I wrote the following in the current issue of my “Tea With Dee” newsletter. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from readers who agreed with what I said. Just now I was reading another blog and found that she was saying something similar. Her post was open and honest and the comments that follow are truly enlightening. I urge you to go read Suburban Turmoil (after you read my post, of course). And then let me know your thoughts.
My Say Over Earl Grey:
I’ve witnessed a disheartening amount of judgmental behavior recently and it saddens me. An especially egregious example is the Westboro Baptist *church* which has two scheduled protests in Oklahoma tomorrow. Most rational people agree that these hate-filled people are nuts so it’s pretty easy to write them off. But what about the more subtle examples we see all around us? The fact that it’s so often Christians who are doing this to each other makes it even worse. We claim to believe that we are unworthy of God’s grace but that it is given to us freely anyway. Why can’t we extend even a small amount of that grace toward one another?
My faith forms the very foundation of who I am and I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’m a Christian. On the other hand, I don’t feel the need to advertise my faith with bumper stickers or frequent references to God or the Bible in my everyday discussions. I suppose it’s in part due to the fact that I’ve been Christian my whole life and it’s as much a part of me as the color of my eyes. I don’t go around pointing out that my eyes are blue and I am not inclined to go out of my way to make certain everyone knows that I put my faith in God. If, after someone gets to know me, they can’t see God in my life then all the bumper stickers, cross jewelry, and Bible references in the world would be pointless. And yet, I know I’ve been judged as “less than devout” for these very things.
While I love classic church music and thoroughly enjoy being part of our church choir, I’m not all that fond of most contemporary Christian music so that’s not what my radio is tuned to. My political beliefs don’t line up neatly with those of the Religious Right (or any other political group…I’m rather eclectic). I happen to belong to a church which doesn’t believe that the moderate consumption of alcohol is a sin and I’ve really gotten a lot of grief over that. I’m not threatened by people who believe differently than I do but it seems that other Christians take it pretty personally when my beliefs don’t mirror their own. Why? Isn’t it rather arrogant to think we have all the answers and everyone else is wrong? And even if we are 100% certain we are right about something, are we likely to convince others of that if we act in a superior and judgmental way toward them?
The older I get, the more I realize how little I really know and the more I am willing to just live my own life as best I can (with God’s guidance) and let God sort out everyone else. I am trying to do my best to just love and accept people as they are rather than try to change them. I’d just like the same courtesy.