James Dobson…Jerry Falwell, Jr…Pat Robertson…John Piper…Mark Driscoll…the list could go on and on…
For years, I have cringed any time these names pop up on my news feed. You see, I’ve come to find that any time these names are associated with a news story, it’s going to highlight some kind of crazy, serious nut-job, chauvinistic, bigoted, homophobic, judgmental, and most likely politically charged statement they have made.
After they make one of their statements that tends to find its way into the national news (or at least 5 million Facebook shares), I find myself proclaiming, “Look, we’re not all like that.” I find myself doing everything in my power to distance myself from guys like those named above.
And, to be honest, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of feeling the need to differentiate myself from these guys. I’m tired of feeling the need to make sure people are aware that I don’t agree with the Confessing Movement/Good News camp, the supposed “moral majority”, the “religious right” or the so-called “American Evangelicals”.
Of course, in differentiating myself from these groups and individuals, I’m not sure I’m doing much good. Instead, I’m just highlighting the growing division within the Church.
Sure, I have people say, “Thank you for giving me hope that you Christians are not all like that.” But, shouldn’t people know that I’m “not like that” simply by the way I live my life and demonstrate my love for God and others through my every day words and deeds? If I’m doing my best to live what I believe, I really shouldn’t have to make any kind of distancing statement.
Let’s be honest, whenever I get on my soapbox to rail against the statements by those I label as judgmental, homophobic, bigoted, chauvinistic, crazy, nut jobs, I’m just being a judgmental, progressive, liberal, crazy, nut job.
Sure, there are times when Christian leaders need to speak out against the statements and decisions that are made by other Christian leaders. I mean, as a pastor, there are times to tap into that “prophetic voice”.
However, too often, we jump on our anti-Dobson posts because we’ll get more “likes” and generate traffic to our blogs. And, at this point, it probably isn’t necessary.
So, I guess I’m tired of being tired of being tired of others. I’m tired of the “us vs. them”, “I’m right, you’re wrong” games being played within the Church. It’s not a strong witness.
In the continued spirit of honesty, I’ve got way too much of my own junk to deal with to be too concerned with the ridiculous statements made by people I don’t even know on a personal level.
Maybe I should take seriously (but not literally, after all, I am a crazy, progressive, liberal, nut job) that whole story about focusing on that speck of dust in my neighbors eye while ignoring the log in my own.