I never know what to write about after a blog post like yesterday, one that seems to connect with a lot of people. Because no matter what the post was/is about, within a few hours, we’re all sick and tired of seeing the topic show up in our feeds, let alone putting forth the energy to keep talking and caring about it. The current topic is no different. Though there are a handful of readers still hashing it out on my blog (and the country at large is still making it trend on Twitter), most of us are feeling hungover after yesterday’s buzz. I know I am.
Many of those who read yesterday’s post and then ripped me a new one in the comment section or via email (which is fine—I can take it!) alluded to the fact that yesterday’s uproar was about far more than just the topic at hand. According to them, yesterday was about fighting for basic liberties and religious freedom. For some, it was about standing up for God’s Word and for the values that they believe to be holy. Many of them suggested that they were tired of the media beating them down for what they believe.
Lots of people mentioned that last frustration. Which I can understand. Some members of the media can be hard (and even cruel) toward religious folks. While I don’t believe there’s some grand conspiracy against Christianity, Jesus, and God, I do think that some media folks go out of their way to make Christians look like buffoons. But I also think that we Christians often make buffoons of ourselves. However, that said, I get it. A whole bunch of Christians feel attacked and beat up by the media. And if the tones of their comments is any indication, some of them are angry, some are just cynical, and some are exhausted.
And again, I hear that. In fact, it makes a lot of sense to me. Moreover, it’s one of the reasons I believe the Church should be careful and concerned about how it engages cultural dialogue; because beat up people beat up people. And we the Church beat up a lot of people. While I don’t expect all of us to understand that, the truth is, some of us Christians are just a little difficult to get along with and at times. In fact, some of us so hurt and angry and feeling beat-up that we are downright careless in our attempts to make our points. And many of us can be especially cruel toward those with whom we disagree.
Friends, though you and I might disagree on things like theologies, politics, and other cultural matters, what we can unite on is our common belief that Jesus saves and is making all things new.
But uproars like yesterday’s big topic often make me wonder if any of us really believe that Jesus saves or if Jesus has any earthly worth at all. Because if we did believe that Jesus saved, we’d showcase faith void of fear and fear tactics. We’d use scripture to build up and promote God’s love rather than a stake to be tied to come hell or high-water. And if we truly believed that Jesus saves we’d join his cause of “making things new.” We’d stop blaming everybody else for our circumstances. We’d look in the mirror and self reflect. We’d stop using God as an excuse (or crutch) to say all kinds of mean and/or hateful things about other people. And we’d include a little bit of humility in our words and opinions. Why? Because we might be wrong. Which is what makes our faith faith.
Did Jesus ask the Church to wage wars against people? I don’t think so. Now, our Christian history might suggest otherwise but always fighting with each other wasn’t Jesus’s original plan. According to the Apostle Paul, our enemies are not made of flesh and blood.
Yet sadly, after yesterday, there are a lot of gay Americans who feel beat up. And there are a lot of black Americans who feel beat up. And not just by the comments from an old man with a long beard, either; but by Church people, so-called followers of Jesus.
Many of those who didn’t like what I wrote yesterday made a very good point. Yesterday was indeed about far than the topic at hand. It was about people. Lots of people. Hurt people. And hurt people who hurt people.
People that I believe were created by God and loved passionately by God.
And that’s something that seems to get lost amid today’s social media battles, that we are all people, made by God, loved by God.