I live in Texas. As a result, I am surrounded by cultural Christianity. To be clear: what I am calling cultural Christianity is not true Christianity. Though some “cultural Christians” may be true believers, most are people who have been raised within a set of morals and principles that follow basic Judeo-Christian values. They are often people who either claim membership in a church or at one time did so. Whether or not their faith is genuine, often cultural Christians do not connect that faith to a sincere relationship with Jesus.
Contrast that with my high school experience in Maryland. There, I was surrounded by a vast array of belief structures and moral understandings. While I was attending a relatively solid, Bible-believing church and had a great Christian community, the world around me was quite different than the gun-carrying, conservative-libertarian Mecca in which I now reside. Maryland is home to some of the most liberal people in the world! But they are uniquely liberal. They are independently liberal and ferociously ideologues.
In this way, they are not much different than the people I live around (Ron Paul served as our Congressman/local Superhero for years.) It is this independent thinking that I admire in my two communities. I love the reality that neither group of friends has formed their ideas in a vacuum. I love that both groups have their own sources of media and both are willing to question the veracity of their own groups. I love that they are all open to honest discussion… most of the time.
Now that you understand my context a bit. I want to address something. I’m not sure how to address these things, but I have to say something. Forewarning: I do not like to talk about politics… most of the time I’ll just nod at your outrage and mumble about living in a sinful world. That said, here we go:
In the past year, there has been outcry and outrage about a myriad of heinous issues. Sexual harassment, political scandals, moral failings, denial of human dignities, and political posturing have come to the forefront in every sphere of media regardless of political leaning. There are some things that have bothered me about the rhetoric though.
- Stop claiming moral high-ground. If you’re espousing a political point of view, you don’t have moral high-ground. Politicians have never been bastions of morality. Even the saints of each party are wicked. Personally, I have a difficult time believing that politicians are capable of basic morality, but that’s just me. I want to remind you, you do not have the moral high-ground! If you’re a Democrat, it wasn’t that long ago that one of your heroes was using executive power to cheat on his wife. If you’re Republican, it wasn’t that long ago that one of your heroes was advocating torture. Videotapes, flying death drones, embezzlement, and hidden secrets are the norm! You shouldn’t be surprised! People are sinful and they continue to be sinful! Romans 3:10-18 states it well when it explains that “no one is righteous, not one seeks God!” Stop claiming to be moral… we’re not. Our nation is made up of sinful people who need to repent and trust in Jesus Christ.
- Stop pretending that the sins of famous people are so grievous while you practice the same sins secretly. Stand up against sexual sin, but do so with integrity! Sure, you may not sexually harass women in public, but do you watch movies that have graphic sex and incredible amounts of foul language or gratuitous violence? You cannot claim to stand up against sexual deviance and fill yourself with the filth that trains our society to be sexually deviant. Further, if you indulge in pornography, you’re doing the same, if not worse, than those who are currently involved in these scandals. It’s worse because you’re supporting an industry that trains people to view other people as objects to fulfill selfish sinful desires of lust. You’re part of the problem, don’t pretend you’re better just because you haven’t been caught. Romans 2 articulates this well explaining that you are guilty of the very same things for which you condemn others. You who condemn liars, do you lie? You who condemn pornographers, are you indulging in it as well? “You who boast in the [being good] dishonor God by [being wicked while claiming to be good]” (Romans 2:23).
- Stop using social media as your political grandstand. I don’t have much to say here beyond stop. It’s annoying. I want to see pictures of your life and posts about what is going on with you. I don’t care about Donald Trump or the Democrats. I care about you. I never thought I’d long for the day when you were posting pictures of your dinner. But alas… sin has corrupted even our ability to enjoy a good, poorly filtered, photo of a desert.
- Finally, Stop believing your sources of media. I know it is fun to jump on bandwagons and join in clever turns of phrases to defeat political opponents. We love to hear a witty bit of rhetoric and parrot that until the next one comes along. But in reality, we show ourselves to be foolish and unoriginal when we insist that these people don’t have a bias they are reporting from. Ignore them. Turn off the feed for a while and enjoy a snack. If you live near me, come over and I’ll make you coffee and a snack.