I have now stopped and restarted this blog three times and I’m still not 100% sure where I’m going with this. So bear with me while I take some time to write out the thoughts spinning around my head.
This week, President Trump signed something preventing immigrants from select countries from entering the U.S. for a while. My social media has since blown up with arguments and discussions – not that it has been silent since the election, inauguration, women’s march, first week of Trump’s presidency, and the March for Life. But, this seems a big exorbitant.
And I find myself torn.
I usually know precisely where I stand on issues. That’s why I have a whole category on here entitled “Soapboxes.” I know where I stand and I’m usually not afraid to voice my opinion.
This time around, though, I stand shrugging my shoulders in the middle. Not that I don’t care about it; it’s just that I find myself smack in the middle of an argument that no one will ever really win.
See, here’s one thing that sufficiently bothers me. Here we are saying that “Christians” lump all “Muslims” into one, terroristic category. That “Christians” are all “pro-life” but “don’t think past the birth and don’t care what kind of home babies are born into as long as they’re born.” “Christians” are “pro-life but hate refugees.” “Christians” voted Trump into office even though he’s [fill-in-the-blank with your word of choice].
But, aren’t you also lumping all Christians into one category as well then?
See, I am a Christian – and adamantly so. But, here’s where those stereotypes differ from me:
- I am pro-life and anti-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood. But, I am anti-women’s march. I am for proper sex education, funding of pregnancy care centers, women’s health, and better healthcare options. I want a total over-haul of the foster care and adoption systems as soon as possible. I think our inner city schools need a make-over and teen moms need a support system. I 100% do care about the well-being of a baby after its been born and think there are ways to do that beyond Planned Parenthood.
- I am pro-refugee and have even talked with my husband about opening our home up to a refugee family if the need came about. However, I am also all for vetting and slowing down the process of just walking across our borders. We need to know why they’re coming in, where they’re going, and where they came from. It is no small coincidence that most of the terror attacks on our country came from one group of people; so isn’t it simply prudent that we take a step back and figure out how to make it at least more difficult for them to continue to enter our country and kill our citizens? That just seems responsible.
- I am a Bible-believing, Bible-reading Christian and yet I take full offense to fellow Christians throwing up verses that say we are to feed and clothe those in need as a response to this new, temporary mandate. Context is crucial and I think those verses are being taken out of context and being used to throw guilt on the U.S. for protecting its rightful citizens.
- I am a Christian – and I have Muslim friends. I do not hate Muslims nor am I afraid of them. I welcome them to my home, my dinner table, and my children’s lives. They are people with a minority who do terrible things. Kind of reminiscent of every religion, every culture around the world, don’t you think? Just like many people claim to be Christians and know nothing about Jesus’ saving grace on the cross – there are many Muslims who know nothing about the Qu’ran’s mandates to commit atrocities on “infidels.” However, there are a group that are intentionally, frequently murdering hundreds of innocent people. If there is a way to protect us from that minority, I think we should figure it out.
- I am a Christian and my heart breaks for the refugee children trapped in Syria with no way of getting to a safe haven. This is where my confusion begins. While I agree we need to do something, I am not sure what we can realistically do. We are not the only country in the world watching these atrocities occur; therefore, we should not be the only place they can run to for safety. I do not want another WW2 on our hands, though – a time when every country closed its ears and borders to millions of people who legitimately were running for their lives, and ultimately lost the race. We can’t let that happen again. I do not have the answer to this horrid decision.
- I am pro-traditional marriage, but I do not hate homosexuals. I believe it’s a sin; one is not born homosexual. I believe children should not be allowed to “choose their gender” like they would an ice cream flavor. I believe you should use the restroom that goes with what’s on your birth certificate. Do I hate everybody? No. Am I scared? No. I am, however, saddened that it is believed that line of thinking can be forced on me and yet I am to remain quiet and not voice my opinion or make a stand. I am not a gay-hater; I simply do not agree with the lifestyle they have chosen… just like, dare I say, they do not agree with the lifestyle of Christianity that I have chosen.
Christians are doing themselves a disservice – to themselves and to Christ – when they get on social media and begin to debate. Amongst themselves, no less!! This is what erks me the most: Christians debating other Christians about the smallest nuance and wording in a verse in the Bible. I interpret it one way; you interpret it another. Both of us have reason to believe the other is wrong. We debate, debate, debate using Christian-ese and huge words no one really understands — only to find out that neither side has changed and we have, in the process, turned away our unbelieving friends who not only did not understand the debate or even why we’re having it, but the wording we used while we debated it!
We are pushing people away from God and out of the church while we are trying to figure out where we stand on all these socio-political issues in the U.S. right now.
We have got to stop.
We are showing the world how divided and opinionated we are. How close-minded we can be. How “cultish” Christianity appears. We are proving them right by debating in social forums. We are allowing Satan to divide us even further while we think we’re doing the right thing – sorting through tough Scripture passages to figure out how they apply to what’s happening in the world around us.
We need to apply Scripture in a culturally-relevant way, there’s no doubt about that. We need to, more than ever, be in the living Word of God and see what He has to say about these real issues plaguing our society. I love that the Word of God truly is “living and active” and applies to every culture, every century.
But we need to do that “figuring out” in a way that doesn’t turn people off to Christianity and make us mad at each other. We’re dividing ourselves in our attempts to apply Scripture. Doesn’t that seem dangerous? Shouldn’t that shoot up red flags that something is majorly wrong with these conversations?
Satan would like nothing more than to divide us and split us up. He would love to see us marginalized even more and for the world to look at us as the enemy even more than it does already. In doing so, he will win more souls than we will. We’re losing the battle in our generation because we’re spending too much time splitting hairs over God’s Word.
Let’s get a grip. Study the Word. Invite people into your house for coffee and conversation. Get real and go deep – absolutely. Figure out those nuances and help us all discern how it applies to what’s up right now. But, don’t do it online in a way that turns everyone off to Jesus and puts every person who claims to be a Christian into one, giant category.