Nov 19, 2008

rant: this really isn't another political post

Cute, eh? Of course, only because we're all so burnt out on political ads. It was reported that the highest amount of money ever was spent on ad campaigns for this election, and almost every one seemed like a jab against another in order. Apparently we believe you make youself look better by making another look worse... which gets back to the childhood kind of thinking.

I recently found this website that allows you to manipulate an ad to show how easy it is to make a candidate sound great or awful. Even MTV decided to let its airwaves finally allow political ads - something that they've never done up until this particular election. Hmm.

In light of all of that (and on the heels of my last post), I have a bit of a rant...

I have a hard time when Christians are quick to demolish others with their words, fists, and fingers (whether they're pointing, or, well, being used as a profane symbol). Not that anyone asked me to do that, but man... what if instead of just avoiding that we chose to run in the other direction more often that we do?

There comes a point when you have to stand for the essentials, but I don't believe that means the goal is to destroy or belittle others in the process. It's easy to promote yourself by being against things... it's harder (yet more authentic) to promote what you are for and let that be enough. I've seen this in way too many churches, including new ones that try to establish a draw by talking about all the things they aren't - "We're not like those guys over there," they'll begin, "because they are stuffy and we are hip."

Unfortunately, this isn't anything new under the sun. Some of the early church fathers missed the boat when Catholics and Protestants spent a lot of time making snarky pictures of each other to make their points. Ironically, it was often the same picture... like a "fraid not," "fraid so" mentality.

Although both sides claimed to be the true church of Christ, their little sketches seemed to be less about reconciliation and more about manipulation... in many cases it was less about God and more an almost political struggle of who was right. I'm sure the goal started out well, but quite a few historians have cited these pictures as being more about control than theology - they had all the appearance of morality, yet by hardening their hearts they were actually denying its power.

Obviously, I write that as a Christ-follower who lives a "perfect" life and never puts anyone down.

*cough, cough*


But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (Jude 1:17-19; KJV)

If that is you or I today, may we begin a new way of living starting now. It would seem God has provided a Way that embraces Truth and Grace and Love at the same time... not one at the expense of another. Yes, Jesus did say that He came to bring division... but that's His job, and it seems everwhere else I read in the Bible of someone causing division in the Church on purpose there are harsh words provided.

Conservatives? Liberals? Moderates? Writers? Rappers? Actors? Comedians? Pastors? Priests? Skinheads? Televangelists? All have something in common - they all believe that have a distinct version of the truth... but it takes the individual to really care and really readjust to what the truth is beyond what he/she thinks it is. Maybe it's easy to be a bully and a critic - to deconstruct instead of reconstruct... some may even gain a national radio audience off of it, but that doesn't make it right.

Again, I'm not perfect in this... but I won't use that as an excuse to try.

I am secure in that insecure journey, for I no longer feel the need to prove myself. I'm just tired of all the work that we can spend belittling others instead of joining God where He is working and celebrating that together.

Whether that's a "denomination," "village," "friendship," "network," "association," or a streak of "independence."