Angry Christians “Trending.” Will Anger- and Not Works of Service- Be Our 21st Century Legacy?
By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (email@example.com)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS. OCT. 18) As one news site said, it’s a move that no one saw coming.
Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Kentucky clerk Kim Davis on Monday outside the courthouse where she works. WBC made the announcement Thursday on Twitter.
WBC calls Davis a “self righteous hypocrite,” an adulteress, and a “fake Christian.”
Davis was jailed briefly back in June for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in her county.
Wikipedia describes WBC as an “unaffiliated Baptist church known for its hate speech, especially against LGBT people (homophobia), Jews (antisemitism), and politicians. The church is categorized as a hate group, and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Rare said, “This will certainly be an interesting showdown.”
But while it’s Davis and the protesters from WBC who because of their high profile are gathering all the media attention, they’re just symptomatic of a wider problem. Less newsworthy examples of (Christian) angst seem to abound throughout the nation.
But does it really help to protest abortion and homosexuality? Is this what we want our legacy to be?
I did a recent Google search with the parameters “Christians against,” and came up with the results expected, as well as Christians against science, Christians against Slipknot, Christians against Obama, Christians against cloning, Christians against dinosaurs and Christians against euthanasia.
The Greek word for gospel is “euangelion,” or good news. Sadly, it seems that much of what we hear and see these days should be described as the gospel of no, or not very good news at all.
My point is not to give my opinion on the issues I’ve described above. It’s rather to ask if our continuous displays of negativity generate the desired result? Does anybody really benefit from all these protests and demonstrations? Of course, one obvious beneficiary of the anticipated WBC and Davis fiasco will be the media, which get higher ratings and more clicks.
So here’s an idea! Albuquerque is a great city, but we have hungry and homeless people, a full jail and lots of other community issues that need help and attention. We could take all the negative energy used in this and other controversies and use it to share God’s love.
Let’s do more proactive stuff like feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, visiting the sick and those in jail and bringing a light into the lives of the depressed.
If we quit trying to change the culture and let God do it as, if and when He wanted, maybe some wonderful things would happen beyond our comprehension.
I posed the same thought on Facebook and got a variety of responses. One woman wrote that nowhere in the New Testament are Christians told to “shine” the light by holding up picket signs.
She continued, “No missionary EVER won over a pagan culture by standing outside a village waving a picket sign! They were won over to Christianity by the schools, hospitals and orphanages these Christian men and women founded for them.”
However, someone else commented, “That would be great, except the god-haters would run over us while we’re being nice and trying to do all those good things.”
In another comment on the same thread the same woman said that my idea “would be great if it worked, but the enemy isn’t going to let us get by so easily. Sometimes hard choices and strong resistance is the only option.”
But hard choices and strong resistance don’t seem to be doing much to advance the Kingdom. Anyone game for trying my option?
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Photo captions: 1) Message about the picket from Westboro Baptist Church, via Twitter. 2) Jeremy and Elma Reynalds.
About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on “From Destitute to Ph.D.” are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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