Monday, July 30, 2012

My Resignation

At the risk of inciting controversy, I just want to say this aloud:

I'm resigning from culture wars.

I want to put more focus on how well I love than how right I am.

I'm sorry to the point of tears that Christianity too often looks at a person and sees a race, a political affiliation, a sexual orientation, a socioeconomic status, an addiction, a psychological profile, or a convict rather than a person.

I'm sorry that we scorn.

I'm sorry that we feel cleaner and more justified in comparison.

I'm sorry we don't see a person like ourselves: a person with a story. A person who has hurt and been hurt. A person who laughs and cries and bleeds the same color as the rest of us.

I say this, not to be more politically correct or to be more approachable or just a nicer person, but because the minute I take up a picket sign or suddenly loudly support fast food to try to score one in the culture war... I place myself in opposition to people I am called to love. In that position, I appear as though I care more about being right and trying to make everyone else act right than I do about actual people. I'm pretty uncomfortable with that.

Because I have no stones to throw.

When Jesus stands in the center of our circle of opposition and yelling and says that lust makes me just as culpable as immorality and hatred equal to a murderer, all he leaves me is the sound of stones plopping in clouds of dust from my hands to the dirt and a confession:

"Me too."

*****

"So, then, the gist of the Gospel is this:

No man is so high or may rise so high
that he need not fear becoming the lowliest.

Conversely, no one has fallen, or may fall,
so deeply as to preclude all hope of becoming the highest.

By saying: 'The first shall be last'
Christ takes all presumption away from you and forbids you
to exalt yourself above any prostitute,
even though you were Abraham, David, Peter, or Paul.

By saying: 'The last shall be first' He guards you
against all despair and forbids you to cast yourself
under the feet of any saint, even though
you were Pilate, Herod, Sodom and Gomorrah."

-Martin Luther

17 comments:

Bekah said...

A post aptly timed. Thank you for bringing words to the struggle happening within myself.

Esta said...

AMEN!!!!!

Anonymous said...

you don't know me... but thank you!!!
marilyn

Susan said...

Amen! How can we expect those who don't know Christ to live Christian lives? No law can make it happen; no anger can bring about change in their hearts. Jesus always called people to him through love. Only after the knew His love, did he say, "Go, and sin no more." We seem to want to jump right to the "sin no more part" without loving people first. And it only drives them away from the Christ who would love them.

Thank you for a beautiful essay!

Iainthekiltman said...

Hello,
You are so right. I have copied and pasted this on my facebook page. I'll join your resignation...others?

Eugene said...

Yup.

momruth said...

28Thank you, Thank you, so there myself. And always my thought is that it doesn't take any more grace to save "them" than it did to save me

Patrick Miller said...

Agreed, to a point. This is where my struggle is: Yes, I am absolutely called to love, as Jesus loved, regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. But does there not also have to be a place for truth? And, at times, the truth seems unloving, even if it's not. Is there not something to be said for standing up in support of truth? I'm not sure of the answers, but I know the answer is not ignoring God's truth in place of loving someone. There has to be room for both, I'm just not sure how they always coincide.

Becca said...

Patrick, I'm not entirely sure myself where and how they coincide. But in my experience, I am most changed by the people who love me and know me well. I can best take challenges and criticisms from the people who have also (beforehand) given me a lot of unaffected and undeserved love. I can take stuff off them because they have invested in me. Maybe that's how we stand for truth... living our lives WITH people. And, too, some of my most pivotal "eureka" moments in forming my views on... abortion, for instance... have come while helping pregnant teens through rough, heartrending times. When the stats have faces, names, and stories, I am much less apt to yell "right" things that can seem offensive and estranging to the people that need help. In other words, I'm not convinced anymore that standing for truth anything designed to coerce someone into behaving as you think they should means anything outside of relationship. It so easily breeds hurt and seeming bigotry on either end of a relationship that could really benefit both. Maybe I'm too sensitive because I've seen people I care about hurt badly by Christians who think they're doing the right thing, but unless someone asks me outright what I think of their lifestyle choices, I'm not going to offer criticism until I understand them and have invested of myself in a relationship with them. I know a lot of people see it differently, and maybe rightly so, but here's where I am. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes!! Happy Dance!! Is that inappropriate?? You so aptly put into words what is trying to take shape in my heart, and I just haven't been able to articulate yet. I love what you said in your response to a commenter about maybe we stand for truth by living our lives WITH...as I slowly am able to read the Gospels again I am stunned by Jesus.. even someone like Zaccheus, who was a traitor, Jesus eats with him, and then it says how Zaccheus changed

It has often felt like a curse to me that when I hear "labels" etc. tossed around about people, that inside I can't help but wonder "What is his/her story?" And if we knew it and walked in it, would that change our perspective... like what a weird thing to be passionate about, seeing that there is always a story part of a person... I know we have our choices and it doesn't excuse sin... I guess I am still not sure how to put into words the struggle inside. :)
-Sherilyn

OrchidsandLaundry said...

I came over from a friend's link in facebook. I'm fairly perplexed and saddened at by your understanding and conclusion of this particular matter.
I LOVE what you have writtena and heartily agree with your burden of christians who condemn the sinner and who never seem to forget other's sins while somehow feeling they are cleaner and holier becasue of their "little" sins. But to somehow equate that with suport of christian businesses who support godly morals, is falling into the dangerous trap of a society that refuses to ever call sin, sin. Support of godly morals does not mean condemnation of the sinner. Yes, I agree, big political demonstrations and yelling judgement slogans on a street corner are not for the christian. THEN we make ourselves one fo the crowd of stoners. But simple support of a busness who is under attack from the evilness of this society and who , in fact, themselves do NOT discriminate against the people they disagree with, is simply "doing good unto those who are of the household of faith" and showing that we will stand with God's principles.THIS is sadly lacking in the society we live in and very sadly is permeating even God's children.

Becca said...

Thanks for stating where you disagree with me. :) Like I said in a previous comment, I don't expect everyone to agree with me.

This is where I'm coming from: if a restaurant chain wants to publicly take a stand on gay marriage, that's with them. I don't feel that promoting or boycotting a fast food chain is a relevant or helpful platform from which to discuss a subject that has already seen much misuse and which for some is extremely personal. I simply don't feel it's my job to tell someone how to live their life when I have no context or relationship with that person. I don't feel it's my job to make society behave like the church or take stances that pit "us" against "them". To reiterate, I don't feel that taking public stances is a good way of representing Jesus, who is Truth Himself.

From your comment, it seems we're seeing this same thing in two different lights: I would feel bigoted and condemning to publicly support Chick-fil-A while it's such a hot-button issue. You were clear you don't want to be condemning and just want to give Chick-fil-A your patronage. That was good for me to hear, after some embarrassing and condemning things I had heard from some Chick-fil-A supporters. Thank you for exposing my stereotype. :)

When Jesus said that the two greatest commandments are "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind" and "Love your neighbor as yourself", He left a lot us to us to figure out the daily applications. Eating meat or not eating meat... or, in this case, Chick-fil-A... :) sometimes we won't agree with or understand each other. I think that's ok. Follow your conscience. Where we differ, conversation is imperative. Thanks for engaging in it!

Life of a plainlady said...

Perhaps we would all be better of if had not engaged in the culture war to begin with. Would save us from now having to make apologies and resignations. The Bible says to live peaceably with all men. The challenge is doing that yet living a sin free life while in a sin full culture. The two seem to over lap.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the challenge of this article I smiled, was genuinely friendly, and did not roll my inner eyes when a person I've negatively labeled stepped up on my porch to talk. God is glorified! Love you - Carla

Katrina said...

Amen. Once again your words bless me. thank you.

Constance Walden said...

The gist of the gospel is this: "Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; He was buried; He
was raised on the third day, according to the scriptures" - 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Connie Walden
http://bringingallthingsunderchrist.blogspot.com/

Constance Walden said...

The gist of the gospel is this:

"Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; He was buried; He was raised on the third day, according to the scriptures."

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Connie
http://bringingallthingsunderchrist.blogspot.com/