The great opposing forces in our universe are not good and evil. Not moral conformity and moral failure. Not peace and war. Not belief and disbelief. According to a Jesus-shaped reading of the Bible, they are forgiveness and accusation.
Through his life and teaching Jesus revealed a God who is unconditionally forgiving. The God represented and embodied by Jesus is not angry or conflicted or two-faced or withholding like so many religious visions of deity. He is a loving Father (or Mother – the Bible uses this metaphor too!). Jesus called for moral reform and repentance, but never under the pretense of an angry God out for revenge. His primary rhetorical targets were powerful accusers and abusers, not their victims. In fact, he embraced and forgave “sinners” freely while denouncing those who bullied and condemned them in the name of religion. God’s character, God’s posture, according to Jesus, is endlessly forgiving and compassionate toward the bungled and the botched. Continue reading