Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The company we keep

I love to read over at Matthew Paul Turner's blog. He's got some of the most entertaining clips of Christian sub-culture ever. Most days, I laugh and laugh. Every now and again, though, Christian sub-culture is downright terrifying. On Saturday, he posted some videos (not really, they're hosted at YouTube, but are just audio clips) of a Minnesota talk show host discussing homosexuality. The "discussion" is absolutely appalling.

In one clip, Bradlee Dean says, "Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible, the Judeo-Christian God, they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do."

So apparently the "moral" thing to do is to call for the execution of the gay community. Certainly we saw that quite vividly in the country of Uganda with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was backed by primarily evangelical ministers.

And this kind of leads me to my larger point/question. How are we tied to the actions of those who wear the same label that we wear? Should we be linked to them at all? 

I'm not sure about the answer, but I think the whole "they don't represent me" thing is wearing a little bit thin. Because if someone is a part of a movement or a group, they DO represent the group. I may not WANT them to represent the group, but they do. I remember chatting with someone on a message board who has no religious upbringing and who have no involvement in the Church now. We were having a discussion about Fred Phelps and his merry band of haters. I asked if he felt that Phelps and the rest of Westboro congregation represented Christianity and to my amazement, he said yes. I was absolutely stunned, because it just never occurred to me that someone might mistake that freak show as being even remotely related to the Christianity that I have known my entire life.

I remember years ago seeing Guy Doud speak at a youth conference. He talked about winning the national Teacher of the Year award and about losing a lot of weight and general inspirational things. But what has stuck with me years later was his phrase about being "Jesus with skin on." Certainly he was applying it in a positive light. When we love and serve and generally behave in a Christ-like manner, we are representing our faith to those around us in a tangible way. St. Francis of Assisi is attributed with the quote, "Preach the gospel at all times -- if necessary, use words." Again, I think this is a great thought, particularly when people are behaving in a way that I think actually shows the gospel.

But I think that we need to understand that comments like the one quoted at the beginning of this post carry just as much, if not more weight than the blessings we speak. When our actions are harmful and hurtful, that can matter more than the good that we do. We can't just say, "Oh, they don't represent 'real' Christianity," and expect that to cover our bases. If that's not followed up with some serious leg-work to our faith, we are missing out.

Hopefully you won't hear me say that X person doesn't represent me when they do something that I don't agree with. Instead, I hope you'll see me act in a way that shows what I do believe.

Do you think it's fair to judge a group by the words/actions of a few? How do you think you should disassociate with those who are damaging to your views? Does this apply only to religion, or can it apply more broadly?
Apothica carries great cosmetic brands including Oscar Blandi hair care! Check out their amazing products!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Search This Blog


Visit My BlogFrog Community!
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

My photo
I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
Blog Design by Eight Days Designs