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16th of June

Peace on Earth


 

Never thought I’d see the day.  Not in my lifetime.  Just heard from a friend that an organization for which she works will never “make it” in a particular community because her organization employs devoted Christians in high positions, though it’s not a Christian organization, though it serves people of all faiths and all persuasions.

Seriously?

A high level employee of another organization had the audacity to state such an opinion openly, screaming discrimination without using the word?  Why?  Because the stance on certain issues is “offensive” to them?  Really?  Without even asking questions for clarification?  By just assuming?

And what if a certain stance on certain issues that certain organizations support and/or promote is offensive to a certain Christian?  Where then is tolerance?

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I never thought I’d see the day when Christians would be persecuted in our own land like this, bullied into silence, forced into shadows where we we’re scared to be seen or heard. Have we become the “fringe” of our society, our world?

And I wonder . . .

For the sake of avoiding social ostracism, for the sake of career progression or family union do we, as Christians, opt to shut up and sit down, plastering our own duct tape over our own mouths?

Isn’t it easier and safer to “love” and be all inspirational in our communications—to be all easy and fluff-stuff of the Bible because THAT costs us NOTHING (and maybe gains us something?) and is socially acceptable to all?  Have we allowed ourselves to be silenced? Have we taken the bribe?

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Don’t rock that boat of political correctness!  Might go overboard.  Might find yourself in choppy waters of a raging storm.  And if someone else rocks the boat you’re in?  Throw ’em out!  Better one drown than many. Keep your eyes on the waters and not on your “Lord”. That’ll keep you safe—us safe—for sure. 

Can we be so sure?

We’re being sucked away by the cultural insistence of tolerance.  We’re being bullied into silence.  Sun is going down . . .

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Where’s the tolerance for my beliefs?

There’s a group who wants to hear my story of how I’ve lived with clinical depression and managed to raise three adopted kids with multiple, invisible disabilities.  But they don’t want to hear anything about God, I’ve been told.  No mention of my faith.

Why?  Do they think I’ll try to proselytize? Might they think me offensive if I mention my belief in Jesus Christ—my reliance on his Word?  They don’t even know me.  They don’t even know that I don’t impose or demand or expect.  I always try, with God’s help, to listen and learn and love and still stay true to the One I love.

Here’s another I love who knows how to listen AND love—who stands for TRUTH and still LOVES . . .

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God sends us all messengers in all sizes, all ages, all colors, even all religions . . .

So, they want my story but they don’t want me?

They want to slice-and-dice me, sanitize me of Christ, my love and my Life?

I get it.  It’s a secular place.  So I’ll stay clinical.  I’ll behave.  Sort of.  I know how to play this game, praise be to my God who is all-wise.

I’ll tell them truths from the psychological perspective I gained after 6 years of secular grad school and $50,000 to earn their favor.  I’ll share the research about how healthy thinking and healthy behaving and healthy social supports can help alleviate clinical depression.  And of course, I’ll just keep God out of my talk and not give credit to the One who saved my life and soul by the Great Book I got for free, before my degree, from whence all successful psychological therapy comes from.  I can do that.

But I won’t.

If people want me and my true story, they’re going to have to practice the tolerance they preach.

And I will say to them . . .

Fear not!

I’m not here trying to convert one single soul.

I can’t.

And I know it.

Conversion is not my job.  That’s the job of the Holy Spirit in whom I believe.

Telling my story with no hidden agenda is my job.

Respectful conversation is my job, both listening and speaking.

My job is to remember that, in my religion, people are free to choose who or what they believe, follow and worship.

My job is to stand for truth and to love all God’s created.

My job is not to condemn or abuse or kill with sword, gun or tongue.

And my most holy job is to be humble and let my God lead me by his perfect Love and Truth, to follow his holy way, revealed in Christ.

I may not always be explicit with my words spoken to others but I ought always to be explicit with my actions.

Truth and Love.

Balanced.

For this, I pray to my God.

If this group wants me still—a human being, flawed but saved by grace—they might have to hear how my God has helped me stay sane and love others the world rejects.  I might have to insert just—one—line.  Because they might just need to experience God’s love for them, they who think and believe differently from me, with no pressure to accept me or my beliefs.

My job is to stand tall and speak truth in love.  My job is to respect differing views and beliefs.

Will they?

I hope.  But I don’t expect.  And I won’t demand.  Because THIS is the way of Jesus Christ.

And I hope that I—one small human being among billions—will, by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, give these listeners just a tincture of God’s love AND truth.  Just a tincture that can heal divisions.

I may not be able to solve all the world’s problems.  But I am asking my God to bring peace on earth in one small part . . .

And to let it begin with me . . .

 

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