“…had a reputation for seeing the worst in other people…he also was accused of dipping into the cash flow for his own purposes”
In our denomination these days, one can witness your conclusion of seeing the worst in others and dipping in the power pool for our own good. To some folks on the margins of full church inclusion “they” are hording power and determining who is in and who is out. This can look like ecclesiastical terrorism to those that are marginalized.
Then we can look at those that are “fighting” to up hold the “proper” manner to worship God and deliver the Gospel message to the world. In their eyes they are keeping a divine standard to which others seek to water down or taint absent of traditional standards. They are the ones being robbed. They are the ones being accused of oppression and defamed with numerous “ism’s”.
I find it difficult to nest truth in either camp. Is not Christ’s call to love our neighbor supposed to be challenging. It is not offered as the easy solution. Perhaps, the reason it has not been accomplished thus far in a sustainable manner is due to the tension of our depraved and fallen nature.
I look at this tension between the here and not yet like two gun fighters facing off in the town square (like in an old spaghetti western). You have the guy in white and the guy in black. It depends on where you are more personally invested as to whom you shall hope wins. It is not very important that someone is going to get hurt and possibly die. A conclusion is going to happen. So it seems.
We all know what happens. The good guy wins and the bad guy loses. What about the family of the bad guy. The spouse or partner. The children. The dependents. It then becomes a gray issue. This breeds revenge, and a vendetta seeks retribution. It is the same today as it was in the ancient Near East and in First Century Palestine. Is not Jesus challenging s to a higher call? It is not about us. We are free. This freedom does cost us everything as it cost Jesus everything. Sacrifice in the face of hostility. Is this not how Jesus loved us?