Christian Pride

29Nov08

I think a lot of people are proud to be Christians. Like Christianity is our sports team and we must defend it against fans of a rival sports team or something. I mean, we really seem to enjoy “sticking it to the non-Christians”. I feel like we all celebrate when we’ve overpowered and humiliated the group of people who haven’t discovered what we’ve discovered. I think we try to laugh and celebrate when “Christian” legislation gets passed or when some anti-Christian activist gets “what’s coming to him”. We really view this thing as a culture war.

I got an email from my mom earlier this week (it was a forward) in which the original author (Jim Neugent) says (I don’t know if it’s true or not, I certainly hope it isn’t) that he was watching a TV show that was supportive of homosexuality and so he emailed the broadcasting company chewing them out for their lack of support for Christian morals. He got back a tersely worded response from an employee, who was later fired for responding impolitely. The rest of the email celebrates “the triumph of the Christian over the non-Christian”. One of my favorite parts is in the middle of the argument when Jim says this: “Thanks for your reply. From your harsh reply, evidently I hit a nerve. I will share it with all with whom I come in contact. Hopefully, the ArkansasDemocrat Newspaper will include it in one of their columns and I will be praying for you.

Go Christians! Fight for Jesus!

Do we believe that the reason God died on a cross was because he forgot that he was almighty and could force us to be “good little Christians”? I think we, like Jim, pretend that the Bible doesn’t have passages like The Parable of The Pharisee and The Tax Collector so that we can feel more superior than these “sinners” (or “let the sinless throw the first stone” or “the first will be last and the last will be first” or “love your enemies” or “remove the plank from your own eye” or a host of other things Jesus said). I’m not a pastor or anything, but I can’t think of a single time where Jesus sided with the religious folks over the “sinners” when the two groups came into conflict. I think he still operates the same today. It’s just that the “religous folks” who are trying to speak for Him have a different label: Christian. And the more we try to speak for God without a loving, humble heart, the more we will be sticking our “Christian” feet in our “Christian” mouths, I’m quite convinced. Jesus is very inconvenient for us self-righteous religious folks.

Even when we Christians win an argument, we still lose. That’s the nature of the Gospel. The only way to win in God’s economy, is to make sure that you lose to your opponent. To put them before yourself. To Love them as Jesus Loves us.

I think if I elaborate more on this I’ll just be rambling. So go and think about this if you haven’t already. Maybe read the Bible and look at how very often this notion is supported, especially by Jesus.

I’ll pray for you self-righteous Christians. Haha, just kidding.

EDIT: A few hours after having finished this, I’m reading Blue Like Jazz (for the second time around–I’m reading Emily’s copy and I’m using more ink underlining stuff than the publisher did printing the words themselves). I just got to this part I’d like to share with you:

Context: Donald Miller is recollecting a time in his college where him and his Christian friends were going to set up a confession booth in the middle of their very anti-Christian campus. The catch is that they aren’t accepting confessions, but confessing. Confessing to the campus all the ways that we Christians screw things up. He writes this about himself, but I feel it is a good summary of what I spent some four paragraphs trying to get across:

For so much of my life I had been defending Christianity because I thought to admit that we had done any wrong was to discredit the religious system as a whole, but it isn’t a religious system, it is people following Christ; and the important thing to do, the right thing to do, was to apologize for getting in the way of Jesus.

He also writes this, which I agree with 200%:

Tony the Beat Poet says the church is like a wounded animal these days. He says we used to have power and incluence, but now we don’t, and so many of our leaders are upset about this and acting like spoiled children, mad because we they can’t have their way. They disguise their actions to look as though they are standing on principle, but it isn’t that, Tony says, it’s bitterness. They want to take their ball and go home because they have to sit the bench. Tony and I agreed that what God wants us to do is sit the bench in humility and turn the other cheek like Gandhi, like Jesus. We decided that the correct place to share our faith was from a place of humility and love, not from a desire for power.

I freaking love this book. Damn.

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