Matthew J. Distefano is a regular contributor for The Raven Foundation. His forthcoming book, All Set Free: How God is Revealed in Jesus and Why That is Really Good News will be published by Wipf & Stock Publishers sometime in late 2015/early 2016. His official blog can be found at http://allsetfree.squarespace.com.
Posts By This Author
One Election to Save America
There is a big difference between criticism/critique and accusation. We all use criticism all the time: when we read the ingredients on a product we buy in the store, when we purchase clothing and make sure it doesn’t have flaws, when we disagree (politely) with one another. Criticism is not scapegoating. This distinction is where people get confused. They say ‘you are criticizing so and so and scapegoating them.’ This is incorrect.
The God We Follow
Jesus is the fullness of God in bodily form. Too often this point is missed. Not only do Christians overlook Jesus’ hermeneutics, but so too do we miss just how merciful he is. It seems as if his mercy is tempered by our presupposed understanding of God’s wrath and vengeance. A "theology of the cross," as Martin Luther introduced us to, is rarely considered by many of us in the West. That is tragic.
So what do I say to those who hold to a theology that includes violence?
Start everything with Jesus. Read your Bible with Jesus. Approach the Father in the same way Jesus did — as Abba. Stop "searching the scriptures" prior to coming to Jesus. He is our model in all things — in how we engage the world with grace and mercy and compassion, and in how we read our Bibles.