Can I rant for a second?
I’ve had a lot of frustrations lately and I think a lot of it has to deal with the Internet. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Internet. I use it more than I should. I spend more time on facebook than reading or doing my homework, and helloooo…I’m on tumblr right now so that must give an indication of my love for it. But the problem I’m having with it lately is this idea that people have come so accustomed to communicating on the Internet that they feel like they can say anything they want because they can hide behind everything they post. It’s not a face-to-face conversation so there are no emotions, repercussions, or consequences to whatever they decide to say. Everything is a free for all. (And yes, I realize the irony right now as I communicate this to you on tumblr.)
I follow some artists on facebook and one happened to be a Christian artist. He posted some observation about the President singing Al Green. It was not a dis and he made that very clear, but people just started hammering on it. Spouting off Bible verses left and right, fighting over comments, hating on politicians and making all sorts of hateful statements. And in reading this, I just felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness. This is a group of Christians saying these things and you know what? We’re just like the world. We aren’t any different and that’s the saddest part. The other day my pastor said something that got me to thinking. He said something to the affect of “Do you see Christ in me? Does my daughter see Christ in me? Does my neighbors see Christ in me?’ Looking at these comments on that page, seeing Christians bashing on other Christians/churches on the Internet and arguing and bickering over politicians and whether they’re Christian or not, I don’t see Christ in that at all. And that’s what’s frustrating. Because when non-Christians see this, do you think they are going to want this? No, because it looks like something they already possess. This is man’s manipulated and falsely interpreted Jesus. And the Internet has only blown this to a whole other level; making it acceptable for anyone to say anything and everyone to see everything. It’s just a huge outlet for non-Christians to see the division and hate amongst the body of Christ. This isn’t how it should be.
God does not repay evil for evil, and thus the righteous should not do so either. No judgment, no abuse, but blessing…Blessing means laying one’s hand on someone and saying, despite everything, you belong to God.— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Now I know that there are theological and political tensions and I don’t disregard the importance of discussing those matters at all, but in the end, does it really matter? I don’t think so. The point is Jesus. And apart from that, I don’t want anything else. Are these churches biblical, gospel-centered, and are people coming to know Jesus? If yes, then in the end that’s all I care about. As for politics, I got into that for a while and it left me bitter until God laid it on my heart that a politician’s campaign doesn’t define me, He does. So should you care about the issues? Should you know what’s going on in the world around you? Of course, yes. But just know all politicians are campaigning. That is their job. They are not going to solve the world’s problems or create peace. And bills passed in the Legislature won’t ultimately change society; you can’t legislate a nation into righteousness. What can change a nation is a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit saturated and grounded in the gospel. This is where I am placing my hope.
“If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior. “ —D.A Carson