Friday, January 29, 2010

They will know we are Christians....

I'm real done with the general public display of nastiness spewed by the people who are supposed to be characterized and KNOWN by their love for others.

I'm not saying to agree with things you believe are wrong. I'm not saying to roll over and play dead when you don't like what is happening in your community, or your world. I'm not saying to shut up when you have something to say (though maybe my mom was the only one who taught if you couldn't say something nice don't say it at all...)
The Jesus i'm trying to follow surely would not have been in support of or done any of those things.


I am grieved and disgusted, as unfortunately seems to be the pattern especially after an election, by the outpouring of malice, cynicism, and hatred towards our fellow man, who just so happens to disagree with "our" particular point of view.

"WE", who are called to be beacons of hope, love, and light to this broken dying world, spend our time recruiting people to join "i hate Obama" groups instead of to charities bringing healing and life to precious Haitians recovering from unthinkable disaster.
(think i remember something about respecting and honoring the rulers God himself has allowed to be in authority...)

"WE", who are supposed to lead the way for peace and reconciliation, burn bridges by maliciously attacking and spitefully name calling those who believe differently, choose differently, VOTE differently than us. I can't count how many times i've read something to the affect of "those idiots..." in the past week or so.
("If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men..." right?)

"WE", who are supposed to BE Christ's hands and feet to a world who needs him more today seemingly than every before, all but completely distort the salvation and grace that was first extended to us. This grace that is "unmerited favor" extended to us.

"We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
Acts 15:10-12

Wikepedia writes:
The principle of grace is considered as fundamental to Christianity as justice is to Law. The terms “salvation” and “grace” therefore become virtually synonymous.

Living as people of grace is "fundamental" to our belief system. FUNDAMENTAL.

The message puts it so beautifully.
All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.
Romans 5:19-21

That sounds immeasurably more attractive to me than the typical American Christian way of life and what i am inundated with on Facebook.

A few moments ago, Ella and her friend bounded down the stairs to "tell me something". They wanted me to know that they had a disagreement while playing a game together, but not to worry cause they worked it out and said they were sorry and everything was fine. Because "being friends is better than being right".

Uh. These are preschoolers. Where do we go wrong after 5?

I just am weary of all of it. And find myself continually distancing myself from this demographic that is supposed to be my brothers and sisters.

So church. What now? Will we continue to let our anger- while perhaps at times righteous- give birth to ugliness and sin? Or will we let the matchless grace that has been showered upon us bring forth incomprehensible love to our neighbor?

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Colossians 4:5-7

I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
Romans 12:2-4


Dave Ketah said...

I very much appreciate your passion on this. One thing I was thinking while reading through this is that many people whose lives you see this offense carried out in, probably are somewhat unaware of its existence in their lives. Yeah, I'm sure that it is pretty obvious that they are intentional about doing it. On the other hand, people are masters at only processing information that affirms their point of view, righteousness, etc., and ignoring or justifying anything that opposes these. That said, I think that they need to be confronted individually, if you have that kind of relationship with them. If not, well, I suppose all you can do is rant about it on your blog. Again, I appreciate the rant! :)

Mike said...

Rachel - I appreciate your heart in this post!

rachel said...

Thanks guys.

Yeah Dave, i actually was thinking of your recent facebook postings and appreciating that you did present your opinions and thoughts with grace. Thank you.
I didn't say so in my post in the spirit of keeping it anonymous both ways.

And i get what you are saying about confronting. I just really don't feel like i have that kind of relationship with the people who come to mind. And to tell you the truth, i'm real cynical about the effectiveness of any comments or confrontation i'd make anyway.

There's me again. Always half empty.

Dave Ketah said...

Thanks! I have really been trying. I'm such an opinionated person (no, really), and my opinions have often caused problems for me. Rather, the way I voice my opinions has often been polarizing. I just really want to be able to dialogue, even if my opinions disagree with where other people are. It is really hard for me. All that to say thank you for the affirmation.

On 'confronting', agreed. More often than not, it seems, we don't get to have that kind of interaction because we don't have the type of relationship with those who 'offend' that would make such a thing appropriate or feel natural.

I'm glad to have had the opportunity to dialogue with you on this subject, thanks!

Sometimes the glass IS half-empty.

rachel said...


seems so to us at least. There are others who would disagree, i'm sure.

Also- totally identify with the strong opinion/polarizing thing. (i've been told i do that at on a regular basis)

Working on it. You know. With about a million other things.

Nice work in your personal progress!