Does the Jewish tradition include the concept of sin? If they did, wasn’t it was relating to following the law (order of the religious establishment) in order to please God? So, Jesus, who in my understanding did a lot of anti-oppression work, was a big sinner, right? Sunday in church, someone mentioned again that Jesus was perfect.
Jesus disobeyed most of the ways to be a man in society, as a Rabbi he called disciples in an unconventional ways, and he behaved in ways towards women, the unclean and marginalized, in ways that got him rebuked by the keepers of the law. When I follow Jesus, I am led to do anti-oppression work. I am lead to be with the marginalized of this society, and behave differently as a woman than society has dictated. This will cause me to sin against some of the institutional laws of the religious establishment, right? For example, it could cause me to go against what my parents have told me. It could go against general church regulations against homosexuality, women preaching and teachings about reproductive rights.
Or did the concept of sin arise in the Jesus story? If the concept of sin arose from the Jesus story, then we should just do exactly what he did in order to figure out what is sin and what is not, correct? Every time we make a compromise or something we just realize that is sin and ask Jesus to help us get to be more like him. The compromises I am talking about are not just individual, as sin is usually categorized…but also community and societal.
I really resonated with what you’re saying: it seems to me that a significant portion of the conflict that arises between radical and traditional Christianity comes from a “letter of the law vs. spirit of the law” (note the lower case “L” – I’m not talking Torah, here) debate. For example, Paul may have written that women should not speak in church, but literally translating that to today’s modern context goes directly against Jesus’s liberating message – it’s bibliolatry.
Scripture and tradition are incredibly valuable, but when they get in the way of the mission of the Church, that’s a sign that something needs to be seriously reexamined.
That is true, and very challenging.
BTW, Rachel and I are in Elkhart now. What coordinates are you at these days?