Am I allowed to rant?
I suppose so, it is after all my blog and so I’m going to rant.
I’m fed up.
So what is it that it that I’m so fed up with? What is it that makes me at times want to stop identifying with the word ‘Christian’? It’s the mass hysteria so many christians get all frenzied up about. It’s the posting on Facebook to express how persecution is coming to America and posts some obscure article to prove it.
Usually the article talks about some big government move by some big horrible liberal politician and then explains how important it is that us Christians step up and fight this down! The ironic part? Often, these articles don’t tell the whole story. They just pick out parts that suit their needs to get their audience all riled up for no good reason.
I wonder if I can find an article….oh wait here we go!
It wasn’t long before I saw articles like this one all over my feed with christians posting the links with headings like “We warned you” “I called it” “This is the first step to our persecution” blah blah blah.
I’ll be honest, at the beginning of this story breaking I was concerned myself. Are politicians really trying to snuff out a pastor’s right to free speech? Can this really be happening? The answer…no it’s not happening. Articles like this (http://americanvision.org/11407/houston-demanding-oversight-pastors-sermons/) tell a much bigger part of the story and explain how what is happening in Texas is common law practice.
But this post isn’t about this story necessarily.
It’s about 2 things.
First, It’s about the deceptive nature of some christian conservative news outlets. I see it all the time on my feed. Some obscure news website that panders to an only christian conservative worldview will purposefully twist words and leave out necessary points to a story to rile up people into thinking that Christians in the states are being persecuted. It really blows my mind to see some self-proclaimed christian news sites being so deceptive either intentionally or unintentionally. I mean when Jesus tells us to be honest, to be people of peace, and to be salt to the world, I think the last thing he had in mind was “go ahead and rile people up with half baked truths”. The hypocrisy between their name and their actions is so glaring, I can’t believe other christians actually find them legitimate news sources.
Second, Christians are still at war with the wrong thing. Perhaps to be the bigger issue here is the kind of wording I was seeing with Christians replying to the story I posted above. This verbage of fighting the good fight, standing up for our rights, fighting till the end, are all extremely anti-Jesus. Paul talks about losing our rights as Christians, Jesus calls the peacemakers blessed, and Paul also tells us that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood. How do we miss this?
Let me share with you some quotes regarding the story I shared above. And I’m going to respond to them underneath of each one These were taken from Charismanews
“In light of this egregious example of gay-activist bullying—the very kind that I and others have documented for years now—I urge every pastor in the city of Houston to address the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism this Sunday, announcing this for the entire world to hear but at the same time, refusing to obey the unrighteous decree of Mayor Parker’s office to turn your sermons over for government scrutiny. (This should be done respectfully, in the spirit of Acts 4:19-20; 5:28-29.)”
I really wonder if Paul, or any of the disciples felt bullied and what their responses were. After all they lived in an extremely oppressive culture and most of them all died pretty terrible deaths by the hands of governments. Yet Paul says it’s a joy to be persecuted for the faith. The disciples willing went to death for the sake of the gospel. No where do we read in the Bible “This oppression is wrong so I have become a politician to ensure my rights”. So many of my fundamentalist friends have no problem claiming to go only by the word of God….but then have no problem fighting with other humans for what they deem are their “rights”. Yes, legally we all have rights, which is why no one is in jail for their beliefs, but even if they were…would that give us a right to make enemies with people? After all, Jesus said that the two most important commands that every other command hinges on is to Love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Notice here that the most important command is not to tell gay people they are super sinful. Notice how the most important command is not to wage war on people.
“I also urge every congregational member in Houston to tell your pastors that you are standing with them, encouraging them to stand up for what is right in the face of bullying and intimidation.”
Yes, a legal request has become bullying? Urging the congregation to stand up for what is right? This kind of talk just draws a bigger line in the sand.
I don’t know how much clearer the Scriptures make it. Jesus was a friend of people who had problems. Jesus calls us to be his hands and feet when He is not here. Nowhere in Scripture do we see Jesus getting political, or campaigning for his rights.
What if (and it’s a big what if). What if those Texan pastors requested lunch with the mayor? What if they requested a meeting with her to hear her side of the story, hear where she is coming from and asked the mayor to hear them out and see where they are coming from to get better clarity on an issue that has divided so many.These pastors have a chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone directly and instead they are throwing it away because they were taught that there is a huge culture war and it’s their job to fight for good morals in the world. (Hint: It’s the wrong battle)
You don’t change people by legislation and you certainly don’t change them by telling them how to live their life. Life change is a fruit of a relationship with the Holy spirit. If there’s no holy spirit then you can’t expect life change and guess what our job is in this? To introduce people to Jesus. That’s it. It’s not our job to judge the world, it’s not our job to tell people (especially those who are not Christians) how to live their life. It’s our job to be the tangible hands and feet of Jesus and to tell the world that there is hope.
To the Christians who insist on waging war on humans even though the Scriptures tell us not to; it’s time to start building bridges to reach lost people, not burning them. I never want to be the reason why someone turned away from Jesus and his infinite mercy and grace that he extends to every human.
Let me put it this way (and I’ve said this before). If you tell a person how they’re living is wrong, that they need to change or else, and that person dies without knowing Jesus, you still failed your mission. Our mission was never, ever, ever, EVER, to become American Pharisees, but to humble ourselves before others to show them the hope we have found in Jesus.