This week my I was forwarded an email labeled “The Mark of the Beast.” (Snopes describes the content and lies of this message here.)


I have not yet replied to the person who forwarded it to me (he should have known better)… I am tempted to quote scripture such as Matthew 25, and James 1, regarding what true Christianity is.


But aside from that, the message served as a yet another warning of the dangers of Biblical literalism. I am reminded once again why I am not a “fundamentalist”. It is not that I do not believe in certain foundational ideas of Christianity. I just cannot go along with all the peripheral issues that mainstream North American Christians like to package with those foundational beliefs… as if believing the “Left Behind” series was crucial to one’s salvation.


For those of us, like Joni and Brandon, along with me, who are still facing big questions about the place of LGBT persons in the Kingdom of God, it should be encouraging to realize that the Biblical narrative is not simply a manual for life. It is the story of God’s gracious and merciful interaction with the human race, His love for each one of us, and His heart for justice.


The mark of the beast had little to do with biochips inserted under people’s skin, and everything to do with injustice, “unmercy”, and lack of compassion.