Whom do I expel or exclude in my life?

The absolute religious genius of Jesus is that he ignores all debt codes, purity codes, religious quarantines, and the endless searching for sinners. He refuses to divide the world into the pure and the impure, much to the chagrin of almost everybody—then and now. Unlike most churches, he is not into “sin management.” He is into transformation.

Jesus is shockingly not upset with sinners! He is only upset with people who do not think they are sinners. In most of history, religion thought its mission was to somehow expel sin and evil. As if it could. After Jesus we find out that the real sin lies in the very act of expelling. Jesus knew there is no place to expel it to. It only hides underground.

Either we carry and transform the evil of human history as our own problem, or we increase its power by hating and punishing it “over there.” It will eventually come back to bite us. Jesus taught us how to hold, absorb, and transform the human situation, not to deny it, punish it, or project it elsewhere. He then dramatically illustrated this pattern on the cross, and it became resurrection!

Blessed are the peacemakers

Adapted from Hope Against Darkness, p. 151

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