It’s been an interesting couple of days. What I thought was a simple introspective question using an “excellent” example from recent news, has been one of my most commented, and apparently controversial, posts. The conversations coming out of it have been excellent and for the most part positive, giving me much to reflect on. I have received criticism regarding my support or lack thereof towards other “Christian faithful”, in this instance of Dan Cathy and his “biblical response to homosexuality and gay marriage”.
What I’ve experienced in recent days is the solidarity of like believers. I chose a popular faith-based organization who had made comments about marriage and homosexuality (see Chick-Fil-A: Convenient Biblical Truth), two hot-button topics that are dividing believers and non-believers. The resulting comments however didn’t provide the introspective self-evaluation of Christian’s choosing which verse they wish to follow and which they wish to ignore as I had hoped. Rather it became a critique of my personal values and beliefs.
What bothered me most was what I felt as a personal attack on me, a Christian, for mocking another Christian. In the days following I found myself asking “Are Christian’s not allowed to be critical of other Christians?” As this thought occurred to me I found several other news articles that stood out:
- A black couple in Mississippi was asked to move their wedding to a different church after members complained
- A Chick-Fil-A owner is being sued for firing an employee to force her to be a stay at home mom.
- A Pennsylvania Pastor is charged with kidnapping his own youth group
- Is Franklin Graham impersonating Billy Graham for political gain?
Have Christian’s lost their minds? What part of any of those sounds like something Jesus would do? It seems like Christian’s are making headlines for all the wrong reasons anymore. Yet, I don’t see Christian’s responding to these stories with righteous indignation. Is it not allowed because they are fellow believers? Or have we turned a blind eye to fight against greater sins?
Why must we leave the critique of the church and Christianity up to those who are not part of it? Are we so sheltered within the walls of our faith that we can no longer see our own faults? Yet, when someone outside the church questions the integrity or hypocrisy of actions by believers, we become defensive. Why isn’t Westboro Baptist Church planning to picket outside the church with the racist members? Why do so many faithful still contribute to Pat Robertson for making un-Christlike statements about the sinfulness of Colorado wildfire victims?
Is it because we want to trust the Christian faithful to appropriately follow Matt. 18: 15-20? But what if they don’t? Who is there to step up to say something about the cycle of abuse, greed, hate, and complacency of those who claim to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ? I personally would rather be critiqued by like minded believers with whom we can find a common accord than to have my thoughts and words turned against me for the sake of disproving my faith altogether.
I am not above criticism and will continue to learn and grow from the comments and feedback I receive. My only response is that those who wish to provide the critique would not be above a responding challenge for self-evaluation.