key principles (a draft proposal)

This page is a collection of principles for helping us live in ways that embrace others instead of excluding them.

overthrow judgment, liberate love and live a life that rebels with grace for everyone

I love this ... from the mission statement of People of the Second Chance, which in full says: 
"People of the Second Chance is a scandalous awakening of radical grace in life and leadership. We exist to overthrow judgment, liberate love and live a life that rebels with grace for everyone."

an order of embrace and indestructible love

In discussing the relationship between the father and the two sons in the story of the prodigal, Miroslav Volf writes:
The father's most basic commitment is not to rules and given identities but to his sons whose lives are too complex to be regulated by fixed rules and whose identities are too dynamic to be defined once for all. Yet he does not give up the rules and order. Guided by the indestructible love which makes space in the self for others in their alterity, which invites the others who have transgressed to return, which creates hospitable conditions for their confession, and rejoices over their presence, the father keeps re-configuring the order without destroying it so as to maintain it as an order of embrace rather than exclusion.
Read more related to this quote from Volf.
Accordingly, a key principle is that we act in ways which reflect our heavenly father., reconfiguring the order so as to maintain it as an order of embrace.

tilted toward Christ... 

Let us be "imperfect but growing examples of lives "tilted toward Christ." May all of us keep "tilting" in that direction - toward kindness (not hostility), toward justice (not prejudice), toward truth (not misinformation or ignorance), toward generosity (not fear), toward hope (not cynicism), toward self-giving (not self-protection). We have a long way to go, so it's better for us to begin today than to wait until tomorrow."

on being neutral or not

everyone is desperately & fiercely wanted

The Table I long for... all are desperately & fiercely wanted (Jeff Chu)

everyone is welcome at the table
Beth Malena explores the question of who's welcome at the table.

suggestions for being the liberative church
  1. Since Jesus refused to lord over others, but chose to be a servant to all, the Church must follow that lead.
  2. Since Jesus' Kingdom centralized those who have been marginalized and oppressed, the Church must follow that lead. Christians from dominant culture can no longer follow the lead of mainstream and popular Christianity. Instead, they must find Jesus among the least of these, and follow after him.
  3. Since Jesus was the liberator of the oppressed, the Church must be liberated itself, so that it can be free to love our neighbors through liberative action and nonviolent struggle that reflects the life-giving impulse of God's people. 

(suggestions summarized from longer article)
Drew G.I. Hart in Beyond a White Privilege Model

"An authentic ethic of inclusion must reach from the center to the farthest margin and work its way back."

Bishop Yvette Flunder in Where the Edge Gathers. pp 25-26.

holding on to the center

And so it's not that I orient myself over and against the social groups by drawing boundaries, but rather, I am oriented around the center and boundaries fall as they might, as they will. And the difference ends up being much softer then, as I don't have to shore up the boundaries to be distinct; I can hold on to the center and it guarantees sufficiently my distinctness.

no conversation about sin, purity, or holiness can begin until human dignity has been secured beyond all doubt or question
                          from unclean by Richard Beck, page 139, italics removed.

Richard Beck then quotes Miroslav Volf who says:
... the will to give ourselves to others and "welcome" them, to readjust our identities to make space for them, is prior to any judgment about others, except that of identifying them in their humanity. The will to embrace precedes any "truth" about others and any construction of their "justice." This will is absolutely indiscriminate and strictly immutable; it transcends the moral mapping of the social world into "good" and "evil." (from Exclusion and Embrace, page 29)

unconditional love is the narrow way

'a friend of mine posted this on facebook “What was Jesus referring to when he spoke of the ‘narrow road’ or the ‘difficult way’ that leads to life? Seen in context (Matt 5-7), he was referring to the unconditional love that he was teaching his disciples to live in. To love unconditionally is indeed a difficult way… but also an abundant life.”
to love with out conditions… yes definitely a hard road to walk.'
December 16, 2011 | 11:49 am

the self of the other matters more than my truth

"This brings us to the second implication of the encounter between Jesus, Caiaphas, and Pilate, which must always complement the first: the self of the other matters more than my truth. Though I must be ready to deny myself for the sake of the truth, I may not sacrifice the other at the altar of my truth. Jesus, who claimed to be the Truth, refused to use violence to “persuade” those who did not recognize his truth. The kingdom of truth he came to proclaim was the kingdom of freedom and therefore cannot rest on pillars of violence. Commitment to nonviolence must accompany commitment to truth otherwise commitment to truth will generate violence."
Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, page 272.

is it so important to be right that alienation is an acceptable price?

Asked by Brian in a comment on btg.

living the not-yet state of equality
[There] is a way of living that is able to short-circuit the present social, spiritual, or political order, something that we witness at a political level in the life of Mother Teresa, who no more protested against the caste system in Calcutta than she affirmed it. She simply lived in a different reality. She lived as though it did not exist, helping all who came to her regardless of their social class. This act of living the not-yet state of equality as if it already existed in the now is the truly political act, an act that directly confronts unjust systems by ignoring them and living into a different reality.
from Peter Rollins in Insurrection

if you're going to choose, why not choose love instead of hate?

full post of choose love instead of hate

(this was posted on my blog in late December)

live and love without labels

Highlands Church (Denver) ethos:
Married, divorced or single here, it's one family that mingles here.
Conservative or liberal here, we’ve all gotta give a little here.
Big or small here, there’s room for us all here.
Doubt or believe here,we all can receive here.
Gay or straight here, there’s no hate here
Woman or man here,everyone can here.
Whatever your race here, for all of us grace here.

the centrality of Jesus
For at the central place of our experience of Jesus we are one. It is Christ who unites us; it is doctrines that divide. As someone has suggested, if you ask a congregation of Christians, “What do you believe?” there will be a chorus of conflicting beliefs, for no two persons believe exactly alike. But if the question is asked, “Whom do you trust?” then we are together.
from E. Stanley Jones (...)

peace is a human right

Image from
drawing lines

Nadia Bolz-Weber, quoting her husband in Pastrix:
"Nadia, the thing that sucks is that every time we draw a line between us and others, Jesus is always on the other side of it."

life mission statement
This is the life mission statement of Mike Foster from POTSC, and it fits really well with this page:

Ideas and comments welcome...

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