Sometimes I struggle with how or if to filter the comments on this site. When lurkers come out of the woodwork looking to pick a fight, I’m not sure I want to do that. There’s enough nonsense out there – and yet how do you remain open to criticism and conversation in the midst of it? As I shared in my previous post, I do want to learn from those whose perspective I don’t understand. And yet, I find myself deeply resistant to posting comments when I hear words like these:
Where do you even start with this? How does it advance the conversation?
How do you respond when you suspect that comments such as these start with values rooted in an oppressive patriarchal system, rather than a liberating gospel? What do you do when you suspect that the god in question is either idol or ideology, a projection of oppressive values rooted in systems of power and control?
And how do you respond when you hear Gospel in a different way? How do you respond if you find yourself grasping for (even while falling short of) the covenantal promise of the Biblical narrative? How do you respond if you understand the gospel story in light of God’s grace and mercy rather than damnation and punishment?
How do you respond if you reject this so-called good news rooted in infanticide and patriarchal domination? How do you respond if, instead, you subscribe to a Gospel that rejects and prophetically undermines the notion of redemptive violence and oppressive domination?
This is what mystifies me. Because I crave to hear, and to hear again the stories of the covenant-making God who enters into deep, mutual relationship with humanity and all of creation. I long to be consumed by just such a story, a story that this world can barely hint at or mimic. I desire, on my better days, to be swept up in the story of a God who entered into a risky-at-best relationship with humanity, against all the odds, and against the best advice to choose a covenant people.
What kind of story is this? Is it the story of the complementarians? The egalitarians? Or is it, perhaps, the story of the God who calls us into deep mutual relationship, a God who calls us to be one?