June 26, 2018
Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well teaches us to extend grace where we might not feel inclined to offer it.
While I agree with the summary statement provided for this article, I found its tone to be condescending. I like the idea of proclaiming grace and encouraging Christians to act and think of grace, rather than to judge. But, it seems strangely discordant for the message to be included in an article which, does, in fact make broad, judgmental statements. The author appears to feels compelled to advise her readers that she finds CarlyB's language and wardrobe choices sinful in order to emphasize the quote that grace does not mean acceptance.
I believe that this article would have been more encouraging without the judgmental statements about CarlyB's dress, lyrics, and morality. I found myself wondering what it would be like if people were able to integrate the grace demonstrated to us by God so thoroughly that we didn't need to identifying the alleged sins for which we were granting grace. I also wonder what it would be like if a woman's approach to life and to faith could be discussed without reference to what she wears.
I don't disagree with the premise of your article at all, I think it's spot on in fact. But I wanted to point out that the Samaritan woman may not be who you think she is, and in fact, we in the modern western cultural evangelical community have probably mis-judged her entirely. If we stop reading into the text what isn't actually there, we come to realize that Jesus never called her a sinner, never mentioned adultery and never talked about repentance. The idea that this woman was of ill-repute is inserted, read into and assumed based on a modern idea of what having five husbands, and living with a male who isn't, looked like in first century Palestine. It's entirely possible, and highly likely that she was widowed and/or divorced five times and was currently living with a male relative, or a potential spouse under the guidelines of a common law arrangement as per the practice in that time. Deuteronomy 24 1-4 is very clear that a woman could never initiate a divorce. And think about this, especially in that time of patriarchal customs, would a woman of ill-repute really have such influence in her community, or even get an audience, never mind convincing them all to come out and meet some man, who if she was this sinful promiscuous woman, was likely just another sinner like her? In fact, would she not have been stoned already? There are many other factors at play here, but adultery on her part isn't one of them. I'm convinced that we've missed the actual point of this story by focusing on something that isn't even there.
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