The Common Good
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Start replacing idea of “people” with “individuals made in the image of God.” Saying “I can’t stand those people!” has a different meaning when we declare “I can’t stand individuals made in the image of God.”

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How often could each of us just say — well it’s my right! or, It’s written clearly in the Bible — and choose to make rash decisions out of our own self-righteousness, or lazy theological reflection, rather than being centered in compassion like Joseph and being so bold to imagine that God’s spirit continues to move in mysterious ways?

Man preaching at the Chinatown metro station in Washington, D.C., photo by Jeff

It may sound ungenerous of me to say I don’t “buy” stories of person-to-person conversion. But to me, the idea of personally amassing convert conquests and saving souls as an individual smacks of, for lack of a better word, humanism: that is, a focus on what man can achieve and accomplish. Basically, what I’m saying is: You didn’t build that.

by Jim Wallis & Sandi Villarreal 

Failure to recognize the sins of power and domination that influence the acts of violence against half of God’s creatures is simply bad theology.

We've sanitized and romanticized the manger scene. We’ve removed all the blood and sweat and tears and pain and goo. We’ve left out all the messy parts. The oh-my-God-what-now parts. The I’m-screaming-as-loud-as-I-can-because-it-really-hurts parts. The oh-no-I’ve-stepped-in-the-animal-droppings parts. The real parts.

In spite of the best efforts of such public prophets, we remain bound to such a torturous future, because we continue to condone what we condemn. Such widespread hypocrisy is our most serious weapon of mass self-destruction.  

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In this new series, we explore the ongoing conversation within the church over LGBT identities, affirmation, and inclusion. As the push for equality expands, how are communities of faith participating and responding — and is it enough?