“It’s funny, isn’t it? That you can preach a judgmental and vengeful and angry God and nobody will mind. But you start preaching a God that is too accepting, too loving, too forgiving, too merciful, too kind…and you are in trouble.” Bishop Gene Robinson

Have you ever noticed that when Jesus encountered the woman about to be stoned for adultery, he didn’t say, “Well, duh. What did you expect?” Instead, he forgave her and told her to go and sin no more.

In other words, he stuck to his values…but kindly.

This is the secret ingredient we so often miss.

When we read about the hundreds of thousands of people who have died from AIDS since the HIV epidemic began, we should grieve.

When we read about the hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated people who have died from Covid since the pandemic began, we should grieve.

Human nature tends to want justice for those with whom we disagree, but grace for ourselves. In the words of David French, compassion is divisive.

Yet…

A person can disagree with gay marriage…and still have the gay couple next door over for dinner. A person can have a dim view of evangelicals…but still have the Christian couple next door over for dinner. When Jesus encountered the despised Zacchaeus, a tax collector, he invited himself over to Z’s house for dinner.

We can be strong in our values and simultaneously, kind. But watch out. We’ll probably get in trouble. Jesus did.

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