We must not leave an interpretation of scripture
until we have found a compassionate interpretation of it.
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine and I agree to disagree on many things …. but we are unanimous on this! If anything would get us both through the Pearly Gates, holding to this precept would trump a lot of sins!
I would also say that this is a very Episcopalian/Anglican thought. It reflects what I have often said about “scripture”: that we don’t interpret Jesus through the Scriptures, but the Scriptures through Jesus … through His love and compassion and justice and His trust in the God Who is Love. I’ve tried to live and preach this most of my Life. If what people say about God from the Christian scriptures doesn’t sound like Jesus, I either set it aside, or try to follow Augustine and not let it go until there is a compassionate interpretation of it.
Biblical interpretation causes a lot of hatred and divisiveness and alienation in the human community these days. I do not believe that this is “God’s Will”. Jesus’ “high priestly prayer” in the Gospel call John is, May they be one, as You and I are One”. To interpret this as meaning that all must be members of what is now called the Christian Church would, in my view, not be a “compassionate interpretation”. To understand it as meaning that we should all be members of the Company of Love would be.
I do not think that the Kingdom of God will ever come as some form of denominational/religious uniformity. It will come as we love one another.