Thursday, October 4, 2012

Striving Against the Right Wing in Christianity

I don't know how Christians think they are supposed to reach the unbelieving world when they constantly belittle and disrespect the unbelievers in their own country.

 Forget for a second, the ideology.  Forget the opinion that business should be of primary importance in the economy.  Forget the view that government should operate with no debt.  Forget the idea that greed is good or that poor people are moochers or that black people only vote for Obama because he's black.  Forget all that.

How do you reach someone?  How do you get someone to come over to your point of view.  How do you dispel myths about your position and draw people into your enlightened way of being?  Do you do it through insults?  Do you mock them into seeing things your way?

 Jesus said you are supposed to love them and by your love, they will know that you are his disciples.  And he was all about making new disciples.  'Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them all that I have commanded you, and I will be with you always.'

For some reason, and I can't figure out why this is the case, but people who call themselves Christians are making right asses of themselves today.  Assume for a minute that their political opponents, the Democrats are among the unbelievers they should be so desperate to lead to Christ.  Then why are they so vehement in their ridicule and dishonorable speech?

 I don't say these things lightly.  I have struggled with calling myself a Christian for several years now, going back and forth.  Today one of my pastors compared our president Barack (a name which means blessing) Obama to Chewbacca from Star Wars.  Why are Christians so vicious today?  It's one thing to disagree with people, I do it all the time.  But there is no need for this name calling and flatly dishonorable behavior.

Are you against abortion?  Great!  That's fantastic, but how can you be most effective?  Is it by standing outside an abortion clinic hurling insults at poor women who come trying to escape their problems?  I'll tell you this.  Pro-life liberals get way more positive attention and frankly, they get way more done.  The enemy is not going to let you into his castle to pry the ears of his advisers.  But if he's not your enemy, he'll let you in and offer you a meal and let you try to change his mind.

 Paul had some great things to say about how you reach people.

"For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became mas one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings."

Is it possible that Paul in his wisdom may have said something like "to the Democrats, I became as a Democrat for the sake of the gospel that I may share with them in its blessings"?  That sounds like something he might say, if he were a republican which I dare say he wouldn't be.

I am in a tough spot.  I have been in a tough spot for a number of years.  I feel uncomfortable where I am.  Though my service is strenuous and valuable, I feel like I'm working with the wrong people.  I have become more and more withdrawn because the words of my 'friends' and associates are so repulsive to me.  I feel like it's all coming to a head.  I feel like if my small group leader says that 'all these regulations are in the way' again, I'm going to burst.  And I'll tell you this much, if my church participates in 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday' I will be leaving it.  Because you don't draw people to the truth with hateful and insulting language.  You don't win people to your side with partisan bickering.  Jesus hung out with hookers and tax cheats, sailors and radicals.  And all he told them to do was stop sinning.  That's it.  Not that they were bad people.  Not that they were ruining their country.  Not that they were a drag on society.  And he didn't compare them to hairy creatures whose speech nobody understands.

No comments: