There’s a lot going on in the blogosphere lately. Some hot topics are gaining more momentum and traffic to those discussions is booming. It’s so easy to frantically type a comment and hit ‘publish’ without wisdom and grace. My heart breaks over the amount of Christian Sisters who quickly cut into one another with harsh words and I’m not sure they even realize how much it hurts. No matter what you think the ‘truth’ is, can we practice speaking the truth with grace? Maybe we can hold off on commenting until at least 24 hours later?
In the past few years, I have watched bloggy friendships grow and flourish..until they disagree on something. Is the basis of our friendships based on how much we agree with one another? If we make the foundation of our relationships based on agreeing with one another then we are on shaky quick sand. No one should be made to feel like they are walking on quick sand in a friendship…like walking on eggshells…not sure when they’ll be dumped. That’s not a friendship. It’s not genuine love to make someone be afraid to lose your friendship if they disagree about something.
Then there are those who heap big heavy yokes on you. Those who want to make you feel responsible for someone else’s journey…it’s a shame tactic they use to make you remain silent about your beliefs, journey, opinions, and your heart. It also reveals that those people really think your readers are mindless zombies who only follow your every word to the letter.
There’s a cliche that is used quite often…”God doesn’t want you to be a robot.”…but I think that some Christians would prefer that we were robots…only living out our lives and giving responses that we’re programmed to make….according to their interpretation of the bible.
In my many years of ministry to the “down and out” of our community and in our online communities, I can say without hesitation, that many people think they know exactly how to preach to every type of people in the world…yet they have not walked in our shoes. If a drug addict who is wrestling with sobriety feels like they can’t approach you for help without you heaping condemnation on them, you will not be able to share your message of hope. Jesus came to bring us HOPE, not condemnation. We already have enough condemnation in the world as it is. People were called Christians because they were little christ’s carrying the Light to the world.
Condemnation is not Light.
Drug addicts already know their choices are destroying them, they need compassionate and patient little christ’s to shine the Light of love. They need practical advice, not condemning dogma of religion. They may even need medical attention, not a public ‘stoning’ of shame.
So now that I have used a pretty obvious issue, drug addiction, as an example..let’s hit this topic a bit closer to home.
Homosexuality, paganism, atheism, and gluttony.
These are some hot topic issues that Christians are facing today and these issues are not going to disappear. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe God sent people like this into our lives to teach us a lesson in humility?
Some Christians are quick to condemn a gay couple entering their church, but they wouldn’t dare tell the overweight church soloist that she is only allowed to eat from the salad bar at their Sunday potluck. That would be bad manners, right? Think about it.
Is there such thing as a gay Christian? Well, is there such thing as an overweight Christian? How about a self righteous Christian? Want to go back a few generations? Is there such thing as a Black Christian or are they still destined for hell because of the color of their skin? See how we have grown over the ages?
We have absolutely no right judging a person’s heart. Even Jesus was amazed at the heart of the soldier who smote his breast and asked for mercy. Serena Woods describes Jesus as the Savior who holds the hair of a drunk woman as she vomits.
I view Jesus as the Savior who embraces humanity. He loves the gay as equally as he loves the church soloist who has some weight issues. He loves the self righteous preacher who condemns the gay couple. He loves the pagan who beats the drum during their rituals. But do you see who he takes up an issue with in the bible? The ones who make it hard for gays, pagans, gluttons, and addicts to get to know him.
It is in my opinion that if he were here in the flesh today he’d simply say, “Back off.”
Give people time to grow. Certainly engage in respectful discussion when the comments are open, but take some time to evaluate your mood when you reply. Words can hurt quite deeply when not lavished in grace.