In this episode, Jazzy, Barnabas, and Tamice continue to explore the question of violence and the role it plays in our understanding of hope and the age to come.
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I say in nice weather with everything. And if you came home to wait and be having a place where you feel comfortable and safe and know, your vision code are you saying? Are you in trouble? The stoop Matthew gospels class that I'm teaching for right now. We just finished chapters 24 and 25, which is all like apocalyptic stuff. My professor who, you know, I love was like, This is not about the second coming of Jesus. Oh, tell it Barney about Matthew 2420. Tommy's nose. Yeah. You're saying Barney, this was about the coming, destruction of civil war that was coming and about Rome coming to destroy Jerusalem. Basically, it's like a continuation to Old Testament prophets, where it's like, if you don't live in the right way, if you don't live in this merciful way, which I have taught you, is the reality of the world. destruction will come. And it will be terrible. And it will be more terrible than even like intact Tiffany's. But it will be like brother killing brother. And it will be so terrible that like, it doesn't even judge between who's good and who's bad. There'll be two women at the threshing floor and one will be taken. It's just destruction. Oh, yeah. It makes way more sense. I was like, No, no, no, no, like, unpack unpack that more. Like, cuz I always wondered about that. Like, because they would say, well, that means that you know, if you're not ready, one's gonna go. I was gonna stay, but it made no sense. Like, it didn't make any sense. But we believed them. Okay, so talk to me about talk to me about the past. I really, you have no idea. I really need to hear this right now. If you if you want to. I mean, I can. No, but it's so interesting. Because you know, the parables, as we know, is like the parables that we kind of find disturbing and even intervarsity touched on one of them in a certain kind of way. But it's like the 10 Brides, bridesmaids who run out of oil, and they're not watchful. So you keep laughs But then it's like, we're like, why have these? Somebody in the discussion section yesterday is like, why these five virgins, so stingy? Like, why are they sharing their oil? You know, like, Oh, my gosh, he and he's 65. He's a black man from the south. And he was just like, you so wonderful that he's like, yeah, this passage isn't that I still feel some kind of way about these five virgins who are not sharing their oil. Oh, my dad. Oh my god. It's the idea of like, these parables. My professors like these parables are all about wakefulness and watchfulness, and not to give up love. And he talks about how like, when things are so bad, when the systems are so corrupt, when the world just descends into more and more violence, it is easy for our love to grow cold. And so he's preparing the disciples for like, the destruction that they would see. And his understanding my professors is that the end of the age is the end of the age of the destruction of the temple, where Jerusalem gets completely destroyed. And Rome comes in and eradicates everything, and then scatters people everywhere, in 68 and 70. Ad. And his thing is, he's interpreting Jesus to be preparing them for the next 35 years of their ministry, where people are going to vie for other kinds of power because Jesus died and nobody. But instead, he's saying, like, there will be a lot of people who say like, here's the Christ, here's the Messiah and lead insurrections against Rome. But that is not the way. And instead, like, due to things that I have taught you to do, and be watchful and wakeful, because, you know, destruction is coming. And you'll think you should pick up arms and stuff, but all the way that I actually just want to stay here. I think this should be because I have a lot of questions and would love to unpack this actually, right now. Are you cool with that? No. I don't feel super confident about that. I just heard it. Yes. Oh, no, but I mean, this because no, yeah. I was like, I think there's a general theme around it. But I'm curious to hear what you're just sending to these because actually, it actually reminds me of some of the work that I had to do for for my premium class this past week, because I it's the sermon When I posted to me that I had to do a lot of work around the cross, right? And I think as I've been sitting with some of these texts, I haven't it's not to take away I have no desire to take away necessarily, from the mystery of God. Yes. But what I do think is helpful is to like, de miss the size, some of the ways that like, certain scriptures have been, like, weaponized because of like, the challenging ways that they can be interpreted or how hard it is to interpret them. Yeah, I think one of the things that demystifying some of them, for me have been like, maybe this isn't as dramatic. And as a number of texts, and mystical as we want them to be, or we feel like we need them to be to manipulate them for whatever our purposes are, yes. But really, like, there is something about the way scripture and the way God's Word tells us, what tells us about humanity, and tells us about how we function, you know, like, in Empire, how we function in community, how you on so, so part of what I'm hearing what you're saying, Bernie too, is like, the significance of understanding that, like, I'm telling you that humanity is going to destroy itself. Again. It's not a mystical thing, where I'm going to come do this thing. And it's going to be all this stuff. And I've got to develop all this material to get people to be saved from all these things. But actually, the ways that you save yourself, are these things that I've been showing you as I have with you. Yes, yeah. And it's, it's like, it's simple. And it's hard, because it's human. And actually, the way that I'm showing you is so much harder for you to actually believe in, buckle down and live this way to try to make it something else like that. So essentially, like saying that, you know, if humanity is going to destroy itself, and so I am modeling a different type of humanity, or a different way to be human, and is that what you're saying is like, this, what Jesus is calling us to do, and how he's calling us to live is the way of life. And like, if we if we if we live this way, like, I guess we develop the values and the virtues that keep us from wanting to destroy one another and destroy ourselves. And so it's like, it makes it like you're saying it's an it makes it a lot more simple, because it's just about like, here's what's going to happen if you don't choose life. Like it's not that deep of like, I mean, the Matthew 25 passage, guys, I read that probably 500 times. And it was always about like, did I cultivate the oil of intimacy, and that when Jesus comes, like my prayer life, and my intimacy is only enough for me to welcome the bridegroom. And like, you know, people will not, I mean, it was all about, like, how people that don't live lifestyles of intimacy and oil won't be ready for Jesus and their lamps go out. And then in that time, it's too late. They can't come to Jesus at that point, because they didn't cultivate enough oil and intimacy. And so that's why we've got to do it now. And it was just like, always, so. Yes. Fear, like a lot of fear individualistic, yes, yes. That's why I'm like, I really, really want to hear what you're saying. And these things about like, one will be taken the other left. I mean, we had a field day with those, like, seriously, it was, it's just interesting, because I haven't really, really spent time in these passages since then. Because it's just like, it's all been interpreted. For me. I've never, I've never been given any other frameworks. That's why it's fascinating. I really need and would love some more frameworks. is also fascinating. Because it's like, you know, if there's supposed to be this spiritual meaning into what Jesus has done. For all I hear is, here's what you need to do to save yourself. or anyone else, right. Yeah. Make you afraid so that you do these things? Yeah. I mean, imagine that tell us money. That's 19. Like, when Jesus comes, if you haven't spent eight to nine hours in prayer and fasting and worship, you're not going to be ready. And you're 19. Like, I mean, that's really scary. I mean, your brain is not fully formed, you're not like, and then and then to set people up for. I mean, it's really I've been thinking a lot about it. And it's not just the places that I've been, I think in general, like the way that this construct works is like you tell young people that like this is the way to be on fire for God. And then you Also name and designate people outside of that space as being either false Christ. It's so funny because we start FOSS Christ's will come, but we never said, and I could be one of them. You know what I mean? Like nobody ever said that stuff. It was just like, there are going to be false prophets and false Christ. And, oddly enough, we are never implicated in those warnings. And it was like you so you tell the young people, this is the way and then you tell them anyone outside of that I did a I think a ramble on this. But it was like, all of the people that could have helped me in some of the years, when I was really, really struggling with my faith, I had been told where we're either like false grace teachers or too liberal or would lead me astray. And what I found is those people have actually confirmed that I'm still in the face like that there are different ways to think about things that actually are life giving and produce good fruit, you know, so I just feel really, I obviously you can see, I feel some type of way about it, because it's like, who, when that 19 year old, becomes 30, all of that stuff really comes back to like, haunt them. And it's really destructive. Sad, and I'm glad that Yeah, no, I agree with you. And I think that, you know, jazzy has already you said, like you have a lot of this is where you feel a lot of compassion. And onto me, because we grew up in this, and you had the blessing. We, you know, not in this. And I think that what's really hard about all this is this is the kind of stuff though, that shapes people's theology. And gives people a sense of the who the character of God is. Right? It's like, at the end of the day, sure, Jesus, super nice guy. But when push comes to shove, like it's about, you got to like guard your own, like, you don't have enough oil for other people. There's only enough oil for you. And that is just so diametrically opposite. But it is these apocalyptic parables when misinterpreted, that animate the imagination and anxiety about how what might be coming in the future, which dictates a God who isn't that gracious, and therefore a life that needs to be well lived? selfishly, first. Absolutely. Like, I feel like I've developed like an entire ethic of like, property, and how we need to defend our property. And this is me being faithful to like stewarding my talents that I've been given, instead of, you know, sharing what we do have. And that's where you notice this next, the next parable of like, the parable of talents is like, these are interesting as well. Yeah, I mean, I just think you're like when you said that, I was like, Oh, my gosh, like, we have heard so many messages about how like Jesus, the way of Jesus is, though, is anti. Or it's antithetical to self preservation. But then we think about all of this, these readiness messages that we're getting are all about self preservation. It may, and I can see how that can be so confusing for people, and it will cause you to storm buildings. I mean, you know what I'm saying? Like, it just messes with your brain. Wow, wow. Well, I think what it gives, what it can give instead is if we do read it, you know, Chapter 24, starts off with, you know, Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings, you see all these things? He asked, truly, I tell you, not one stone here will be less than another, everyone will be thrown down. They say, tell us, when will this happen? And what will be the sign of your coming and at the end of the age, and I think that's like the key verse to like, 16 because they are asking about the destruction of the temple. And I think that we don't get that like none of the Christianity I grew up around ever really talked about the historical temple, like we talked about, like a mythical spiritual kind of Temple and incense, especially in some places where some of us have been. But not many of us talk about the actual physical temple, but more more of the Gospel accounts, very clear the temple is important. And the way that one of my professors talks about it is like, imagine that the temple is the Pentagon, Fort Knox, White House, the Capitol, all together in one and Wall Street, and it gets destroyed. That's how important the destruction of the temple is. It is the very center of all Jewish life. And it's not in the destruction. We don't get it in the gospels itself in the text. But most of the most of the texts are written to the post destruction age where the smoke from the temple is still rising. The closest I feel like we have that is a 911. And you can think about like, what does that feel like to read these things in the midst of something as apocalyptic as 911 happening? And recognizing that this gives us orientation, in times of extreme destruction and distress? What does it mean for our us to cultivate lives where our love doesn't grow cold. And I feel like that's what the oil is about, like, that's what it's like growing these fruits of the spirit of the kingdom that can withstand these times of great testing. Like the ones that we're in now, where things it's so easy, for my love to grow cold in these times. And I think that part of it, too, is like, what I like about the Scripture, too, is like, there's also a time to flee, and just like, run away, like, people can't be reasoned with anymore, you can't engage anymore. Nobody, they're not ready for dialogue anymore. It's like time to run. And on those days, it will be so hard for folks who are weighed down by like economic commitments, and children, because we like people are literally This isn't like spiritual, and ideological Civil War. No, this is actual Jewish civil war happened, and then brought about the end of Jerusalem. So we just were still, I think, grappling with the ways that we have disembodied this text and made it just all about, you know, the general resurrection way, way, way later, in our futures still, instead of an actual event where like, no people are killing each other, like people eating their kids because they're starving. And it's time to just run away. Wow, wow. Well, I mean, I guess the natural question that I have, is I learned from you both, is, okay, so if these passages are not about the second advent, and if they are not about the resurrection, then what are we hoping it like? What, what do we envision coming, I feel like, my own rearing in the Lord, like there is now this sort of missing gap. Because a lot of it was very foolish. And like, I was saying very self preservation in very, like Empire the way I was thinking about the times, but like, but I never filled it with anything. I mean, I knew that I know that the world needs to change. And I know that the that the best thing for the earth is Jesus, like raining on it right? With his people. But like, the gap between, like where we are now. And that place is completely it's like missing, it's like a missing memory. Like, so when you envision that, like, what have you what's in the space for you? Yeah, I mean, so what are we hoping for? Like, what? This can't be it, right? So if we all as believers, if part of our belief system is that our king will come again? Like, what is all of this stuff about? Like, how do we make space for that? How do we frame it? Like, what does it look like? No, I'm saying, yeah. This team, Barney, our friend, joy, think this is something that the three of us especially the two have been, we've been going back and forth around is what is Yeah, it's connected to other things that are a part of a place that we are you know, after really after that, last week, I didn't realize how much work I really need to do around it was really five minutes so I do think I think we need to stop hoping in any form of trials. I think that there is no there is no try on. Hope to come to that place in archaeology. Having according to my message last week, my hope is in us losing together the core part being together and in the losing together that we would continue to to have anything like that I love would would not revolt, right? Like he would be warmed by one another. The deep power of love, you know, what I'm liking about this conversation is it does feel like connected to our conversation around violence, right? Yeah. As soon as you know we're farming was really landing us around like something more powerful, right? The violence that we see, and that is what I feel where my hope is this this reality of losing together? Like, you know, because for them? Yeah, I'll just say that. And I think what's challenging about this for a lot of folks? There are many things I'll say, to the reality of the Scripture piece, right, and even to be able to get these pieces of interpretation. I think there's a lot of scholarly work. Well, that's all the work, some of the scholarly work that has been done, needs to filter down to the church to understand how we got to this place of making it all about us. Exactly, right. E ratio of Jewish people, the Jewish story that matters so significantly, because all the reason we got to the place where we're at, we had to create this, you know, like these childhoods interpretations, you know, come from, as Barney said, like this embodying the tests, is making ourselves the center of it. And we lost the story of a people that is being interpreted in some ways, and also just described. But humans, we will we can rationalize anything I keep coming back to this quote that was on the Lovecraft country podcast, yay. Like, oh, the greatest magic they like rationalization. And how can we critique theology to recognize it like? Probably like, a high percentage of theologizing is rationalizing toward some, right. I don't think it should be fully demonized. Right? There's, there's like, I have an understanding of why are we rationalized says, For the sake of survival, right, sometimes or for the sake of, because you know, so I'm not saying rationalism is all bad. It's very human. But I think we need to be more honest about. Yeah. Yeah, I think that we can't that I do think that there are places that in the New Testament Scriptures, especially in the epistles, in first john, and in Thessaloniki, Krishna scillonian, that attest to a general resurrection of bodies in the future. And I don't want to lose or let go of that. Exactly. I want to recover what I think this is actually about. And to like not, I think we can have anxiety when things are, when things are disrupted. It's it's like increases anxiety, right? Because we're you, we need, we're used to having things a certain way. And when things are upset, it's hard. But I'm not doing away with, you know, this this general resurrection That we have hoped in. However, I do think that we need to upset the imagination of what that general resurrection is. And I completely agree with jazzy like, I don't think there is any triumphalism. You know, even when we were studying revelation together, you know, studying it for a year and a half. And we're studying these passages that are really, really disruptive. And we have to ask the question, and this is what a lot of Christians throughout the ages have asked, because it's been, I think, you know, when Christians really asked this question, it takes a lot of work, because it's like, well, is this the same God? Or is it not? Is this a God, who at the end of the day has the most powerful nuclear bomb ever? And it's just waiting? Or? Or is the God we see in Jesus fully reveal who God is? Are they different? Or are they the same? And I feel like a lot of church history is arguing about how to make sense of hold together these things and I have a really hard time with the apocalyptic scriptures. Because I think that they can house a lot of imagination that that can wiggle its way in it can be possessed pretty easily. Yes. You know, because apocalypse is so imagery based, but we don't know what the understanding of those images were. So we can to easily project in with our diseased imagination, a lot of violence a lot of but that's why I love spending more. We spend so much time the Old Testament and in the stories of Jesus because no God is constant. So let's start off with a narrative that we do have to gave us a framework, and then be like, is this what this is about then later, like, I appreciated how when I was studying, you know, a year and a half, they talk about in Revelation, Jesus coming with a sword out of his mouth is a very intense image, it talks about the sword is the word of God, and how the sword itself, like the word of God, is truth. And truth itself divides people. Because you either continue to choose to live in lies, because the truth is too hard, or the truth is liberating, depending on what we've experienced in our lives. And I feel like we see that right now is a lot of people who are unable to let go of false true, untrue, right, even when truth is facing them in the face, and then they tend to do a lot of violence, which is destructive to themselves. And to a lot of people, it's like, no longer moving along the grain of reality. But instantly, because we've fed all these images growing up, because we grow up post Christian, post crusades, post wars of religion, we imagine and project into Jesus coming with a sword to be not the same Jesus that said to Peter, like, Don't pick up a sword, you know, like, that's not the way the kingdom comes up suddenly, later, he's gonna decide, oh, yeah, and we argued with about this a lot. When we were wrestling over revelations interpretation. Like, oh, it's really interesting. Our social location really, really matters about how we're interpreting what the good coming King is looking like. Because all the people of color, like, we don't like a militaristic team that has all power that just decides arbitrarily, who's going to live in who's gonna die. Very, very, very scary. It's like our, our bodies itself, like tense up. But we're watching, you know, debates around how to interpret the scriptures, which, you know, rip them out of relationships apart. As we're debating, like, how to imagine a king. And I think, Jazzy, you're completely right. I mean, my own is like, No, I think Jesus is the king of mercy who wins by losing, and reveals to us a more ancient power. We say we believe, but we've got these competing images about who's really King. And I think our Christian King is much more like Caesar than like, Jesus is where Jesus is a merciful King, who wins by losing access to an ancient power, that is a completely different way of even thinking about even consent. I mean, like, this is actually messing with me in real time, obviously, you know, the neural pathways and stuff. But like, when you were talking, when both of you were talking, I was visualizing jinga setup, and seeing how like all of these, like apocalyptic all the apocalyptic literature that I studied in my 20s, and how people were framing that for me, and how over the years, they just kind of been removed. And it's like, but the castle itself has not fallen like there's nothing like I actually didn't need those pieces to hold up to hold this structure that I've built up and it was like I was in a conversation and Jasmine are in like, texting. And in it, you know, there was some debating going on about certain issues. And I remember just being like, I think at the end of the day, it's just like, how much you're willing to risk on the mercy of God. Like, I don't really have any more answers, yet people like, it's just how much are you willing to trust that God is actually merciful and loving, and kind and gracious? And I think the I think that's kind of guiding my decisions. And that's kind of what's holding up this structure for me now, where before it was like, I can name Winnie's I mean, I'm telling you, I, I used to have a, like, personal goal when I was mentoring young people about how I could talk them out of pre tribulation rapture, how fast I could do it, because I thought I was guiding them into truth. Right, like, they need to be ready for this. And like, I mean, it was just it's just really weird to think about all the people I mean, I don't, I can talk about it freely now, because I caught all of those people and apologize to them, but like, yeah, like really? I mean, I just, it's, it's embarrassing to think about some of the things that I said, but everything I could remember that I said, I definitely called and owned and apologize for, but it's like I didn't actually need those things. And even when I was hearing you talk, Barney, I was like, man, the whole love thing at the end, like in Matthew 25. I was always told them and my love for Jesus, like my own personal intimacy with Jesus, like the love of many growing cold meant like, did I still weak when I read the scriptures, did I still cry in worship? Like it wasn't about Like, can I reach across the aisle to someone? It wasn't about like, Can I see the good and somebody that I am naturally? Not clicking with? Like, yeah, that was not what I was taught love. Grand Cole was connected to it all. But then you dropped it Jesus, like at all, like everything he's talking about when talks about love, it always has some sort of neighbor, like, connection to it. Like it's always connected to being neighborly. It's hardly ever connected to crying in worship. saying like, in this kind of belief, I just believe, yeah, they told me. Yeah, and I remember even being as a kid sitting in a worship service and looking at other people being like, oh, they're crying isn't what I'm supposed to be feeling. But I don't know how to generate that emotion. And why don't I feel like I'm supposed to be feeling. And so you like, are in this setting where you want to be included? Right? You want to be belong? And so you lay over that on top of it, like, love going cold? Yeah, I think, to me, it's in some ways, it's helpful that your experience was so explicit, because it even helps me name some of the less explicit things in my own experience, but we're very functionally powerful. That that was actually how I interpreted a lot of the scriptures about love going cold. But really, I would say, Now reading this passage, it's like, okay, Lord, can I protect my love? For when I see a white person acting a certain way? Or do I instantly? Am I already captured by bitterness and cynicism? And it's so hard. It is so hard to how do I fight to keep it so that I will be one of those servants that no matter what, like when there's a need, even if it ends up betraying me like I will give. And I think about it being so sad because x the book of Acts starts off with this kind of like, free, like losing together, Kathy, as you said, like, but then we project into x and focus on the growth. expansion. Wow. Question, if you will, yeah. Multiplication, the franchising. The capitalism has captured our imaginations. And we project into acts when the beginning of Acts is just like, everything they had was in common, because they were bound in love by this Jesus way that they believed even though they were, they had no he was a nobody. He really wasn't nobody, like hundreds of people got crucified every day in Rome. It was just this one guy that got crucified, yet they had experienced a resurrection, power of weakness, love and mercy, that would, that would reorient their whole being with one another. And so much so that it's been passed down to us today, even though it's you know, been haphazardly sound, but wow, it is hard in our in our space as American people though, to have any kind of imagination. That is not triumph. Yeah. Yeah. I get that. Because I certainly went there right away, like, okay, but what about, you know, the winning and, like, I mean, but it's like, when you when I heard you delineate, though, like, I'm not letting go of a general resurrection. He's I think about people I care for who have chronic illness, or like, I'm like, I'm hoping that their bodies are raised and like, Yeah, but you know, it's like, I had a student one time, and they were like, Can you give me you know, the God will have? Should I share the gospel with this person that I was just like, why don't you just tell them that God is everything they hope God is? And like, I felt like it really opened the conversation up instead of saying, like, God is this and God is that and God is this? Like, I hope that that that bodies are liberated from sickness, I hope I want that I hope that people are delivered from like mental illness and things like that. Those things like people being freed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I have a militaristic King, who's chopping people's heads off. And that we put those things together. I just really liked how you how you delineated that, but like, so you said that y'all were like, what did you Atlanta? Like, what is hope? I really want to hear jazzy. Well, where are you at now, though? Like, after this conversation? Um, why don't feel like this conversation shifts a lot for me, because, you know, we've kind of I mean, the particular texts that you're talking about Bernie is newer to the conversation, but I feel like it's been an honor. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think part of it is like, you know what you're saying Barney of like, it's very hard. I I was literally talking to I was talking to a colleague at my school, and he is this is gonna sound not connected. He was talking about how like, please But he's the director of office, the office that I worked for. And he had given us a lot of freedom to create programs based on like, what we care about passion, all these other things. And in a one on one he was, again, in most jobs you go to, there's already like a pre decided, like, this is what will manage us, this is what we're going to do as we're programming. And I was trying to, like, create more open space to like hold value for everyone to imagine, and co creator of things, right. But people have a bad anxiety around, like a lot of us were like, We need to know this need for this, we need to have this. Can we do this? What is this? You know, there's a lot of anxiety around this level of freedom. And I said to him, which is something that Bernie and I have talked about a number of times, too, is that like humans have low capacity for freedom. Wow. Because we live, we live in visible and invisible cages, right. And so you also, the reason I brought that up is because and Bernie and I, the first time we had this conversation, we were in South Africa, I remember what the reason I bring this up in this moment is because I'm thinking about how we don't know what burden to send. I think in the American context, we don't know how to hope without trial. And I think that that's also a cage dress, right? Yeah. Our, our hope feels like, like, we only know winning and losing. And we have been taught that we hold on, like, hope toward this one thing where we, we someone wins, like, and we don't always think about the fact that someone wins. And there's a lot of folks who are losing. But that we have been able to shape a whole religious experience around moving toward winning. Like another cage to me, it feels like more chains to me, especially because that is antithetical to the person we're shipping. You know, the answer your question as far as the hope, but I think it what I would say having this conversation is it's like, it's more and more not that. Yeah. And my hope is like, I do love what you're saying. And honestly, like, as someone who just, I still read Scripture, and I'm like, Oh, I feel like I've never read this textbook. Exactly. Talk. Yeah, I'm like, I don't remember this language of what, you know, the loves growing cold. Like I'm like, this is not I probably read it at some point. I don't remember it doesn't stick in my mind anymore. So even as I go through the text, as you're talking about it now I'm like, Oh, I am grateful for that, in this encounter, that feels very important and very important. I'm hearing it from this conversation, right? Not being shaped by some of the things that has shaped laws, but you're experiencing the kind of reintroduction and re interpretation of it. But for me, I'm like, Oh, I love that this is how I am seeing this text feels like for the first time so and so then, you know, then that moves me toward this reality of what does it mean as party just meander, but for my love to not go cold as I see this? You know? Really, and to me that that gives me hope in the in the possibility that there is something about this faith that could make my life that were my, my like, love could not go cold, right, because I think everything around us attest to and editability that we we can't keep loving, right? Like, that's not the goal. I don't feel like even even a lot of like, progressive folks, a lot of ex evangelicals simply I don't feel like I'm being told to love it. Because there's a way that saying, keep your loving feels like weakness to people. Right. And I understand why. But I still that does give me hope because we can keep loving. Yeah. I'm like, No, I think we're doing I don't think we're doing what we need to be doing. And that's hopeful to me. It feels near impossible, I think. Yeah. And so that's why it's helpful. And it's not easy, but it is simple. You know, yeah, the front end of that passage is going I think from my memory it's like, and because lawlessness abounds. The love of money grows cold and yes Thinking of it this way, like that passage seems so set up for people who would be seemingly losing and seemingly being, like, crushed. I mean, law is abounding. Yes. Like, I mean, like, that's frustrating. That's, that's, that's, that's Mike Brown's daughter, you know, like, not my grand starter, but you know what I'm saying like this Aragon is shorter, like, like that the temptation for us to stop loving, um, is because lawlessness abounds. And Jesus is saying, No, keep loving, like, it's not about like, they take prayer out of schools and make sure you have really, really pointed quiet times. What the hell is that? Like? That doesn't even make any sense to that text. And like, I just never, never even knew to be like, say, What? What are y'all talking about? Yeah, oh, my gosh, it's such an encouraging text to me right now. And I was thinking about this yesterday. And I looked at that. So verse 10, says, at that time, many will turn away from the faith, and will betray and hate each other. Yes, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people, because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow coal, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And the image in my head, you know, I had all these imaginations before about it. But the image in my head now is like, you know, Nazi Germany or if Civil War ever broke out here, or we could go to a lot of different places where like, we're not just when we get to the place of actual Civil War. What would it mean to have a household, a place of people that was generous to whoever showed up at the door in need? Even if they could, they might be from the from, they might kill you? Yeah, but that we had cultivated a community that would hold on to love. And that feels like I get emotional thinking about that. But that's like the ancient power of Jesus, that causes us to like human human life. And that's why I do feel like yeah, jazzy what we talked about this so much over the past seven years of just like, I don't want to let go. I don't want to I need to stay in places where I'm not claimed by hatred, and claims by cynicism and click, but there's so many reasons for me to be a soldier. But how do I keep my own soul? Whoa, this because I want it, if the US ever comes into a place where it does actually turn into civil like race war. I want to be a part of a Jesus community that follows the way of Jesus where we were, we were generous and loving and merciful enough that it may very well cost us our lives, but that we would live, you know, into eternity, because our names would be remembered, because we followed this king of compassion and mercy. That has been the best, the truest of what humanity and creation can be, you know, but it's so hard. Like, like we talked about last time, it's like, I'm not gonna put that on anybody. But that's what I want for me. Yes, it's the it's the extra pain that comes when I'm in get when I was engaging. Some people who weren't loving me talking about race and racism and black lives matter, because it was like, in my mind, I knew that Jesus was calling me. But I could visualize, like, even though these people are calling me all kinds of names, they're putting my character in question. They're saying, I don't love Jesus, that like, when push comes to shove, and the world would even turn against this person, they need to be able to come to my house upon refuge. And so it was actually adding to the pain of the conversations, because it's like, You're making me very, very angry. But I also have to keep in mind that like, You are my brother or sister and like, I, like I have to be willing to, like lay down my life for you. Even right now, like, and so I think, learning how to how to like, navigate that pain in the midst of those conversations. I couldn't really articulate it, but that's what was going on in my head. Like, I can't I can only go so far with this anger that I'm feeling like there's a stopping point to it and it stops at being a brother or sister or neighbor and like, it makes me grief because I don't think that person is thinking that when they're engaging me in the conversation, right, like I'm sitting a lot with, you know, Barney, as you said, and they might kill me, kill us. And I just, I'm just doing what I think you know, like that. That was like that is the cross. Right? It's like a, it was saying it's like demystify it. It's not His grand plan of saving all the salt by taking I was like, yeah, some of that whatever you can engage with theology. But at the end of the day, Jesus saying, No, no, here's the life I'm living, they are going to kill me. Yes. And they will probably kill you. And there is something we have, I think we have loss that we're renaming is because that that gets back to the guns conversation, right that gets. I feel like every year like every hypothetical people offer to me when they're like, this is why you should all this happens. This happens. And I'm not. I'm not idealistic. I'm like, they may kill me. Like, in that way, you know, even when people say like, oh, but your family or all this, I'm like, Well, I let them kill me while my family gets away, you know, like, but I still feel there is something in that that really matters, that it's like, Can we get to a place where it's not just we're not intellectualizing it like that we will live it right. Because I think we are closer to what you're saying Bernie has the potential of the civil war that we are, and Yep. What does it look like for us not to just intellectualize again, I, I feel like in our journeys, that's, you know, this, you know, Bernie, and I have to journey together closely for years. And I feel like we're very serious. Like, there have been seasons even where we're like, no, we're working on our bodies, because we know, we may put our bodies on the line this way. Like, it's like, it's it isn't just a conversation. It's like, how do we mean it? I'm not saying I'm there. But I want to either have like, No, I think it's inevitable that if I choose this way, which is the way that gives me hope. They may kill us. Which once again, is my rap, putting it on other people. Being honest about that may be where you're going. But it is the same place that give me help to go. It kind of feels like he came because we he knew that we would kill him or he knew that he would be killed. That's why he came were like, I don't know how to explain it what I'm saying. But like, in my head is this phrase that God comes because he knew they would kill him. And like, that had to be exposed, like they had to come forth it like there was no, we were very probably naive about our own inclinations. And like, what we would actually do in the face of real love, you know? Damn, Jesus. Well, I have told me I was going to be harder, because I was preaching the truth to go mainline. Yeah, I have said that before. We were step ahead of everybody else. prepare them for the in times, so that they would not be offended. Like, what kind of crazy I think that's also the you know, even as we're having this conversation, it's like to do or to prepare people to be martyrs. is like, it feels different to me than to accept that the life we are choosing Vegas killed, right? Yes. Let's try a ballistic. Yes. Would you say it's less military six. Let's try ballistic. Yeah. Like, it's, it's the difference between, like, how hairy it lives, and how, like William Wallace embraced it, right? Like, wow, this is like, give me you know, like freedom and they march into it. Whereas, like, you know, Harry's like I'm gonna get shot free and I might die. You know what I mean? Like, it's a very different posture. And thirdly, this happens on the stoop, stoop. I think there's a movement where we, we it's become okay to critique, you know, like, more conservative more far right. Who has come who have caused a lot of harm. And earlier I I did name right and the more progressive Christians and I'm naming them I'm like, these are my friends. Right. And I think there's a significant work that has happened there. Where I it's true, though I don't often hear keep loving. I do here. Learn to love you. yourself, because they have taught you, you know, these other spaces have taught you to hate yourself. So learn to love yourself and do some deconstruction. And that is significant. I just don't think that's all I don't think it is, is it's not the only place where hope is stirred, but it's not what I have hope in. Right? Yeah, there's a deep connection between that and loving it right? Like Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Yeah, it starts it doesn't stop there. Right? It's on to something. Yeah. Yeah. And that's where there are parts, even that I have felt that I have moved, you know, to a more progressive part of Christianity, I have oftentimes missed and also felt like, you know, where are the soup kitchens? Where are the food drives? Where are the Where are the works of compassion, then you know, that a lot of that parts of Christian conservative Christianity are really good at. But I do feel like there is as we move to love yourself, which is really important. There is a loss in sometimes of like, loving the other how do we like continue to call people to love because and it's good, we need to focus on systemic realities, we need to work at changing. But we also can't lose the like, one bowl of food is really important, you know, and like that, just just loving in the part of the passage that I've been meditating on regarding this, as I was literally thinking about yesterday is in verses 23 were 2324 2526, what chapter are we in? chapter 24? is it's like, Look, here's the Messiah, or There he is. And Jesus says, do not believe it for false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders, do you see that possible, even though the elects? See I've told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, there he is out in the wilderness do not go out, or here he is in the inner rooms do not believe it. And the idea here is that these are two important places of where revolutions started. So the, you know, like, john the baptist started out in the wilderness, it was in the wilderness that they were crossing into the Jordan to get into the land of Canaan. So there, all these images of even in the inner room were like, these hush harbors where things are started. And I've been meditating on verse 26, where it's like, there is such a move, I think, in the past couple years, to be ready for revolution, to like, arm up, and to move into spaces where like, you're ready to fight, which we talked about last time, right? Like, my own language has armed in a lot of ways, my own ideas. But what Jesus is saying to them in this passage is like these things don't say these are false. This is that we can deeply understand them, and I understand them. But that this is not where like, what do not believe that that's what's going to end up delivering you it may even, you know, lead the election astray. And that's where, you know, Jesse, you and I have talked about this for years about that specific about specific sayings, where, where I'm like, but I don't want to give up. I can't give up caring, and I can't give up on relationship evil, even with people who will who wish evil been to me, even though that is oppression? Yes. But I don't want to give that up. And I feel alone a lot of the time in that because there is such a separation. No, well, if they don't love you, you don't need to love them. And that's important, we need to gain the space to be able to love ourselves that is true, and to learn that work. But it would be short sighted to stop there not to be like but it's in order that we might love us back into communion together and move into like the kind of love that can hold our like the world. Like we've just given up. But we don't have vision for that kind of love anymore. It's really cool, like this passage, Barney or this verse, because it says like, there are these two very distinct places. But he's saying like for as lightning flashes in the east, and shines to the west. So it will be when the Son of Man comes, but it's like, it's just going to be apparent where love is. Like, he's just saying everybody will see it. Like it's not for a select few of people to see, like, just like lead lightning, especially in the desert like it is. Everyone can see that when lightning strikes. And so like he's saying, like, it could be anywhere, like wherever you are, if you look up, you're gonna see the same thing they see across you know, on the other side of the mountain somewhere. It just makes it like x testable. You know, like, yeah, it makes me think about Jesse, what you were saying what a long time ago, emphasizing and it makes me think of this to me, it's like the fruit of the Spirit. There's like no laws in this episode. There's no laws against these proof, nobody is going to say these things are bad. These are the things that we should be producing and that we should strive for. And I think back to you, jazzy writing about the fruits of the Spirit in 2014, being like, because it's still a big resupply for like, in the midst of such a hard season, and I feel like you, you know, seven years ago, were doing what this passage was doing and being like, don't let our love grow cold. This season is hard. But like, let's hang on to these group of like patience and kindness and goodness. That's who we are. We need to still be that's what Jesus taught us. That's what we want for ourselves. Actually, your exegesis paper project. Well, there you go. With that passage, says you are like legit Prophet, though, like, seriously, I know that. I mean, I don't know how that sounds, or feels, or whatever this connotation but like hearing I mean, I don't know hearing you talk about. I just was reminded of like, Jeremiah, like, the reality that he lived in that he could be killed. And like, his heart for the Lord and his tears for not only his people, but and then just to hear Bonnie say that I was like, Oh my gosh, like, She's like a legit prophet. Like, that's what a prophet in 2014 people are gonna want to go out to the wilderness and follow somebody who's about to turn this shit upside down. Like, no love, joy, peace, you know, like, that. People aren't calling like you're saying, like, people are not necessarily calling that prophetic. They're calling like, shut the shit down the systems. That's the profit, right? Like, you know, and we love it. Yes, speak truth to power? Well, really, because it's like, when you call someone to love, joy, peace and kindness, and gentleness in the midst of a situation that would cause them to want to rise up. That is speaking truth to power. I mean, it's like, if you think about that, like the truth to power there is like, you're speaking true to the desire to take power in the wrong way. Like, even in the midst of that, even when it feels justified. And you're saying, like, we have to choose love, like, that's what it means to speak truth to power. Like, it's not always like, you know, screw you guys, and redlining. And I mean, those things are true, those those things are real, but like, Who are the people saying long suffering? And like, I just think that that even this, even this conversation is kind of like even redefining what it means to be prophetic in these times. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Man, this is crazy, like, um, but I do think that at the same what I think is important for us, is that, you know, Jesus did choose, I think about it, how funny it is oftentimes, like Jesus chose to tell his disciples after the Last Supper, like bring one sword with you. Yeah. Okay. Bring one sword with you. And then he's like, and then, of course, like, it was already strapped, you know, like, I'm ready. I'm ready. Like, put your sword back in its place. die by the sword. And you're like, wait, Jesus, you just said that man. Like. And then he says to the, to the folks who have come to see us. I'm like, Am I leading a rebellion, but you have to come out with swords and clubs to capture me. Each day in the temple. I was teaching and you didn't arrest me. But this has all taken place in the Writing's on the prophets might be fulfilled. And I and then all those disciples deserted him and fled. There's no triumphalism, if you sign up to be a Blanca, very shameful, humiliating. Exactly. What do you say to me? Is that in the loop? This is the this is the nephew. I was wondering if we will get there cuz I had to we had to talk about this passage in the class recently. And we're like, yo, and there was another one where I was like, have I ever read this before we wrap up, and I'm like, hold on, hold on, get the strap. That's right, Jesus. And I think the disciples are confused. And I think what was what was so cool in that moment, as we engage with open ended questions in our class, is it took us so many places, right? Yeah. Had a bit was we were like, yo, maybe Jesus was still trying to decide you know Jesus humaneness is very real and it's a gift to you know like it's very valid. very valid to want to face the lawlessness are faced with it is the literal store and and then you you know like for us I don't know which gospel you're reading it in but then there's like because then you have the garden of death 70 right? And you have this moment where Jesus is like y'all. I don't know if I really was still in full moment. And then and then you have him be like nah, Peter, you know, you know, like, even little bit of Jesus. Like, what I appreciate you bringing that up Barney is like, because the wavering is real. And we don't know if Jesus was actually wavering. But you can really read that, you know, wonder of like, why am I still strapped though? You know? Was it him being like, well, should they have to die just because I'm gonna die isn't him being like, maybe we can take them and we don't want to think about those. Yeah. But I think it's worthy of asking those questions and wondering the thing like why wouldn't we? Like, why wouldn't we want to consider that Jesus would be wavering. I mean, that makes the power of what he ultimately chose to do more immune to the reality of it, you know what I mean? Like, it actually gives us like, a space of like, in the in that place. I mean, that's what Hebrews is talking about. He's not ashamed to call us brethren. I mean, he, he cried out the same ways that we do. He had to choose to put his trust in God, the same way that we do. I mean, I think I'd rather know that like he was looking at it like, Okay, you know what I mean? Like, rather than being like immune like, death is just so enticing. I'm not being affected by this at all right. I don't think I don't think that's what it was like. And why Yeah, it's not attract attractive, like, why do we want Jesus to be unfazed by this brutal it's not even just like that, you know? brutal, brutal death. Yeah. Why do we want? Why is that so important to us? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I do. Like, I'm looking at the Luke version now and jazzy. I really liked the Luke version, because it's like, Jesus, you know, Jesus followers saw what was going to happen and they said, Lord, should we start with our swords? And one of them struck the sermon of the high priest cutting up is right here, right here. And then Jesus answered no more of this because you do wonder like, Jesus didn't give him an answer. I guess we should use these. But anyway, I, there's so much here. And I but I did bring that up. Because I was like, I like the fact that Jesus says, you know, this is the Luke version. He's you know, if you have a purse, take it and also bag and if you don't have a sword, sell it, your cloak and buy one, because it was written, he was numbered with the transgressors. The disciples say, See, Lord, here are two swords, and Jesus is like, That's enough, like two swords. That's it just two. But I like to. Like, just like a stand in the front yard isn't like Black Panther style of like, we're just gonna hold the sword and make me feel threatened. I think about it know that he chooses to number himself with the transgressors. That that when I was talking about this passage in Matthew, where it's like, you know, don't go here, don't go there. Don't follow all these false, false, you know, insurrectionists. But the fact that Jesus still chooses to die and be imaged as somebody who led a group of people with swords, is called, is like does something for me that Jesus chose to be numbered, even though it's clear that he didn't leave live by violence. He chose to cast himself optically. If there was a news reporter, they would have seen, Oh, Jesus, people are part of this like, and Roman. They didn't have a lot of heart and a full movement. But he casts his luck with those who like are holding a sword against the state. Wow, that's abuse. Like Jesus does not own the temple as a Jewish person. He doesn't disown the people who want him erection but he there's this radical solidarity I feel like I'm moving away from like all these humiliating parts of weakness, you know, but still shows us like strength. Anyway. I can't do no smash loja