Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A thought and two links

(A note to my reader: I will be using "left" and "right" to distinguish to camps within the American Christian landscape, partially out of convenience and partially to highlight a reality (that we have allowed the Gospel to be overtaken by political ideology)
Recently it has emerged in my consciousness that according to the language of the Bible Justice and righteousnesses are not readily distinguishable. If this is so this has important consequences for the way in which Christianity in American seems to be realigning itself along lines of those who believe the Gospel is about Justice, according to the Left and those who think the Gospel is about righteousnesses, according to the Right. This realignment is false because it is either the idolizing of "freedom" or the idolizing of "morality". I think the inability to separate Justice from righteousness is further shown if we pay careful attention to the actions of Jesus. As the left clearly and insistently articulates Jesus associated with those marginalized, women, children, outcasts of all kinds. It is also true that Jesus did not condemn the outcasts who were often outcasts because of sin or perceived sin. Yet, if these outcasts were in fact sinning or "in sin" Jesus was also insistent that they not continue acting as they did. Jesus did what American Christians seem incapable of doing: living with and welcoming the marginalized even those marginalized by their sinful behaviours, and not condemn them as the Religious of Jesus' day (and our own) and call them to righteousness. Jesus tolerated neither the sin of marginalization and nor the sins of those marginalized. As Scriptural evidence I would present the story of Zacheus the Tax Gatherer and the Woman caught in adulatory(note in this story Jesus refuses to condemn and protects the woman from the hypocritical "justice" of the men, and calls the woman out of her sinful behavior. And calls her to a life of righteousness.)
We are simply and plainly wrong and un-Christian if we believe that we can be righteousness without a concern for the marginalized even if they are marginalized for wrong doing, that is Justice, and if we believe that Justice has nothing to do with righteousness (ie. "personal" morality and sin.)
My friend Robyn has an interesting clip she made here.
Also, although Tripp did not post his sermon (because it was extemporaneous from notes) I posted a little reflection on the community's blog a reflection inspired by his sermon.