The Transgressive Spirit: Part 4, "Go, And Do Not Discriminate."

In the story of the second, transgressive Pentecost recounted in Acts 10, Jack Levison makes a fascinating observation in his book Fresh Air.

Levison points out that the Greek word diakrinó is used twice, once in Acts 10.20 in the initial story of Peter going to Cornelius's house, and later in Acts 11.12 as Peter later recounts those events.

Here's how the NRSV translates the two verses, with diakrinó highlighted:
Acts 10.19-20
While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

Acts 11.12
"The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house." 
As you can tell, diakrinó has a range of meanings: to discern, to distinguish between, to hesitate, to waver. As Levison describes it, and as the NRSV translates it, Pete's understanding of the Spirit's message changes from 10.20 to 11.12.

At the start, Peter takes the message to be about hurrying up: Don't hesitate, go with the men who have come for you.

But then the transgressive Pentecost occurs, and Peter witnesses the Spirit fall upon the Gentiles. This event changes how Peter understands the Spirit's calling. The Spirit wasn't saying "hurry up." The Spirit was sending Peter out with the command, "Go, and do not discriminate."

That is the transgressive Spirit at work, sending us out into the world with the command, "Go, and do not discriminate."

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