It’s No Wonder

IMG_0091Let me start off by saying that this is not a rant against evangelicals, conservatives, the Christian right, fundies, whatever.  When I first saw this pin I was admittedly furious.  Yes, it’s a fake story that never happened for a feel-good Jesus-is-my-buddy effect, but it wasn’t so bad.  In some ways it was a cute little story.  But when I got to the end and the “God is watching you so you better share this little work of fiction” admonition I wanted to hurl.  Instead of a rant, let’s call this encouragement.

“66% of you won’t post this.”  Of course not.  That’s rather encouraging, actually.  66% see it for the act of coercion that it is.  66% chose to use their God-given intellect instead of riding a wave of emotion to social media.  66% were turned off by the threat that the indignant temper-tantrum throwing deity in the clouds would send them to eternal torture if they didn’t share something that we all know isn’t true.  Nice.  The sad thing is that the 66% is much more silent than the 34% and that’s a problem.

So, now for the encouragement.  My friends – whomever would post such a thing as this – I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.  I want to assume that you are trying to share the fact that Jesus is radically loving and that his way is a comforting and compassionate one.  I am going to venture that you want to show that God goes with us to get through even the most difficult of times and that no matter what troubles we find ourselves afflicted with that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  Great!  Then please say that.

I have a proposal.  Those of us in the 66% (with all of the various beliefs and ideologies that exist even within this group) want to partner with you to show the world the same things that you want to show them.  Let’s do it via another way, though.  Let’s show the world that God’s love is amazing and that we don’t have to make up feel-good stories to experience it, but that we can instead experience it in the love we receive from one another.  Let’s do for “the least of these” and invite everyone into communion at the table that God set for us.  Let’s do what Jesus did and live the example that he lived instead of putting words in his mouth that he never uttered.  Can we do this together?

To the 66%: Let’s stop being so damn quiet.  Let’s start writing our own feel-good stories, but let’s make ours true accounts of great works and deeds that we have done in the name of the one who taught us to do them.  Let’s write more books for the mainstream reader.  Let’s have more theological discussions.  Let’s get on the radio and on the TV and out on the street corners and invite people to get their hands dirty and their eyes wet as we work together to free a world that is weighed down by systemic oppression and extremist ideologies.  Let’s partner with our brothers and sisters on the other side of the aisle and agree to disagree on theology, but never compromise the mission.  Let’s show the world that the church isn’t a sinking ship that is merely trying to bring the passengers down with it, but that we are a living, vibrant, Spirit-filled base camp for mission that still has the power to change the world should we choose to do it.  Are you in?

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One Response to “It’s No Wonder”

  1. John Lovestrand Says:

    We each have to pursue this path in our own way, me thinks.

    Some out in front, with a bullhorn.

    Others in the back pew, with faint praise.

    Most (66% ?) somewhere in between those 2 extremes.

    Can I get a witness ?! 🙂

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