“God is love.”.....These three words are our marching orders as Christians.

 A few weeks ago, I flew up to Portland from Los Angeles and found myself sitting next to a woman, about 45 years old, who was on her way to her first face-to-face date with a man she met online.  She needed to talk because she was nervous about the impending encounter.  I asked her questions and offered encouragement, for which she seemed very grateful.  She was a fundamentalist Christian who had never married.  "My biggest test of faith was when I was in the Peace Corps in Nepal and fell in love with a wonderful man who was a Hindu.  We were getting close to a commitment but I did not want to be "unequally yoked" to an non-Christian.  I was afraid of God so I backed away from him.  It was so hard," she confessed.  I just listened, but felt so sad for her.  Her fear-based religion shattered the love of her life.  And that fear even now dragged behind her like a useless anchor.

“God is love.”  The Bible tells us so.  Taking this short line from the first letter of John seriously results in a long list of significant consequences.  These three words are our marching orders as Christians.  They sum up the meaning and purpose of human existence.  They open a window into a more compassionate, mindful, and progressive form of the Christian faith.

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The Bible - thought from PCN USA

The Bible - thought from PCN USA

We take the Bible seriously, we just don’t take it literally

“We take the Bible seriously, we just don’t take it literally.” A library of stories, poems, histories, gospels, letters, prophecies and devotional writings, the Bible records the struggle of our Judeo-Christian ancestors to understand their world, their God, and the challenges and joys of being a human being. Those challenges and joys are pretty much the same today, and so the Bible has much to teach us. The cultural particulars from two thousand years ago are, on the other hand, not the same today, unless we choose to revert to them.
Gays in the priesthood: Pope Francis’ muddled thinking

Gays in the priesthood: Pope Francis’ muddled thinking

Would someone like Fr Henri Nouwen now be disinclined to enter the seminary? asks Michael W. Higgins in this week's Tablet

Pope Francis set out to usher in a new era of openness, but some of his recent remarks suggest he isn’t going far enough – his thinking still seems fettered to the old ways

Papa Bergoglio continues to surprise. But the “Pope of Surprises” might want to grant a few less interviews; they expose him in ways that heighten his vulnerability – in this his critics rejoice – and inspire his admirers: such uncalculated openness is rare in high clerical circles after all. But when the result is befuddlement, no one wins.

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