Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I have a confession to make.
Sometimes, I kind of wish that Harold Camping was right and that the Rapture already happened so that the rest of the world could finally live in peace.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking (use high-pitched Southern voice here), “Why, if Jesus hadn’t been raised from the dead, he’d probably be rolling in his grave right now!”
But, seriously, I’m writing because I’m disturbed by the amount and tone of righteous indignationTM spewing from some of us these days. I guess it was only a matter of time before some of us figured out how to use the interwebs (thanks, Al Gore!) and television (thanks, Kardashians!) to espouse our “values”–you know, the ones we faithfully abide by based on an arduous lifelong study of Biblical writing.
So let me ask the $64,000 question: What is the point of all this self-righteous moralizing anyway?
Are we trying to get people to repent?
Because it doesn’t seem like we want them to. The way some of us treat our neighbors convinces me that we (maybe purposefully?) overlook the fact that they’re also sons and daughters of our Creator. It’s like we’ve arbitrarily decided that looking, believing, or loving differently invalidates their existence as human beings who’ve also been fearfully and wonderfully made. If we don’t like them here on earth for their skin color or their fabulous parades, chances are we won’t like them in heaven either. So why do we keep telling them they’re evil and going to H-E-double hockey sticks? Do we really, honestly want them to be there with us, enjoying the heavenly all-you-can-eat buffet?
Are we, per Jesus (see Matthew 28:19-20), trying to make disciples of all nations?
The way some of us are acting makes people actually less inclined to want to be Christian. Given the awful way we’re marketing ourselves (e.g., proudly claiming that we have a monopoly on the truth, falsely crying “oppression!” at every turn while we’re actually oppressing others, etc.) why in the world would anyone want to be like us? “They’ll know we are Christians by our love” has become “They’ll know we are Christians by our hate.” Don’t you think that’s sad? I think that’s sad. If there were a Jesus Sad Face emoticon, I’d insert it here right now.
And if we’re Biblical literalists (you know who you are, you kooky Creationists!), we know that Revelation says that things are going to get a whole lot worse (i.e., lots more hedonistic parties by the gays) before they get better. So what some of us are trying to do–stand up for that ubiquitous “moral fabric of society” by telling these hot dudes in ass-less chaps to turn from their wicked ways–is soooooooooooo not like Lot begging God to save Sodom and Gomorrah. We don’t really want them to repent for them, do we? We want them to repent so we can feel better about ourselves, and potentially not die in a fiery rain of brimstone. But that’s what’s supposed to happen during the apocalypse, so I guess the point is kind of moot.
In any case, we’ll all have to answer to someone at some point, so I guess we should use our God-given (see, I made sure that phrase is here, unlike those evil Satan-loving Democrats!) free will to make choices that we believe will get us to heaven/save us from hell/win us lots and lots of awesome crowns when we get to heaven.
But if I could humbly appeal to you, my brothers and sisters, I’d ask us to tone down the rhetoric a little bit, because it’s off-putting, and it’s waking the adorable baby my gay lover and I adopted from China.
I know we don’t agree on much. We’ve all heard the jokes about the Baptists/Episcopalians/Methodists/Pentecostals/Evangelicals/Catholics/nondenominationals. There are so many flavors of us, we can’t even agree on the kind of music we play at church, let alone doctrine.
But I think we have an awesome opportunity here and now to do something extraordinary–something we’ve never, ever done before as a community: Love one another.
True story: I tried the whole street witnessing thing when I was younger. I walked around with tracts, telling people they’d better believe or else they’d spend eternity weeping and gnashing their teeth. Turns out scaring people into salvation doesn’t work.
But love. Boy, that’s something that does work. Even if we don’t look, believe, or love the same way that person down the street does, love–a smile, an open door, a warm hug–rules all. Love gets us results, with less red-faced yelling and fewer crying babies.
So let’s just shut the hell up about how awesome we are and how not awesome gays/liberals/feminists/blacks/hispanics/asians/whites/other are. Let’s just shut up and love. After all, we love because he first loved us.
Your brother in Christ,
P.S. No, my gay lover and I don’t really have a baby from China. But anyone know where we can get one for cheap?