We live in a world where we are constantly berated with messages about tolerance. There are few things in our culture now that aren’t inundated with speeches about inclusion and acceptance. The problem with this is that tolerance, inclusion, and acceptance don’t seem to extend to those of the Christian faith.
The truth is that most people only want to accept and include those whom they agree with. There is no tolerance for those that deviate from groupthink. People will cry and scream about diversity, but they don’t really want diversity. They only want to be surrounded by people just like themselves.
One of the worst things you can do for your emotional development is to put yourself in an echo chamber. You should never be afraid to listen to and entertain ideas other than you own. If you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll never be able to grow; both in spirit and in life.
Speaking only of faith, there are many religious groups I don’t agree with; Both Christian, and not. But, that doesn’t stop me from learning about them and wanting to understand them better. For instance, I don’t agree with Islamic beliefs. I still want to know what they believe, and why. How could I refute something if I didn’t know anything about it? How can I say I disagree with what they think, if I don’t first not what they think? If I have a conversation with a Muslim about the divinity of Christ, it makes things easier if I understand why they believe He was only man, not God. Also, by learning about other belief systems and philosophies, my faith isn’t blind, but educated.
There are too many people in the church today who only have surface level faith. I hate when people say things such as “I believe the bible is true, because it says it is.” This circular logic isn’t helping anyone come to faith, or helping strengthen yours. If I say “I am now the President of the United States, because I said so.” does that make me the President? (No.)
Also, people will say things like “I know Jesus, I don’t need to know anything else.” On one hand, I see the point. Truly knowing Jesus is all you need for salvation, but what about beyond that? There is a rich history within the church that can help strengthen your faith, why not want to know more about it? As well, you may only need to know Jesus, but what about others who don’t come to Christ so easily? Some people aren’t satisfied with blind faith. Why not prepare yourself to better explain a rational argument for why someone should place their faith in Jesus?
Unfortunately most people in our culture today don’t care much for Christians. There is little to no attempt to understand why we hold the beliefs we do, or to try and be respectful of us as people scream we should be of them. This is what brings me to my thought for this week. Christianity was once the moral standard that our country lived by, now it is openly mocked. People today will bend over backwards to try and accommodate other religions, but not our own. Each year at Halloween time you can go online and find endless lists of “offensive” costumes. But, those lists never seem to mention the disrespectfulness that Christians see each year.
Those shown above aren’t uncommon, and many people find them humorous. But, to the faithful, some of those items and what they represent are sacred. The items above aren’t costumes, they’re uniforms; Uniforms for people who do some of the most meaningful work in the world. Imagine the uproar that would be caused if a woman wore a burqa and dressed as a Muslim for Halloween. Or, if a man pretended to be an Imam. We live in a very biased society, and I hate that many people only speak up about it when it suits their own worldview.
Moving on from the appropriation of Christian vestments, there is also issue with the sexualization of them. I covered this issue in my last post, but these bother me much more. These are arguably the worst of all. Modesty, humility, and piety are some of the founding principles that our lives are built on. It’s not a secret that I have many disagreements with the Catholic church, but I still have a respect for the members of it. I’ve interacted with a few nuns in my time, and they all are devote women who dedicate their lives to serving the Lord, simply, humbly, often times doing so impoverished. The idea that someone would coopt that to entice men makes my skin crawl.
Most people who know me know that I loathe politics. People will make endless arguments for why Jesus “belongs” to their party. The republications carryon about the sanctity of life and marriage, but tend to ignore the glaring economic division among us. The democrats talk endlessly about helping the poor, but seem to place more importance on making everyone happy rather observing God’s law. The truth is, everyone is wrong. I’ve seen that the hand of Satan can easily reach both sides of the isle. Jesus doesn’t belong to any political party, he transcends them. Christians in America have let politics divide them, and society soften them. If the saints of today would start holding fast to biblical principles like they used, many issues we see today wouldn’t exist.
Too many people just role their eyes and look away, or who think it’s “not a big deal.” Then there’s always my least favourite, “I don’t want to fight that fight.” There was a time when the soldiers of Church Militant actually fought the good fight against evil. We’ve become lazy, placated, and complacent. Do you remember when Jesus overturned the tables in the temple? When will we overturn the tables of society and make America observant again?