My blogs about my personal life tend to be more popular than the ones about my spiritual life (even though that is very, uh, personal to me) and I’ve struggled with weeks to write this. I’ve opened and closed this WordPress tab for a couple of weeks now, typing, deleting, researching, deleting, re-typing, closing the tab, on and on and on. I’ve started about 3 other entries about other things from gaining weight to dating to sobriety as a distraction to this post. Finally, I yelled at (notice “at” and not “to”… sorry, Jesus…) God to help me finish THIS damn entry if that’s what He needs me to do. Then I took a nap, grumbling something about how messed up everything is…
When I awoke from my inappropriately long and deep slumber, I had a new like on Instagram from a stranger with nicely edited family photos, a handsome husband, and some good looking smiley kids. Instantly, I rolled my eyes when I saw she was a “blogger” and “Christian” and ughhh…. Regardless, I scrolled through her feed and was SHOOK.
Here was a picture-perfect Christian and she was being critical of the church and talking about colonialism, racism, and the Doctrine of Discovery.
She spoke about people WEAPONZING the Bible and how like, unBiblical that actually is.
Cue the heart-eye emoji’s.
Anyway, seeing someone be unhappy with the state of the Christian church gave me the guts to write this and post this now.
I’m not usually very good at being a cliche judgmental Christian that everyone likes to pigeon-hole Christians as so, lemme try it on this post.
If you are Christian and all your friends are Christian, you are not a “good” Christian.
If you are Christian and all your friends are not Christian, you are not a “good” Christian.
But fear not, God loves you anyway.
(Okay, that made me feel sufficiently gross so I think I came off judge-y enough. What do you think?)
With all of the hate and violence in the world, people of faith want to condemn people that don’t believe like them and blame them for being part of the problem, if not THE Problem. They change the conversation to a political one, a moral one, a rigid rule-abiding one.
My very kind and unsolicited advice is for Christians to not be involved in politics, AT ALL. Be involved in humanity. Be involved in your neighborhood, in your workplace. IN YOUR OWN DAMN FAMILY.
“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”
― Maya Angelou
A long time ago, a pastor I was listening to (can’t remember who) called upon Christians to stop trying to legislate morality. YOU CANNOT LEGISLATE THE BIBLE. The entire New Testament came about because God saw that we humans sucked at following Old Testament Laws. The Pharisees completely manipulated and perverted God’s love in order to control a population with rules and punishment. Jesus wasn’t a fan of this AT ALL. He wanted redemption and relationship with everyone who wanted it.
Definition of everyone: Every person.
In the end, the only thing that will cause a deep and effective change is the way that we love each other. God is judging us on the condition of our heart, anyway. If we have a God that has so mercifully and graciously loved and forgiven us, shouldn’t we also be doing the same for those that sin against us? That don’t look like us, behave like us, think like us, believe like us?
I am not being a very good Christian if I only love the people that love me. I am commanded to even love those that look like my enemies. These days, people think an enemy is someone that doesn’t look, think, or act like them. *Eye roll* Anyway, look, it says so right here:
Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[a] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![b] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[c] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Now, I have a lot of radically liberal friends (and yes, I have some crazy conservative ones, too) and I LOVE THEM ALL but I can totally see them both wagging their fingers and shaking their heads at me and saying, “THIS is part of the problem, silence IS complicity, YOU are now a Nazi, YOU are now a LIBTARD, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!”
I can say with a pretty clear conscience and absolute certainty that I am actually not the problem. If I were the problem, I would be quite impressed at the severity of which I had fucked up this world and impressed I could create such stupid big problems. Politics are in fact, a huge problem. It is a problem of division. A problem of corruption. A problem of brokenness. A problem of “us versus them.” While I am an amazing Creator of Problems (thanks to self-will and alcoholism), they do tend to be more personal in nature and not actually as offputting and soul-crushing as modern day Christianity in politics.
Also, I want to say that The Problem is that people are surrounding themselves with people that think like them WAY. TOO. MUCH. If you are Christian and all your friends are super soft and comfy Conservative right-wingers, how much will you learn about the struggles of your fellow brothers and sisters in (and out) of Christ? How will you be able to better learn to love them?
If you are a Christian and you have zero Christian friends, go get some. Delve into the Bible with a thirst for learning HOW to love and HOW to be a better “little Christ” that walks this earth. That is literally ALL we are called to do.
Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”
See? SEE?? DO YOU SEE?
Anyway, then I found this which also gave me confirmation that maybe I’m not an altogether terrible person for hating Christianity in politics:
“For now though, as Christ followers, we need to be less concerned with whether our faith has the most influence on legislation and more concerned about walking in our calling to be witnesses of Jesus in this world through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).” (https://relevantmagazine.com/article/the-biblical-case-against-legislating-morality/)