After Charlottesville’s disaster on Saturday, while waiting in my car for some friends with whom I was going into the park to try to love some people toward Jesus, I broke into tears. I just sat there and cried––overcome by the sadness of it all.
I’m appalled and grieved by the demonically inspired hate that one group of humans can have for another, by that hate turning violent and murderous, by our President’s wet noodle, obfuscating seesaw remarks about it, and by the adolescent rhetoric and sloganizing that, predictably, has followed in the media.
Let’s be clear, this isn’t about “free speech.” You can’t have “free speech” if someone brings a gun to intimidate those they despise. You can’t argue with the armed, especially if they have friends in the White House. Continue reading →
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.1 Peter 2:13-17
I was talking to a friend today about the President and I started to use a derogatory word to describe what I think of his relative suitability for the job. The word begins with “i” and rhymes with “literate” but means pretty much the opposite. It’s not a “bad word” nor does it belong in the category of swearing, but the Spirit checked me on it and I remembered that Jesus told us not to label people with insulting words.
There are good reasons for this, but it’s not always easy to find something to compliment about some people. I’m still in hunt for a complimentary way to refer to our President. If I really apply myself, four years should be sufficient to find one. Continue reading →
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
If your man or woman wins the presidential election, celebrate but don’t gloat. And if yours loses, grieve but don’t pout! Let’s go to our corners on November 9th and when the bell rings, let’s come out loving!
We’ve expressed our opinions about the candidates and that’s all fine. We’re entitled to our viewpoints and since we’re not all cookies shaped by the same cutter, it’s inevitable that we’ll disagree about some things. No problem with that, though some of us might have some repenting to do about the tone and language we used during the campaign.
But a week from now, we’re going to have a new President. And regardless of who that is, let’s all take a deep breath, quit our scrapping and choose to love each other as brothers and sisters. After all, and I speak to Christians, our allegiance is to Jesus and to the advance of his just rule. Let’s put our parties and political squabbles aside and get to loving him and one another. Continue reading →
In Parts 1 and 2we’ve talking about name-calling and its harmful effects on both the name-called, the name caller, and everyone who hears the names that people are called. Here are a few more concluding thoughts of mine on the subject. Please share some of your thoughts.
Labels make it easier to hurt and abuse people
The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21
A friend of mine works with a Blackwater type organization fighting terrorists around the world. I love him dearly, but due to his abusive name-calling of anyone of Arab descent, I can only handle him for brief stints. “Cockroaches… Bugs… Rag Heads” is what he calls those he is paid to “stamp out.” In the Korean War it was “Gooks” on the other side. I presume that it’s easier to kill a Gook than a person. “Anchor babies” and “Illegals” (as though that’s the sum total of a human being, an illegal person) are favorite pejorative labels for immigrants, making it easier to deny them entrance into our country. If you’re of Irish descent, your grandparents were called “Potlickers” or NINAs for “No Irish Need Apply.” If you have Italian ancestors they were known as “Dagos” or “Wops” by those who wanted no part of those Catholics coming here and ruining the American ethos. Based on the claim that these new groups were educationally and culturally inferior, a drain on the economy, and politically problematic, they were given demeaning labels. Continue reading →
[If you haven’t read Part 1, I advise you to a take a few minutes to do so before reading on…]
The second problematic tendency is the opposite of the first. Instead of disrespecting our brothers and sisters of another ilk, we respect them so much that we justify our weak points. We assume that God called them to do pretty much all the evangelism or social justice or intimate worship. “That’s their ministry, their gift, what God called them to do. Thank God because I’m no good at that stuff.” I think it’s ill-advised to so focus our attention on one tool with that we abdicate responsibility to those with a more developed use of the other tools. Though some are more gifted and compelled by the Spirit toward one or the other of those emphases, we shouldn’t relegate to them our obligation for those things. Continue reading →