This piece is part of an on-going blog series called Plurality 2.0 (watch video here). Full schedule of guest authors throughout April and May is available here.
Brian Merritt is a Presbyterian pastor that likes comics and graphic novels more than Karl Barth or Jean Calvin. He is the Senior Pastor of The Palisades Community Church an ecumenical, progressive, post-denominational congregation in the far Northwest neighborhood of the District of Columbia. The blog that he neglects is pastorofdisaster.wordpress.com and he is the guerrilla marketer for godcomplexradio.com.
(Four Post/Pre/Modern Biblical Concepts for Liberal Christ Followers About Pluralism)
Just like when Martin Luther King Jr. pointed out that all humans in the world are inter-connected in a web of mutuality this post will connect you to a web of others to whom you share common ancestors and similar concerns. In our diversity we share common sins and the same access to a loving God.
Christ Sometimes Accepts Pluralism Hesitantly and Sometimes Ambiguously
- He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go–the demon has left your daughter.” Mark 7:27-29
- John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.” Mark 9:38
Christ Did Not Accept Some People
- Christ violently drives the money changers out of God’s house. John 2:13-16; Matthew 21:12:13.
- Jesus hates hypocrites. Matthew 15:7; 24:51; 22:18; 7:5; 23:25; 23:29; 6:2; 6:5; 6:16; 23:13; 23:27; 23:14; 23:15; 23:23, Mark 7:6, Luke 12:56; 13:15
- Jesus rejects Peter when he thinks that he is Satan. Mark 8:33; Matthew 16:23
Christ is Always Accepting Those People Who Are Uncomfortable For Us To Accept
- Drunks, sex workers, the poor, the unclean, those that waste expensive perfume extravagantly, the foolish, rich women, the mentally ill, tax collectors, demon possessed, lepers, women whose period would not stop, the disabled, strangers, despised foreigners, the blind, thieves, rebellious religious leaders, soldiers & Judas.
Christ challenges us to practice radical hospitality
- Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 11:28
- Love one another. For love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God. Matthew 22:37-39
- What father among you, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Luke 11:11
- The least of these. Matthew 25:40
- Suffer the little children to come unto me. Mark 10:13-14
- Why radical hospitality? Because in Christ we are now new creatures