I have continued to read what others are saying, some going down the path my thoughts seem to be running and others, not so much. It has and will continue to make me consider my stance. I appreciate the thoughts and ideas that differ from mine. I am doing my best not to be critical of others or replying without respectfully considering their thoughts.
This is not an easy issue, especially when you are going against the grain and what we have believed and taught for so long. When I began my Course of Study at Perkins School of Theology I thought I had a pretty good grasp of my thoughts. I had completed the Disciple Bible Study and had a good grasp on the flow of the Bible. The course, Disciple, is like 34 weeks long if I am not mistaking. I took what I was told pretty much at face value, with the background that God is sovereign so when it seems like God is promoting genocide or when we see the short comings of so many that have gone before and they are still in leadership it is OK, because God is in control and has the power of life and death. I spent a lot of time studying apologetics, the defense of the Christian Faith. After a while though it seemed to be a way to create arguments, instead of leading people to clearer understandings. So when the topics of God sanctioned genocide would come up, the answers never seemed to satisfy my understanding of God. I tried to memorizing many answers as if when I get to heaven I will have to just pass a theology exam to get into heaven. This seemed to be actually quite shallow. I have known many people who call themselves Christian, yet they live bitter lives. It didn’t make sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anywhere near perfect. I fall short every day. Sometimes I actually can see it. It really wasn’t until I began reading people like Dallas Willard, Richard J. Foster, John Ortberg, Phillip Yancey, James Bryan Smith, Shane Claiborne, N.T. Wright, Brian McLaren, Mike Breen, Richard Rohr and Joseph Girzone, that I began to truly see beyond the rigid Christianity that makes the laws above love. Who were the ones who felt they were righteous when Jesus walked the earth? Wasn’t it the Pharisees? Who did Jesus have the hottest words for?
May God continue in the movement of Christ like love.