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Finding Faith: Jesus' message wasn't 'be right at all costs'

"Overturning federal protections that provide access to health care, the right to marry, the right to live out one’s sexual orientation, the right to define one’s own gender may make us feel better because of our interpretation of scripture. But in reality, what it does is put lives in jeopardy, impoverish the already impoverished, reduce human dignity, further marginalize the marginalized, alienate those already upset with the church’s hypocrisy and continues to splinter the body of Christ."

Devlyn Brooks 2021
Devlyn Brooks
Contributed
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The three New Testament synoptic gospels similarly describe Jesus’ “Great Commandment” as loving God with “all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

The “Great Commandment” is absolutely not: To be right at all costs.

I do believe that many supporters cheered the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe vs. Wade ruling, which eliminated federal protection of the right to an abortion, because of religious convictions. … But I also believe that it’s hard to see the development as anything other than a Pyrrhic victory.

The ruling doesn’t outlaw abortion: Rather, abortion still will be legal in the states that allow it, and many of those seeking abortions likely will be undetered.

More than anything, what the court’s decision means is those with privilege will continue to receive reproductive care, while those without privilege will suffer the consequences of not having federally protected rights.

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That does not seem to adhere to Jesus’ “Great Commandment.”

Additionally, given the signals from the nation’s highest court that a conservative religious majority is at the helm, there’s millions more people in LGBTQIA+ communities who now fear they also could lose personal rights. The right to marry? The right to health care? The list is long.

And their fears are justified, as one can’t know what liberties are in jeopardy when a moral majority believes they know what is biblically right.

That, also, does not seem to adhere to Jesus’ “Great Commandment.”

In the New Testament, God’s new covenant with his faithful is based on love. Intrinsic in this new covenant is the mutual responsibility we have for each other, and the interdependence that draws each of us together.

But, also, there is freedom in this new covenant. And, as such, we believers need not be bound by laws of judgment, but rather we are free to humbly love our neighbor as ourselves, just as God loves each of us.

Overturning federal protections that provide access to health care, the right to marry, the right to live out one’s sexual orientation, the right to define one’s own gender may make us feel better because of our interpretation of scripture.

But in reality, what it does is put lives in jeopardy, impoverish the already impoverished, reduce human dignity, further marginalize the marginalized, alienate those already upset with the church’s hypocrisy and continues to splinter the body of Christ.

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There are no easy answers when it comes to issues as weighty as abortion. And the overturning of Roe v. Wade does little more than give supporters a feel good victory, while at the same time, makes life even more precarious for many of God’s most marginalized and voiceless beloved children.

That, most certainly, does not seem to adhere to Jesus’ “Great Commandment.”

Devlyn Brooks, who works for Modulist, a Forum Communications Co.-owned company, is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He serves as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minnesota. He can be reached at devlyn.brooks@forumcomm.com for comments and story ideas.

MORE FAITH NEWS:
"Much of the trouble with religion is that we’ve convinced ourselves that we can know an infinite God, a God who created the entire universe that is billions of years old and which still reveals mysteries to us that we cannot solve. And in our hubris, we believe we can also know all of the answers about faith, especially about who is right and, more importantly, who is wrong."

Related Topics: FAITHABORTION
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