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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Clarifications

I got a few comments on Facebook, so Id like to clarify a few things in regards to my last post.

1. I, in no way think or meant to imply that if you went to Chick-fil-a today you hate gay people. I don't feel like I said anything that would lead someone to believe that, but if I did I apologize. If you loaded up your family and waited in those long lines to make a statement because you felt led by the Lord, then I'll be the first to say I support you and I'm proud of you. I truly mean that. Now, do I think everyone went there because they were feeling led by God to make this statement, or was it because they secretly thought it made them a "better" Christian? I'm willing to bet there were a lot of both. As Christians, we do have to stand up for our morals and values, but when it's to simply have others look at us and say how holy we are it's a sin. It's called pride, and I'm willing to bet there was a lot of it waiting in line today. Sadly, there's a lot of that lately, but we'll get to that later.

2. I did say that I don't think this is how Jesus would handle the situation and I stick by that. I don't think anyone is wrong for going to show support to CFA, but from my own personal view a lot {not all} Christians handled this situation badly. Here's why: when you read about Jesus in the Bible he was always with the "wrong crowd." He spent his time teaching, loving, and reaching out to people who were lost. {Again, hear me: I am not saying he tolerated their sin. I am saying he loved them in spite of it.} To me, the Pharisees would have been the ones sitting on the sidelines with their waffle fries wondering what on earth Jesus was doing with that guy down the road when he should have been standing in line waiting for his spicy chicken sandwich because it was the "right" thing to do. I think that Jesus was a very radical guy that a lot of us probably wouldn't "get" if we were alive in his time. I always think about how I would respond to some of the stuff he did if I were alive back then. Sure, I would hope that I would totally believe this guy was the Messiah and be on board, but in reality I probably would have been sipping my sweet tea with the Pharisees thinking, "There's no way God would use this guy. He is way too weird." I like to think that is why God allowed me to be born post-Bible being written. I get to know the whole story. Otherwise I probably would have had a hard time believing Jesus was who he claimed to be. Think of me what you will, but I'm just being honest. I think our country is all up in arms over gay marriage and Jesus is up in heaving shouting, "Forget that! Just love on my people! Show them who I really am!" 

Personally, the one way to turn me off to something is to start off by telling me how wrong I am about it. You can ask Justin. If I start to try to do something, and all I hear is how I'm doing it wrong I don't want to do it anymore. I'll quit and that's the end of it. If all people hear from us {"us" being the collective Christian culture} is you can't do this and you can't do that, all the while we have the logs in our own eyes, why on earth would anyone ever believe that God could love and forgive them? I wish there was some way for us to shout, "It's ok to struggle! It's ok to not be ok! He loves you anyway! He wants you to know him anyway!" as a collective group. Don't get me wrong, it is shouted by some. However the voices of those shouting, "You're wrong! We're right!" always seem to be much louder. I think our collective voice has shouted, "You're wrong! We're right!" in this situation, instead of "He loves you no matter what." You see, you can't convince someone that their sin is wrong. The Holy Spirit does that. And how are they ever going to hear about him if all they hear are our shouts of condemnation? They'll never even come close enough to us to hear about his grace.

I just know so many people who fall into the category of not going to church because they feel so unworthy of being there. It breaks my heart. They miss out on God because his people are often {not always} too busy worrying about making themselves look like they got it all together to be honest with the world and show how great His grace is. 

I think for many people {not all} the CFA debacle falls into this category perfectly. If you don't believe that, go look at the Facebook group, "I Support Chick-Fil-A." There's enough condemnation and judgement on that page to make anyone feel unworthy. For a lot of folks, maybe not for you, but for a lot this was one more opportunity to shout, "We are better than you." And even if it wasn't an intentional message, you can bet it was taken that way by many. 

3. Yes, there are a lot of uneducated opinions out there about this, including my own. I try to educated myself on these types of things before I ever weigh in, but I'm not spending hours on it. I am wrong a lot. I own that fact. However, I'm also not jumping on every bandwagon out there "in the name of Jesus." It's ignorant, in my very humble opinion. Let's take Kony 2012, ok? That video was reposted millions of times  by Christians {many of whom are shouting for CFA today}. How many of them knew before that video surfaced that the war in Sudan has been going on for as long as most of us have been alive? IC was started over a decade ago, and has been in and out of the news for the past 9 years that I know of. I first heard of them at Super Summer, and followed their story. It didn't catch mainstream attention then, but put it with the right video director and you've got a cause on your hands. How many people reposted that video because they felt so compelled to do something to help those poor babies, and haven't thought about it since? How many people are up in arms over gay marriage, but fail to be the least bit knowledgeable about situations in Syria or last year in Egypt? Or heck, our own country? How many people actually know the ins and outs of our fledgling economy, our healthcare, or heck even education outside of griping about teacher pay and standardized tests? I'm willing to bet the answer is: not many. Me included. I'm speaking to myself here.

WE HAVE TO START GETTING EDUCATED. Then, get involved. Quit jumping on bandwagons and getting your news from the "trending topics." Learn something before you react. When you are being the collective voice of Christianity, you owe it to God to do your research and seek his wisdom. Just because something or someone claims they're all for Jesus doesn't mean they really are. 

My whole point of my previous post is that if we really want to make a difference we have to start where God did: love. He loved us enough to forgive us and sacrifice his son for us. We should love the people he created enough to forgive them and share with them about his son. They won't let us love on them when we're shouting, "You're wrong!" though. You show compassion and love first, then let the Holy Spirit do his job. It's great to stand up for causes we believe in, but don't let the cause overshadow his glory. 

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