Engaging in Holy Scandal

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Imagine if we could turn “church scandal” on its head. What if we became so in love with Jesus, so radical about grace, and so in tune with the work of the Spirit that the church repossessed the same scandalous positions that Jesus embodied and embraced?

Loving the unlovable.

Adopting the unadoptable.

Forgiving the unforgivable.

Empowering the powerless.

Bring the marginalized to the center.

Expanding the center to the margins.

Boycotting boycotts.

Reconciling the races.

Economic self-exploitation (aka sacrificial giving).

The list could go on for quite some time. The church doesn’t need to avoid scandal. Jesus didn’t avoid scandal. The church needs to engage in the right kind of scandal – the Jesus kind.

Jesus engaged in scandal when he ate with tax collectors and sinners. People accused him of being one of them.

Jesus engaged in scandal when he choose the Sabbath as a great day to cast out demons and heal the sick. They accused him of being in league with the devil.

Jesus engaged in scandal by allowing who he allowed to be around him when no one else wanted them around. They believe he should have rejected such people, much less allow them to touch him.

Jesus didn’t avoid scandal. He engaged in holy scandal. We should too. What can the church do that will shock the world, not because of its immoral and unholy nature but because of its righteous and holy nature? This isn’t about creating “shock value” to create shock value. It is about being as radical as Jesus and his first followers were.

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