving our neighbor includes engaging people authentically, as Jesus did, treating all as creations made in God’s very image, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, nationality, or economic class.
So, is this the gospel or just a manifesto for identity politics? Do we have to treat meanies as creations made in God's very image? Does that mean no more "mean people suck" bumper stickers? How about those with whom we profoundly disagree? Beyond praying for those who persecute us, do we have to engage them authentically? What might that look like?
The rubber hits the road here, and I'm not so sure I like it. It might require me to hold in my heart people I don't like very much, after all, not every neighbor is loveable.
In fact, last night -- Halloween -- some of them stayed hidden behind closed doors, and missed out seeing my middle child trick-or-treating dressed up as ... me! Clerical collar and all. Pretty scary, I assure you.