Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christians at War

It has been a few weeks since I posted something and I apologize to those who like to actually follow my thoughts.  I've been pretty busy lately with VBS and the like and honestly I just haven't taken the time to sit down and right.  That's mostly true for my book as well.

I am writing now, however, to express a few thoughts I have been having the past couple of days.  I think I will give this an overarching theme of "Christian Wars".

Christians are constantly seen as being brutal, unkind, unloving, and intolerant of those around us.  I cite Atheists and Homosexuals as being some of the most hated by our "factions" of Christianity.  But, this is not how we should live!  If anything we should be the ones people run to when they need help, not away from because of it!  But everyone has heard that sermon before, no need to repeat it.

I have been engaging (and I say that loosely, I've really mostly been observing) in a very fascinating conversation with a couple of atheists and a good friend of mine via Facebook (which goes to show that it is, in fact, not all bad).  While I don't agree with a lot of what they say, they are very level headed and are not outwardly aggressive to people who, like myself, have taken on the mantle of Christianity (and all it represents, both good and bad) and are willing to discuss.  Discuss, not argue or shove verses at them, just... talk.  In the past two days I have learned more about the complexity of Atheism than I have ever learned in church.

This concerns me for two reasons:
1. Christians are fighting a false enemy.
2. Christians, at large, seem unwilling to educate themselves on true complexity of other religions.

I understand, not all Christians are like this, so please allow me to use it as a generalization and perhaps as recognition of how others most likely see Christianity and those who follow its stipulations.

Christians are fighting a false enemy

Be it Atheism, Homosexuality, or any other aspect of peoples lives that Christians don't agree with, we are constantly seen as fighting against it.  You'll hear on the radio how Christians have boycotted movies (The Golden Compass), or how we should all buy a chicken sandwich in support of a company who happens to be a representation of so much more than one man's opinion, and especially of the church that "hates fags", Westboro Baptist Church (*shiver*).

Christians are at war and I think to some degree we should be.  We are also, however, at war with the wrong enemy.  The enemy isn't the people who are homosexual (they certainly don't need "curing", even I find that word oppressive and offensive on so many levels) and it's certainly not the people who are Atheists.  The enemy isn't people at all.  People are just trying to make it through life like they always have; by following their hearts.  Shouldn't following their hearts lead them to the truth?  Absolutely, but how much of the truth is my question?  Is not our perception of skewed by our reality and our experiences?  Right now, people are casualties of our wars with an increasing rise in numbers.  This is unacceptable.  What's worse is that the fighting isn't limited to just those outside the Church, the body is constantly trying to maim and underhand itself.  No wonder we don't know who or what the real target is!

In all my years of being a Christian, there is one thing that has always stuck out more than anything else.  There is this instruction to yearn for Truth.  To walk and grow -in- Truth.  To love Truth.  If God is Love in it's purest form, God must also be Truth in its purest form.  Truth, did not fight against people, it fought against the lies they had come to accept.  Truth, represented through Christ, turned a world upside down on its head, without shedding a single drop of blood except its own.  Yet, here we are waving our swords back and forth with no direction, skill, or discipline; cutting all who stand in our way.  We are not warriors of light, we are embodiments of the very devils we hate.  This must stop.

Stop fighting for the legislature that controls our country and start fighting for people's hearts.  Stop fighting others opinions and start fighting for truth.  Stop fighting the people who have the courage to come to us for help, and start fighting the thing that is chasing them.  Christians were called to be the hands and feet of God and from where I stand it is a rare thing to find a church who does this.

Christians are unwilling to educate themselves

This is a bit of a sensitive topic I know.  I hesitate even to put the wording as I have, but I think it best represents a very large portion of Christianity, especially within the American culture.  You see, the interesting about fighting a war is that you not only need to know who your enemy is, you also need to know how your enemy is.  How do they fight, what are their weaknesses, what are their strengths, etc.  If we must be at war as Christians, lets make sure we know what we are up against so that when we strike it is with a clean swift stroke and not a bloody mess.

What does this mean?  It means we need to start educating our congregation correctly inside the churches.  It means we need to speak with those people we don't agree with (Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, etc.) and learn more about them; "sneak into their camp and spy" so to speak.  Find out what is false in their religion, find out what is true. I believe everyone has discovered some truth in their life, so working from those truths is always best.

I realize that I may be coming across in a way that I don't mean to.  The analogy of war alone is a tough one to create and understand without some type of backlash to the one making the analogy.  Still I write this all because I feel like there is a war going on right now, culturally and spiritually.  If we must be at war, let us be at war with the right enemy and for the right reasons.

That concludes my little bit of thought for today.

Grace and Peace.