So, when I concede to play tag, know it is big. Tony Sisk first tagged me. I got clean away with it. Then David Worley hit me and now I get this invitation via email from Emily McGowin, almost like a self-addressed, stamp envelope approach. I give up.
Below are my five things I dig about Jesus. Following are five tags I hope feel totally bummed out because I tagged them.
#5: I dig Jesus because He put a new face on old religion. Humanity being incurably cultic, religion per se is unmistakably outward oriented. It's about doing. Jesus drained that cistern and filled it in. In its place, He dug a new well of Living Water. He pushed us back--all the way back--to our inner existence. Inward takes full precedence over outward. Transformation precedes reformation...Being over doing...Who we are remains ever so higher than where we are or what we do.
#4: I dig Jesus because He fearlessly told the religious leaders to go to Hell--or, more exactly, that they were going to Hell. He said if they did not believe in Him, they would die in their sins. In our soft, jelly-fish cultural milieu we find ourselves in, a sure word and a certain way is especially relevant. I dig Jesus because He knew and He with courage told.
#3: I dig Jesus because He reimaged what it meant to be separatist. In the fullness of time Jesus found Himself thrust, how common for the holy and pure to associate with the holy and pure exclusively. Priest nor Pharisee would lift his hand to help a robber among thieves. Even the best of men would not relate to the prostitute--though there were exceptions made for prostitutes. Jesus redefined separatism popping eyes, creating conflict and earning a Cross for doing it.
#2: I dig Jesus because He delivered mercy more than He dispensed justice. The twin cords of mercy and justice seem ever the paradox we must always unravel. Let me be brief: I'm always sniffing out the trail of mercy over justice--only, however, when I am the one in need. With others, I quickly brand them with the white-hot iron of justice.
#1: I dig Jesus because He first digged me. Now I am sure my critics may rightly observe my vivid, egocentric mania on public display. Granted. But if so, I am only following my Apostolic Father, John the Elder, as he confessed: "We love Him because He first loved us."
And, now, for the torture rack:
Michael Westmoreland-White. I tag Michael hoping to torture him, not for being the Moderate he is. Rather for not being the fundamentalist I am.
I tag Keith Schooley because more Southern Baptists need to read scholarly Pentecostals rather than get their understanding from T.V. evangelists.
I tag Joe Donahue because Joe loves my daughter very much.
I tag Tim Guthrie because...I will have to think of a reason...
I tag C.B. Scott because he and I will soon have coffee in little Pittsburg.
Grace. With that, I am...