WHAT IF THEY WERE A MEMBER OF YOUR CHURCH?
[Ed. Note: My apologies for the almost month-long delay between posts. I have been dealing with some personal and professional issues that have kept me from writing as often as I would like.]
I have been reading with interest much of the anticipation leading up to, and the response after, President Obama’s recent executive order concerning those who have entered the United States in an unlawful manner. There’s enough info out there that I’m not going to get into my personal opinions about the issue other than to say that there’s not a person alive who does not deserve the decency of human compassion and care in whatever way may be needed.
What’s stuck in my craw today is the response I’ve seen from many within the Christian community whom I call brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues.
Some have sung President Obama’s praises, saying that his actions are in line with the gospel and it’s about time something happened here. Others have completely vilified him, ripping his perceived lack of respect for the laws of the country and the unfairness of his orders on those who came legally or who have not come because they know it would be illegal for them to do so.
On the other side, some have totally shredded those who are opposed to the president’s decision, calling them all sorts of names, questioning their intelligence and implying (or overtly stating) that people who are opposed to these orders obviously do not care about families and children. Others have praised the president’s opponents, talking about how they are the ones who care the most about the rule of law and the morals of our society.
In either side of this equation, it is my personal opinion that 99% of what I’m reading from the secular and religious commentators could be filed as propaganda that is being put out there to manipulate the public’s thinking on this issue and those with whom they disagree. (Although I do find it amusing that some who bill themselves as tolerant show absolutely zero tolerance for those with whom they disagree, but I digress.)
No, what I want to put on the table today is a simple question:
For those of you who are opposed to the president’s agenda and actions, what if he and his family were members of your congregation? Would you spit the vitriol or support those who do if this man and his family were part of your flock, people who turned to you for answers and spiritual guidance?
For those of you who are opposed to the president’s opponents’ agenda and actions, what if they and their family were members of your congregation? Would you spit the vitriol or support those who do if they and their family were part of your flock, people who turned to you for answers and spiritual guidance?
If their membership in your congregation would change your opinion about the vitriol you produce or encourage, should it maybe, just maybe, influence it now? In other words, does our participation in the discourse, especially towards those with whom we disagree, reflect accurately the grace of God, the love of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit?
Just some grist for the mill…
Grace and Peace, Lamar