Once I grew up and took responsibility for studying the scriptures for myself, I discovered a wide world of opportunity to learn from a variety of scholars and theologians. This reading and studying has been a regular practice for me since Pete and I joined the church as young newlyweds.
Here is one thing I know. I know this without a doubt. God uses messy people. Here are a few examples.
Yes, Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden. BUT God went with them. He gave them a consequence, but he neither stopped loving them or abandoned them.
Noah built a big boat that allowed for many to survive the flood. But he disembarked and got wasted, bringing shame to his children.
Moses was both a murderer and a rescuer of his people.
Rahab was both a prostitute and a protector of God’s people.
Paul persecuted Christians and then became one.
Peter was the first to name Jesus as Savior but Jesus also told him to “Get behind me Satan!”
And then there is Hebrews 11. Paul writes it as a recounting of the heroes of faith - -and just look at the list!!! They are all a mixed back of messy humanity.
So why. Why would we ask people to live under the heavy blanket of shame associated with telling people that if you believe you can only belong if you behave?
This has tremendous implications for how we teach, how we build community, how wrestle with our own limitations and especially how we deal with the limitations of others.
What are some of those from your perspective?