“He’s Gone Liberal.”

Whenever I see a Christian leader begin to do great things in the news and gain traction in their community, I often hear, “He’s gone liberal. She’s straying from Scripture. He’s catering to the mainstream. She’s been going that way for a while now.”

I wonder if these things are said out of real concern or just insecurity. And it sort of grieves me that we can so quickly dismiss our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who actually have their sleeves rolled up. It worries me that we force each other into a microscopic checklist of dogmatic doctrine by weaponizing the Bible into a noose. It’s terrible that we think “serving the community” means we’re somehow going soft on the Bible or compromising some Christian standard – when serving actually means we’re going hard with the Bible and raising the bar.

Maybe no one’s going “soft.” Maybe the more you hear about hurting people, the more you want to get involved in the mess, regardless of beliefs or qualifications. Maybe the more we walk with someone, the less we want to talk at them. Maybe the more we love Jesus, the more we want to step out of our tribal isolated ivory towers and into the real world of fractured, faithless lives. Maybe the older you get, the more you push back against those four walls of the choir. Maybe those political lines and labels are just phantom platforms to bolster our egos, when Jesus came to crush those things, because our neighbor will always be more important.

– J.S.