Recently, I shared a link to a piece that I read online via social media. The title of the piece is “Real Christianity vs. Whatever The Heck It Is Conservatives Actually Follow.” Having shared that, I received varying types and levels of feedback, and I want to be clear about my feelings on the topic and perhaps focus more clearly on my thoughts, versus the broad brush with which the author painted his opinions.
When the author of that article dubbed his interpretation of modern day Christianity as “Republicanity,” that is where we diverged. Generalities, broad brushes, and hyperbole are poison darts that promote division versus conversation. They drive stakes instead of finding common ground. That is not my intent. My hope is to create awareness of fear and hate and challenge each of us (myself absolutely included) to operate out of places of love and a desire for community.
I was gratified to get a call from a friend this morning who is, in many ways, politically differently leaning from myself. It is someone whom I greatly respect, and I was impressed with her willingness to have a chat about the parts of the article with which she agreed, instead of focusing on our differences (which we did acknowledge). Lorraine (a name chosen for her to protect the innocent) pointed out that Christianity, as she sees it in so many circles today, is twisted to persecute groups of people and individuals versus the message of Christ. She said she was raised in a church environment that was rigid and disallowed differences. She also said that we have more knowledge today versus in the times before and during the life of Jesus medically. She acknowledged that people are as God made them, and we have no right to dictate how people live or whom they love. I really love Lorraine’s perspective and her blunt way of communicating.
While Lorraine and I disagree about some things politically, we come together in our belief that we need to relate to each other individually and not through a lens that groups people in herds. When we see people in herds, we can easily develop a culture of fear. We can easily judge each other for broad statements of belief. We pin ourselves into corners of difference, and we all know what happens when we feel pinned into corners. We come out fighting and defensive. It is in our DNA. In the absence of the availability of flight, we fight.
My ongoing challenge to myself and to you is that we work hard not to promote a culture of fear or judgment or hate. We can love each other (one of the two final charges of Jesus) without focusing on how different we are. We can choose to be out of the box, versus in it.
In the end, I am happier when I feel free. I am happier when I seek community and relationship. Those relationships cannot exist solely with people who are like me. That would be boring. It is far more interesting to have a variety of people in my life with a myriad of interests and experiences. It is far more exhilarating to learn about the perspectives of other people and how they are uniquely made.
I would love to hear from you on your thoughts and how you can individually contribute to a more uniting conversation and your thoughts on my content. If you are so inclined, please feel free to share this post with others. If not, I am genuinely interested in why. In either case, I hope you’ll share thoughts in the comments below or contact me directly. Tomorrow Begins Today.