There are many things swirling around currently, and I think they all center around simple things with unknown consequences: hard conversations, confrontations, and heartfelt communication. Much of it can be expressed and addressed as far as my own actions. But it is the actions of others that I cannot control, a reality that is freeing, and, for an affirmation starved people-pleaser, somewhat terrifying.
But, as I am getting better at
honestly expressing my opinions and feelings, I realize that such expressions have consequences. Thankfully, I am getting closer and closer to caring less about the opinions of others and more about living a risk averse, constricted life.
So, I’m just going to come out and say it. At this moment, knowing what I know now and seeing what I’ve seen, I find it increasingly harder to see Christ in American Christian culture. In my mind, I wish I could meet up with the personal embodiment of American evangelical Christian culture and ask the following questions:
1.) What is WITH your culture’s obsession with women getting married and having babies? Why do you act as if we’ve imbibed the FemiNazi Kool-Aid when some of us say that we’re not sure about either one or decide forego them both?
2.) When it comes to current affairs (especially those political) seen as a “spiritual issue”, and your political involvement part of the “spiritual battle” for the soul of the country? And why when such efforts are unsuccessful, are you so prone to a fatalistic response of resignation, as evidenced in comments like, “God changes hearts”. If God changes hearts, then why are you so devastated when laws aren’t changed?
3.) Why is respectful enforcement of the Golden Rule towards unbelievers (yes, that includes those of other faiths and atheists also) seen as a sign of our impending apostasy?
4.) Why are you so willing to be covered in the muck, dust, and trash of another country but so resistant to dig into the glorious ruins of your own backyard you call home?
5.) Why are my questions taken as quarrelous attacks, my wonderings as a sign of faithless wander and my desire for discussion seen as demonic division?
6.) Why do you speak in code? What is difficult about saying what you believe, feel, and think without invoking the Holy Trinity or the “God’s will” stamp of approval? How does this spread the gospel and make it more accessible?
7.) Why are you so afraid? Are you afraid of the possibility that listening to another’s story will invalidate yours? What is at stake for you if you’re wrong? Is it everything? Is it nothing? Or is it somewhere in between?
8.) How (and why) did you forget that the very world that hated Christ and killed Him was (and still is) the same world that God loved (and still loves) enough to redeem?
9.)Why does extending grace and compassion often invoke fear of anarchy and unrest? Why is having mercy on others often feared as implicitly justifying sinfulness? Does it matter if we’re not the Lawgiver and Judge?
10.) Are you avoiding my questions because you’re uncomfortable with them, or because you’re uncomfortable with the actions that must be taken in the answers?
I suspect that I would probably get the “you poor confused” person look….