So when did the focus of Christianity shift from the unconditional love and acceptance preached by Christ to the hate and condemnation spewed forth by certain groups today? Some say it was during the rise of Conservative Christianity in the early 1980s with political action groups like the Moral Majority. Others say it goes way back to the 300s, when Rome's Christian Emperor Constantine initiated a set of laws limiting the rights of Roman non-Christians. Regardless of the origin, one thing is crystal clear: It's not what Jesus stood for.
His parables and lessons were focused on love and forgiveness, a message of "come as you are, not as you should be." The bulk of his time was spent preaching about helping the poor and those who are unable to help themselves. At the very least, Christians should be counted on to lend a helping hand to the poor and others in need. (article here)
Bakker does a great job in challenging the fundamentalism of his youth, and the values that ultimately ripped his family apart. But I was left wondering if he protests too much.
Maybe in the politically charged American church he needs to be louded, and even more in your face than he would if he were in, say, Toronto or Calgary, to heck, even Lethbridge. Canadian Christians, for the most part, simply don't carry the same political baggage as some of our American friends.
But I LOVE the fact that he's trying a new way to be the church, to let Jesus' teachings guide his ministry as he ministers in one of the toughest mission fields in the world.