Simple Praxis joins with the broader movement of progressive Christian writers and thought leaders who are heralding a return to the empire-challenging social justice movement which was the hallmark of Jesus’ ministry and of his disciples.
The fundamentalist corners of American Evangelicalism tell us to read our Bibles to learn about God’s truth. What they didn’t expect is when we actually did that, we discovered something profound.
We discovered a radical Jewish rabbi who taught his followers to love their enemies.
We discovered a man who eschewed the limelight, sided with the wretched scum of the earth, and spoke truth to power.
We discovered a leader who led not by force, not by coercion, but by compassion, generosity, and wisdom.
We discovered a champion of women and children in an age of deep patriarchal and authoritarian disposition.
We discovered a Savior who demonstrated what it means to love unconditionally by forgiving those who put him to death.
We discovered Jesus. And Jesus does not act like a fundamentalist American Evangelical.
✢ ✢ ✢
Spiritual truth is only viable insofar as it is lived out by people in healthy community which grows and nurtures, protects and empowers.
Jesus told us to judge the fruit of a community to determine if God is really at work in its midst. We’ve judged the fruit of fundamentalist Evangelicalism. The results are disturbing.
Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. There is a new kind of Christianity emerging, one that is actually not all that new at all—a refreshing of the Spirit borne of a deep desire to return to the kind of radical spiritual community that Jesus and his disciples saw flourish in their day. A community that celebrates diversity, upholds the weak and downtrodden, affirms God’s love for all no matter what their background or creed, acknowledges the light as infinitely more powerful than the darkness, and holds out an open hand to the stranger and the foreigner.
We’re excited about this, and we gladly join hands with others on this quest to uncover a more holistic faith—people like Rachel Held Evans, Rob Bell, Pete Enns, Brian Zahnd, Danielle Shroyer, Keith Giles, and countless others.
✢ ✢ ✢
The fundamentalists who preach hate, sow division, and engage in unnecessary battles of “culture wars” just to score political points don’t speak for us. They don’t speak for Christianity. And they don’t speak for Jesus.
Jesus speaks for himself, by how he lived his life and how he taught his followers to live. And that’s what we look to as we grow in our simple practice of faith and spirituality.
That’s what Simple Praxis is all about.
Jared White, creator of Simple Praxis, first came to know Christ at the tender age of 5. Now, over thirty years later, he’s still grappling and wrestling with what it means to know Christ and follow him as Lord.
He’s led Bible studies, launched small groups, played in worship bands, and hosted organic church gatherings over the years, and currently he’s focused on exploring the historical and textual connections between the apostolic activity of the early Church and mindfulness meditation practices (when he’s not writing for Simple Praxis).
Besides spiritual topics, Jared blogs about the open web, essentialism & minimalism, and the geekier aspects of art in pop culture, and hosts a podcast and a vlog on YouTube. (All relevant links here.) For his day job, Jared is a web designer & developer. He lives with his wife, two kids, and two cats in Portland, Oregon.