It has been so long since I’ve written in this place that I discovered the theme we’d originally built the site on was no longer working with the current WordPress platform, and I had to have my web designer update it to work. That’s why it looks slightly different, but – BONUS – you can easily read from a handheld device now.
Also since we last chatted, our house has had a revolving door for extra family members, and we are counting down the last 33 days until our daughter’s wedding, and all that that entails. Typically, when my life throws itself into overdrive, my creative thought with regard to words buries itself in the yard, somewhere, for a nice long sleep. (Think hibernation, but in summer.) I don’t multitask well, anymore, so trying to string some coherent words together that don’t involve, “Be sure and get an extra pack or 20 of toilet paper at the store,” or “I need to add another table and linens to the rental order,” is likely nigh on impossible.
But not right now.
Right now, I’m busting with, lo, all the words. Suddenly, I’m Old Faithful, pressure reaching the boiling point and – watch out – GEYSER.
It may or may not have something to do with the fact that, in the midst of all that has been happening in my life, there are CRAZY, RIDICULOUS THINGS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD.
Sorry. Didn’t mean to shout.
When I signed on to write this morning, I was confronted with 62 spam comments, since apparently the spam filter was not updated along with everything else mentioned in the first paragraph. Spam baffles me. I read these cryptically written comments, some ads for things, and others with seemingly no purpose, all tacked on to posts, or other legitimate comments. They made me think of, for lack of a better term, all the crap that has been written on social media over the course of this political season.
Just like everyone else, this increasingly toxic campaign season has gotten under my skin. I have given it far too much space in my mind, if I’m honest, but what bothers me the most about it is how many Christ followers are “representing.” Let me explain.
I have a lot of “friends” in social media. A large portion of them are friends I actually know in real life. I’ve gone to school with them, church with them, worked with them, or raised kids with them. Some share my conservative beliefs, while others are wildly liberal, and I love them all.
I grew up to understand that tolerance meant to acknowledge that others have differing beliefs and accept that it is their right to do so. Over the course of time, however, tolerance seems to have come to mean that you must accept all beliefs to be true. Under this latter definition, most Christ followers, myself included, have a very real problem.
We cannot believe that all beliefs are true, because that precludes any personal belief at all, or even the possibility for a standard of truth, and for the Christian, God IS truth.
So, a good many of us have taken to cyberspace with a vengeance. We are standing up for what we believe! We are carrying the torch for truth!
And we are BEATING THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH US OVER THE HEAD WITH THE TORCH.
We seem to expect everyone to operate under the old definition, and because we feel backed into a corner to “tolerate, or else,” we have come out swinging, spewing vitriol in the name of Christ, and filling social media platforms with so much hate that I’m pretty sure no one would see Christ if they wanted to even take the time to look for Him.
I read an article from CompellingTruth.org that states this so beautifully, that I’m just going to quote it.
Christians are to tolerate others when they have different beliefs about God [under the original definition – parentheses mine]. But are we to expect tolerance in return? Luke 6:22 says we are blessed when others reject us because we follow Christ. John 15:18 says that when the world hates us, we need to remember that they do so because they hated Christ first. It is foolish to expect tolerance from others toward our Christian beliefs, even if they demand tolerance for their own. God has told us clearly: we will never get it.
But God has also told Christians what our response should be when we are faced with intolerance. Matthew 5:43-48 says we are to love our enemies and pray for them. Romans 12:20 says we are to provide for them. We do not play by the world’s rules. We do not respond to intolerance with fear and hate. Instead, we express the love of Christ in us.
And Christ didn’t spend his life demeaning people, arguing, and coercing.
He loved. He stood for truth, uncompromising, in everything He did, by simply pointing the way to It, and He started a movement of love, hope, and salvation, that has reached around the world, totally changing the face of humanity, and He did it in three years and without the Internet.
Imagine what we can do WITH it, if we used His model instead of the world’s?
Thanks for listening. I’m off to buy toilet paper, and add to my rental list.