Monday, June 13, 2016

Weighing In

Fortunately for your sake, I am not physically weighing in. In fact, if we were to start talking about my weight I would get suddenly very crabby because that whole issue is frustrating me to no end lately.

I'm actually going to weigh in on my opinions on all of the outrage and polarization that is happening across our nation in regards to many issues. I am not going to link this post to my Facebook, because I don't want to start an argument. I simply want to point out a few things. I do NOT consider myself a liberal. But I cannot align myself with conservatives either. And if I say I'm in the middle that makes both sides respect me less.

But here is what I know:

1. We are breaking the heart of Jesus. When He prayed for us in John 17 (yes, that's us -- all who would believe in Him in the years to come, He said this:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

He had a plan as to how the world was going to know about Him.... and it was through our unity. Across the church today, where we are being polarized by a different issue every day, we are demonstrating the opposite of unity to the world.

2. If the song "They'll Know We Are Christians by our Love" is true, they're never going to know. Love is what is supposed to characterize us. Love is what we are supposed to be demonstrating. It's supposed to be our trademark. Yes, the Bible says that the world is going to hate us.... but it certainly doesn't say that we are supposed to hate the world. Sometimes people have gotten that a bit messed up.

3. Grace wins. And it should be given to everyone. To those who disagree with us, to those who have been harmed, to those who do the harming. This is where polarizing does so much damage. If I love one side, I hate the other. I can't offer grace to both... but this is what I believe God is calling us to do....

4. Finally, we have become a society where our opinions are only expressed in writing for the world to see. We don't have conversations about important things any more.... we simply post a link to our Facebook, or retweet something. We believe we are taking a stand, but really we are hiding behind the opinions of others and the computer screen. (Of course, you could say I am doing the same thing here, but if you are around me in person, you know I don't shy away from crucial conversations).

It's time for the church to find things we have in common, and unfortunately, grace and love don't seem to be those things. So maybe it's time for all of us.... the left, the right, and the middle to come together and realize that this polarization is killing us. It's time to remember that Christian has the word Christ in it and that Jesus was the embodiment of love, compassion and grace... to everyone, not just a few.

And equally important to us understanding that everyone in the world needs our love and grace, we need to recognize that fellow Christians also do, regardless of whether or not we agree with them.

I shouldn't have to be considered a liberal if I post "Love wins" to my Facebook. It pretty much sums up the philosophy of the man whose name I carry every time I call myself a Christian.

1 comment:

Robert Day said...

The "moderate middle" is going the way of the middle's disappearing. Everyone is pressured more and more to take extreme sides. I find there is a lot more "and" in the Bible than "or" - Truth "and" Grace comes to mind. It's growing uncomfortable in the middle because of oppressive intolerance from both sides. Just remember, error always comes in pairs of opposites.