Tuesday’s Topic- Elections: The vicious verbal aftermath…

The elections in the United States concluded last week on Tuesday.

Sorry for bringing it back up.

Our Tuesday Topic is not about which candidate was better or which one you should or should not have voted for based on what you value or deem important.

Our Tuesday Topic is about what was said after it was over.

I have friends and acquaintances who voted on either side. Of those many are believers/ Christians/ Church attendees.

I scrolled downward on my face book page on the next day after elections. Not only did everyone have an opinion but most were passionate. Many did not hold back at all. Comments became the battleground for verbal attacks with venomous statements thrown about and ( from both sides) verse slinging with weighty proclamations. Many, convinced that God was on their side, gave their reasons for joy or disappointment while at the same time lashing out at someone they disagreed with or the candidate they opposed. Romney voters were collectively condemned with everything from being racist to voting for the person who believes Jesus is Lucifer’s brother. Obama supporters were accused of everything between blind allegiance to wanting to kill babies and not possibly being Christians or saved.

The point is not which you agree with. The point is that how are we communicate whatever we choose to communicate has an effect on the spread of the Gospel.

I scrolled further, looking for something different.Contradictions abounded in some comments, poor logic in others.

I scrolled.

What was I hoping for?

Then I saw exactly what I was not hoping for.

Non-believers, chiming into the conversations with disgust!

No one explained to them what you meant by your post. In many cases they commented that they never knew anything about what you had stated or believed. Moreover, they were misunderstanding your passionate proclamations.

So what I saw was this;  On one side – Unable to understand why they are being called racist for being pro-Romney or inconsistent for voting for a Mormon, or one the other side-  why their friend hates them for their sexual orientation or why someone said they are not saved since they voted for Obama, they decided they are no longer interested in what you have to say. As one comment put it to the writer “I am done with you”.

I think many were ‘unfollowed’ last week. Maybe even ‘de-friended’.

Yes. They are ‘done’ with you and me. We, who are God’s people, because of our careless words from unhindered tongues or FB posts that alienate those we want to reach. Oh wait, maybe ‘reaching’ our face book friends (or those with differing political view) was never in our agenda in the past nor is it now. I mean, after all, (tongue in cheek) the election and who I support and the issues I am concerned about are the most important things so everyone who disagrees can do whatever they want.  Is that what we, inadvertently, are saying? If so, we are building walls, not bridges.

But you say, wait a minute. You are not fair. We need to speak out and tell the truth. Let me clarify. I am not saying that we should not discuss our opinions and positions. I am talking about the manner we go about it and the concern we should keep in mind for our audience. The way we are to do that (for it to be helpful and not injurious to message of reconciliation) is, as noted in Eph 4:15, is to speak the truth in love. I commend those that I saw doing this. In view of the fact that many are ‘listening’ on FB, the rest need to revisit their posts in light of the admonition in Eph 4:29 that says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” If this is true of us, our greatest passion would not be our political position on the Presidency (as evidence by the FB post we saw), but the proclamation of precious blood of Jesus that payed the penalty for our Sins and purchased a place in heaven for those who repent and believe.

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Monday’s musings: Christian! Step up to the mirror…

(1 John 4:17b – “…because as He is, so are we in this world”)

Jesus Christ is applauded and ‘agreed’ with, but his teachings do not affect how we live during the week because we have to be reasonable, right? I mean, our time is too precious, our agendas too pressing, our entertainment so necessary, our ambitions so important that Jesus must surely understand and He can’t actually expect us be all about this Bible stuff and risk our reputations, friendships, associations and goals for His sake, can he? Surely, common sense tells us we should not go ‘overboard’ and become ‘religious fanatics’ and risk being labelled by others or risk becoming irrelevant in the Church, right? After all, Jesus Christ Himself was crucified for not having a more accommodating approach in his utterances, expectations and in his Theology so maybe it is no wonder that when we go to Church or manage to attend Bible study, we pick and choose the comfortable, cost-less, conventional, clean, crisp, cultural ‘Christianity’ that doesn’t demand, interfere or alter our living and we leave out the challenging, Christ-centered, costly, conditional, corporate, committed, concerned, crucified life that for some reason the Bible says is only possible when you are ‘dead’ yet at the same time alive in Him.

Yes, I am describing me and you who upon examination may find that it is possible that we have a form of Godliness but are denying its power on Monday morning. We claim to identify with Christ but are we really Christlike? We wants God to comfort us and give us more comforts while we continue to conform to this world while giving no care to the concerns He communicates in His word. We claim not to be like the prodigal son who parted from his father to plunder his property on prostitutes but our prayers are predicated on the problems that are pretty much the pursuit of possession, power and popularity for our own pleasure. That speaks of the poverty of our profession of faith meaning a failure to follow fully. We forget that we are like the older brother who stayed at home but never realized that he wasn’t actually faithful to his father for His father’s sake but was faithful for the sake of the future fun of a fattened calf with his friends and for that he slaved in the field and sadly remained lost, not found. Don’t we see that we have created conditions for our ‘commitment’ that do not coincide with the Christianity connected with Christ whom we confess. And if we truly follow, we are to be disciples, and if disciples, then demands on you and I abound, demands that require discipline and denial, dethronement and devotion, maybe even death. For it has been said that a servant will not be greater than his master.

No, I am not trying to dampen your day or denigrate your devotion or deny your destination but please help me if I am wrong that many of us are mostly motionless in the pews (worship) mission-less in our priorities (work) and mindless of people (witness).

I am not asking you to reach for a robe or slip on some sandals or walk on water.

I am asking all of us, as the people who God calls ‘my people’ to change from measuring ourselves with the ‘messed up’ sinner, the immature servant or the maverick saint and all others in-between. Let us instead let Christ be our measure for it is written ‘As he is, so are we in this world.’

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