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Recently, I shared a picture on Facebook, which suggested the correct Christian response to different people depending on their gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, whether or not they had a substance abuse problem, etc. The correct Christian response for each was to love them.
One person responded with the old saying, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” to which another person replied that this is too often just an excuse to hate the sinner.
From my days running for office and working in social media, I’ve started trying to focus on Psalm 19:14 whenever I speak
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I’m normally one to avoid confrontation, but I’m balancing this out with the confession:
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
What about the sin of being the bystander that doesn’t speak up, sinning against God for words left unsaid?
One of my Facebook friends posted a link to a rant about Dukes of Hazzard being canceled from TV Land. I don’t have any opinion about Dukes of Hazzard. I think I saw part of an episode once, many years ago, and found it about as interesting as all the other stuff I chose not to watch on television. In my mind, it seemed like a financial decision. Airing Dukes of Hazzard creates an image of TVLand that they may not want, and that may not be helpful in attracting advertising revenue.
Yet my facebook friend who shared the post, lumped the issues around the Confederate flag in with this. He applauded a friend of his who is flying a Confederate Flag in East Haven.
What is the right response in a situation like this? Do I simply walk away, perhaps unfriending him? Do I say something? If I do, how do I say it in a way that he will hear, that loves the sinner, and hates the sin?
I ended up thanking him for sharing let everyone know his opinions and suggested that I, and others, would keep it in mind if we ever needed services from his company. From the stuff he posts, I didn’t suspect he was a Christian, so I thought responding with free speech and Adam Smith’s invisible hand would be more effective.
He unfriended me. However, his friend, who posted about flying a confederate flag in East Haven, changed his avatar from that of a confederate flag, to something less offensive.
Did my comments contribute to him rethinking how he presents himself? Were my words acceptable in the sight of my Lord?
I don’t know. It is a hard thing to work out. Yet it seems important to speak up against the sin of racism, especially when the sinner is not aware of their own racism.
Over the past few days, white conservative 'christian' preachers have talked about Christianity being under attack, about Christians being persecuted. My friends here on Facebook have dismissed these comments. Yet the preachers are partly right. Christianity in the United States is under attack. Christians are under attack. Last night, another Christian house of worship was burned.
Mike Huckabee, Bryan Fischer, and the whole lot of them need to stand up boldly and lead the fight against the sin of racism, the sin of not loving our brothers as ourselves, the sin of burning down the houses of worship of our brothers and sisters.
Got home very late again after spending a lot of time talking today about issues of faith. On Facebook, many friends are posting concerns they have for friends that are ill or suffering. They don’t use the word prayer. That’s an old fashioned word. Instead, they ask for good thoughts and positive energy.
Yet as I think about it, supplication isn’t the only form of prayer on Facebook. There is a lot of thanksgiving, particularly in the form of pictures of vacation, weddings, newborns, etc. There are event moments of contemplation, or at least moments of Zen.
Underneath all of that is the sense of community, being a member of the body of …
More thoughts to be explored later…