I’ve been working my way through a series entitled “The 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity.” It’s an examination of 10 core tenets of progressive (or liberal) Christianity offered by Richard Rohr, but really based on the book by Philip Gulley.
Now we come to the third commandment: “The work of reconciliation should be valued over making judgments.”
Gulley is concerned here with broken or estranged human relationships. The church should do more to repair/restore these relationships, but is too busy condemning people’s behavior. Christians need to stop judging and start helping.
Now, we can begin by acknowledging that the goal here is commendable. Bringing reconciliation to broken human relationships is a fundamental biblical value. The Bible has much to say on topics like forgiving one another (Luke 17:4) , being reconciled to one another (Matt 5:24; Acts 7:26), husbands and wives reconciling (1 Cor 7:11), and the removal of hostility between groups (Eph 2:16).
So, Gulley is correct that horizontal reconciliation between humans is an important aspect of Christianity.
The problem, though, is how Gulley thinks that reconciliation is best achieved. And it is here that Gulley takes a biblical value and puts a decidedly progressive/liberal spin on it. Reconciliation between humans is best achieved, he argues, when the church is less concerned with “making judgments.” [Read more…]