Our Sorting System

We tend to look down our noses at these ancient people with their religious codes regulating everything from the fibers in their clothing to the people they touched. But we have our own religious codes these days. We have our own scapegoats we cast from our communities and surround with Bible-wielding mobs. We have sins we delight in taking seriously, biblical instructions we interpret hyperliterally, issues we protect over-vigilantly because it helps us with out sorting system. It makes us feel righteous.

“Let’s not forget that Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more,” some like to say when they think the church is getting too soft on other people’s sin.

To this I am always tempted to respond: So how’s that working out for you? The sinning no more thing? Because it’s not going so well for me.

I think it’s safe to say we’ve missed the point when, of all the people in this account, we decide we’re the most like Jesus. I think it’s safe to say we’ve missed the point when we use his words to condemn and this story as a stone.

— Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday, p. 94

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