Tag Archives: evangelical Christian

Reaching Across the Great Divide

31 May

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Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about our heated political AND Church environment. While those of us who are followers of Christ should allow our faith to inform the full spectrum of our lives, we must accept that our individual walks don’t always lead us to the same places or conclusions. It’s part of the reason there are so many denominations, isn’t it?

For example, I don’t agree with baby baptism because I believe in believer’s baptism, which means that after a person chooses to acknowledge and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior erasing our sinful record because of His perfect sacrifice (and Resurrection), a person becomes publicly baptized to celebrate this holy moment. I wholeheartedly support child dedication.

There are people who will disagree with me on baptism, the beliefs of the Christian faith, and many other important issues. But I’m ok with that. I am working out my faith and living it out as I see best, though I often do so imperfectly.

As with all things, there are many who disagree with my political leanings. I used to be a good evangelical Republican and proudly pro-life. The only question I’d ask of candidates was this—is he/she against abortion?

Yes, I was a single issue voter.

I am still proudly pro-life, but I’ve expanded that view to include the lives of the unborn (not just in the womb, but beyond that), the lives of their mothers, the immigrant children who would die or be trafficked or forced to live in inhuman conditions we can only imagine in our nightmares. I care about the lives of the poor and hungry, the sick and disabled, those facing injustice and hatred due to sexuality and skin color and all those social divides. Life, in all its shape, color, width and breadth matters to me.

Let’s not forget the life of our dear planet, entrusted to us by the very God who created it. Yes, I care about the trees and the honeybees, and the dogs who don’t have homes. I care about our oceans and ozone layer and the huge amount of waste with bury in the deep wounds we dig into that earth.

To me, that’s what pro-life really means—a fight for life for all.  Not just life, but a better life for all with full bellies, adequate healthcare, shelter—a life that is filled with the basic tenets to actually live. I believe in life and that it should reflect and bring glory to God.

Just because my fight for life may be different than yours, it doesn’t make me wrong. I’ve been accused of deserting my faith in God for my criticism of Trump. I haven’t gone as far as to personally indict his ardent supporters of deserting their faith—selling out to elect a morally corrupt man heralded as the “Christian” choice for America. There is always the option to vote for a third party candidate. Yes, you all had a decision and we are all living it. Despite that, most of you are trying to live our your faith as best you can, too.

All these words to communicate this simple message: I am done with my faith being questioned because I don’t agree with you and your politics. Maybe I quietly contemplate your heart and pray it will be changed, too. I will continue to stand up to Trump and his policies, Twitter bullying, and the other things he does to make our nation look foolish and hurt its people. When you read the Bible, you can see what foolish leaders with control did to devastate the nation of Israel. The faithful praying remnant can do great things—don’t assume the person praying on the liberal or conservative side is an enemy, just a friend who doesn’t get it yet.

And be love. That’s what the world really needs to heal its gaping, infected wounds—the light and love of God to saturate all of us so we can find healing.

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Tolerance? Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson GQ Interview

20 Dec

I don’t read GQ.  OK, I looked at it once when I was teenager.  I was in the doctor’s office and Johnny Depp was on the cover   I may have ripped out some pictures of Johnny Depp and shoved them on my purse, but since then, my life has been GQ free.

I also don’t watch “Duck Dynasty.”  Partly because I got rid of cable, but even before that I didn’t watch the show.  Honestly, I don’t get the fascination with a bunch of backwoods hunters who are millionaires.  My friends tell me they’re Christians, therefore it’s a great show.  The local Bible bookstores AND Walmart carry “Duck Dynasty” merchandise, so I suppose the show has bridged the great gap between the sacred and the secular.

That is, until that GQ interview.  You know the one I’m talking about–the one where Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family, spoke out against homosexuality and made some ignorant comments on the Civil Rights era.  Now Robertson has been suspended from A&E, the network which broadcasts “Duck Dynasty,” because the A&E execs are outraged by Robertson’s view.  

Really?!  The family prays at the end of every episode and speak at Christian conferences.  Is A&E and the rest of the world really so shocked that evangelical Christians don’t support homosexuality?!  I don’t want the show and I’m not surprised; I don’t understand why anyone else is.

What does shock me is the way Robertson expressed himself.

According to this CNN article, Robertson used some pretty crude language to describe homosexual relationships.  I am appalled at his language, but perhaps that’s why people like him, perhaps they like his frankness…until Robertson says something they don’t agree with.  Then he’s a “racist redneck homophobe.”

I have learned that everyone won’t agree with me…and I’m [mostly] OK with that. But how dare Robertson express a belief that goes against popular culture’s view of what’s “right.”  Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion as long as he or she goes along with the majority view.  Oh, we say we value diversity and individual beliefs, but we don’t.

Instead of wondering whether or not Robertson may have been misquoted or if his words were taken out of context (though it appears they haven’t been), many are ready to tar and feather him while screaming for equality!  As a former journalist, I know I would always look for the best quotes from interviews to tell the story of my interviewee.  However, I am a stickler for context and dislike sensationalism.  As a public figure, Robertson should keep a closer reign on his tongue.

But Robertson has every right to say what he did.

If we really value free speech and want to preach tolerance, then we need to agree to disagree with others.  I have friends who support gay marriage and friends who don’t.  I have friends who think I’m a fanatical Christian, others who think I’m a nice girl, and others who share my beliefs.  Even among my church family, we have different views on theology, politics, and relationships. But I don’t just stop being friends or talking to people with whom I disagree.  If I did, I wouldn’t have left with which to talk.

I am offended by Phil Robertson comments, not just because some what he said was ridiculously ignorant (yeah, I’m sure the blacks loved Jim Crow laws.)  Note my sarcasm.)  But does a man who calls himself a Christian, a reflector of Christ, need to actually name private parts to make a point?  Does his foolish talk really have to affect what others will think of me as a Christian?  This is what I find the most disturbing because I am nothing like Phil Robertson.  It hurts me that other Christians have to deal with someone who put his foot in his mouth.  We will find the grace to forgive him because that’s what Christians do–make mistakes and are forgiven.  Though some mistakes (or sins) have consequences, like Robertson’s suspension from A&E.  His suspension probably has little to do with his tone and more about his comments regarding homosexuality.

I won’t be tuning in to “Duck Dynasty” any time soon, especially now that Robertson has been suspended and many are questioning the future of the show.  I won’t buy their merchandise or sign a petition to try to get A&E to reverse their suspension of Robertson. Yet Phil Robertson has a right to say what he wants, though I don’t like his tone.  So do what I did, change the channel and watch something else.  Don’t preach “tolerance” and then condemn someone because you disagree with his or her beliefs because seems rather intolerant, don’t you think?  But you have every right to be offended.

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