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Archive for April, 2012

I just finished another great book a few days ago, based on a documentary, called “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers” by Dan Merchant. I have not seen the movie yet, but want to in the near future.  And  interestingly enough, there is mention of the book, “Blue Like Jazz” in it, and its opening weekend for that movie (I have not read the book yet, but it’s on the list to read soon).  Anyway,  Dan Merchant addresses a topic, that is one of those things that has bothered me for some time: Why is the Gospel of Love dividing America?  The major theme that I got out of it was that much of the division is stemming from a serious breakdown of communication. Basically people want to be heard, and they don’t want to listen because THEY are right and the other person is wrong.  It hit home in quite a few areas, and I realized just how  much I agreed with his findings on his 2 year experiment as “Bumper Sticker Man”.

I cannot count how many times I found myself talking with others, especially those with differing opinions, and discounted what they were trying to say. Whether it’s politics or religion, or whatever. I was right, they were wrong…obviously they were ignorant or stupid or something for them not to realize how right I was! But the more I grow in my relationship with God, the more I just feel that there is something wrong with that attitude. I see it in others on Facebook, at church, at the store…wherever, and it just feels so wrong…like we are missing something that can make a huge difference in a lot of lives.

We spend so much time dividing ourselves in our politics, religion and morals that we create exclusive cliques in our lives…nothing more than high school translated into adult lives. I have my own opinions, that don’t necessary jive with mainstream Christianity, but I hope that I do not isolate myself … I hope to get to know people for who they are, and love them where they are at.

Let me make this clear, I am a follower of Jesus, I do not identify politically with either side, (and in all honesty, my voter’s registration card does say republican, but that is because I haven’t changed it since all this stuff God has been showing me the past few years lol Reading the book mentioned, and some of the previous books that I wrote about in my other blogs, makes me think about the inconsistencies in mainstream Christianity. These things bother me on some level…and its just something to think about.

Growing up in small town Oklahoma, I learned a lot about being a “Christian” (and don’t get me wrong, I am thankful some friends did bother to let me tag along to church, because there were positive seeds planted too). Oh, and I hope that you do see the humor in this description lol. I learned that everyone who did not attend the FBC (ahem, Southern Baptist church) was either a little weird because they went to another denomination(and you were really weird if you were a Catholic or Mormon) or quite possibly godless.  If you were popular you could party all weekend, show up on Sunday, and it was all good. If you had the blessing of going to church camp, you got to hear all the rumors of the “sinning” that was happening. If you were a girl, (and not popular or pretty) you avoided a certain bridge at this camp where guys would rate you…and had the possibility of getting barked at in the face by a guy (which happened! LOL) You could get saved every week, or at least at every youth rally. If you made the True Love Waits commitment, you were one of the good kids. If you happen to “accidentally” break that commitment , you didn’t dare tell your friends (at least the ones who went to church) because everyone knows that if you have sex before you were married you were a slut. The only way it was ok to talk about homosexuality was if you were calling someone derogatory names or talking about bashing them. Atheists, well we prayed for them a lot because they were on their way to hell and they had no morals. Oh, and most importantly, Christians were republican and members of the NRA and pro-life.

Now, like I said, there were some positive things that I did learn, but there were things like these that on some level just bothered me. What is disturbing to me, is that there is plenty of this crap going on, with ADULTS in churches today! I don’t want to assume that I know what Jesus would do in certain situations, but here is what I THINK after reading this book and others recently:  Jesus probably would not have been republican or democrat. Jesus would not be a member of the NRA. Jesus would have been pro-life in the deepest sense…He would love on the women who got the abortions because of their need for Him and their hurts (not that He was approving of what they chose, but because He sees their deepest needs), And in the course of being pro-life, that would likely have meant anti-war, anti-violence (how can we “love our neighbor” and hurt/kill them), and Jesus would be hanging out with the homosexuals and Atheists, because He loves them too.

I don’t write these things to argue theology. I write them because after reading this book, it is not important for me to be “right”.  At some point we have to choose to be adults, and be mature enough to talk about the issues without having to be right. I think there is hope that we can discuss things and try to see the other points of view without  it turning in to a huge debate or argument. There are so many things, especially in Christianity, that make us passionate, and its easy to push everyone else aside.  I guess I find myself in a place, where I am stepping out of the line…along with some others, saying “there must be a better way.” I am realizing that I can be confident in my walk with Christ, and that others are not a threat to it. There are real, live people on the other sides of these issues and regardless of whether or not they give me the same courtesy or not, I can choose to hear their side. I can hear THEIR passion, I can see THEIR hurts, and see God in THEM. I can choose to step away from the norm of being right, and walk on the path that leads to Love. If I am going to truly love people for who they are , then I need to see them as God sees them.

So those were my thoughts on that matter. May we all choose to see people how Jesus sees them.

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