The Christian Tug of War is Breaking My Heart
Well, not really a tug of war. The point of tug of war is to see if the people on your side of the rope can pull the people on the other end of the rope across the line that separates the two sides. But while some Christians are busy trying to get their fellow believers on the “other side of the line” to come to their side, we seem to be doing it in the most un-Christian ways.
Rather that actually trying to bring folks on “the other side” (those with a differing opinion) to our position and find a rational (if not Biblical) reason to agree with us, rather we (through our keyboards) scream and yell and tell the other side how UN-Christian their position is, how UN-Christian their behavior is and that what they think brings them close to the very gates of Hell itself.
Really? How is it we’ve arrived here as Christians? Isn’t there a greater enemy at work that we should be concerned with? I guarantee with every salvo we gleefully launch against Christians who disagree with us thinking “THAT will convince them I’m right” – that that son of a bitch Satan is doing fist pumps saying “Yes! Yes! Yes!” And WE don’t win, that SOB wins! The world (hello, that’s where Jesus told us ALL to go out to and be HIS representatives) looks at us and has no clue why they would want to be a part of our mess. All we do is prove to the world that being a Christian is no different than NOT being a Christian. We DON’T show love to those who have opinions DIFFERENT than us, we DON’T speak kindly of them, we DON’T tell others looking for Christ that it’s okay to go talk to “those” people over there (because they are not “our” kind of Christians.)
In the past few years, politics and “religion” have become much intertwined. In the political world I live in (the United States) that means for the most part Christianity. I don’t care what the issue is, whether it be transgender bathrooms or abortion or gay marriage. If your ONLY reason to oppose something is scriptural, then clearly everyone who doesn’t consider themselves Christian or religious won’t care about your argument – it means NOTHING to them. Biblical arguments don’t carry a lot of weight in a political argument if those you’re arguing with don’t agree with your interpretation of the Bible, if they even believe in the Bible at all.
But we seldom actually try to kindly and gently speak to “the opposition” why they may want to think differently about a particular issue in a kind and perhaps persuasive voice (and there are kind and persuasive arguments on both sides of most issues.) Rather, we tend to SHOUT in an angry and even ugly voice how we feel to people who already feel and agree with us – and only them. Do people we vehemently disagree with consider us friends, probably not. Are they in our favorite social media app? No. Do hearts change? No. Why would they? If someone was ONCE a friend on social media, they were probably lost during the last election – and that’s sad. As a parent, would you rather have a gentle, thinking discussion with a child (say a teenager) hoping to persuade them, or just yell at them telling them how stupid and evil they are for what they think? How will that change their heart or their behavior? Yet somehow here in 2017 we think with the POWER of our keyboard we can change the hearts of people by telling them in the most unpleasant terms how terrible they are and that they need to change, and it will actually do any good. We’re delusional.
I. Don’t. Get it.
I see Christians marching, I see Christians posting nasty things, THEN I see people on the other side saying “we need to fight back” in agreement with an equally ugly retort online.
I want to ask one simple question… What is more important? Today’s politics or eternity? I totally understand all the political ramifications if so-and-so wins or loses this election or the next one, what it means for our country. What I’ve come to realize is that GOD is in control. He already knows what will happen. He wants to spend eternity with as many of His children as possible. Who He spends that with is not based on who we voted for. It’s not based on how many people we got to agree with us politically. God wants us to look up to Him and say “Father (Daddy), I love you. Thank you for the sacrifice of your Son (Jesus) who makes me perfect in your presence.” The rest – we try to figure out but we should be doing so in love, total…unconditional love.
If you want to win the “tug-of-war”, then make a kind, gentle and reasonable argument why someone should think as you do. If you can’t – yelling and screaming doesn’t change anything. Telling others how bad and evil they are doesn’t help either. Will you go to hell if you LOSE your argument? I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible.
This is not a left or right – conservative or liberal position. God DEMANDS that we LOVE one another. No exceptions. We all have differences. The disciples of Jesus had differences. We, as Christians need to let go of the “non-essentials” of the faith and cling hard to the essentials, and move forward from there. Until we do, the SOB just continues his party.
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Throughput the history of civilization, there has always been a conflict between “the order”, top down authority where one man represents the one god and power flows from the top down. Verses the illuminated, leaders who are trusted by thos they serve and power flows from the bottom up. Moses vs Pharoh, Judges vs Saul, Macabees vs Alexander, Jesus vs the Pharisees, Paulists vs Peter, Greek orthodox vs Roman Catholic vs Protestants. Even the Gospels show a conflict between the teachings of Jesus in Matthew and Mark vs the Mystic and Miraculous focus of Luke and John. The politics of… Read more »
Wow. I love this. You and Laurie hit matters that Christian leadership seems afraid to discuss among themselves and afraid to speak about in the mass media. By the way, I’m a Catholic Christian and have been told from the pulpit that I’m on the way to hell.
Thank you Miriam. The good news (other than Jesus died for us) is that the people in the pulpits don’t have a say in who is and isn’t going to hell.