One of the reasons there are more believers outside the organized church than within it these days was evident today. A dear friend of mine lost her home to fire and nearly lost her life and those of two of her adult children. Nearly! One of the children, a 20 yr old, fell asleep smoking. He woke up and saw the flames, poured water on them and thought the fire was extinguished. It was not. He went upstairs to bed. Meanwhile the flame smoldered producing a gas which at some point spontaneously ignited. The power of the flame blew out the front window and flames spread quickly in the older frame home. My friend and her 18 yr old daughter were upstairs. They became trapped, but pushed out the window ac unit and climbed out onto their roof. Coaxed by helpful neighbors, the two jumped at least 5 ft to the neighbor’s roof. They survived with some burns, but they will recover. The house and its contents are a total loss.
The response by one of their leaders to questions from those wanting to help, was typical to my experience. “Yes, it’s terrible, but God is doing a GREAT thing in the midst of it.” I have no doubt God is in fact God – therefore He will redeem the situation. That, however, does not negate the fact that this family lost EVERY-THING, and they deserve a time to mourn their loss!!!!
Why is it so hard for some Christian leaders to admit and face genuine pain without condemnation? Bad things happen to wonderful people, sometimes. Sometimes sick people die. Sometimes marriages fall apart. Sometimes accidents happen. Some times there is not a platitude answer for the situations that arise in life. And That is OK!!!! Yes, for the believer, good will alway, always, always come from the every situation … eventually, but there is real pain that needs to be addressed. There is real mourning that needs to be experienced. Why is that so hard for many to deal with without pronouncing it as sin?
Pain is a part of life. It cannot be avoided. Accidents happen. When the church accepts this and learns how to love the victims through their pain, Jesus will become more real and more visible to those inside and outside.
Bullying is not a new thing. Kids have always sought the solitary differences among them to ridicule. We dealt with it and eventually learned to fight back … nicely, of course. Problem is, the culture in the 50’s, and early 60’s was a bit gentler than today, even with the unwanted war actions.
Kids learn to bully … somewhere?
Let me ask you this: What do our children learn from TV/movies/video games … the NEWS? (Not, what do they watch) What is shown to them? Do we teach them to appreciate the differences of others? Or do we teach “If you don’t believe like me, you’re WRONG!” ?
Left v Right
Republican v Democrat,
Union, v Non-Union,
North v South,
Christian v Islam,
Male v Female
… and on and on we go in our dichotomic world. Why are there only two choices? When there are but two choices, if you don’t agree completely with me, you must be wrong. I mean, who believes the wrong thing by choice???
Grown ups must start acting like adults, and stop teaching our children to bully!
“Battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong!
Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth 1967
Our children learn what we teach them. More specifically, children learn what they SEE and HEAR routinely. WE teach our children to either embrace the differences of others or question them. We teach our children to judge others even as we tell them not to because we teach with our behavior. When we scoff at the fat man across the street, or the short person struggling to get onto the bus, or the person who doesn’t appear as “handsome” as we might wish, we are teaching our children the ideology the produces bullying. When we sneer at the “sinner” across the parking lot of the church, synagogue or mosque we just left, are we displaying the compassion ALL major religions preach or the judgment condemned in all holy writings? It doesn’t have to be a sexuality issue! Kids have always been just plain mean! They find ANY difference reason enough to bully! Sounds kinda like our politicians, doesn’t it? Uh, behavior has to be learned some place!
Someday, just for fun, we should try to APPRECIATE our differences … just for fun, mind you! 😉 It might be too productive, I understand. We might learn to value other perspectives and maybe, just maybe, learn a thing or two. Maybe!