I often read Dan Kimball’s blog Vintage Faith. I found this article there that blew my mind. I know and understand cyberspace’s free speech attributes, but opinions like this one draw a deep anger out of me. In essence, this man addresses the pastor who was electrocuted in the baptistery in Texas recently, and asserts that because he was an emergent church pastor, God was punishing him by electrocuting him. This kind of sentiment is why I am leery of letting people know that I am a Christian when I meet them on the street – not because I am ashamed of my faith, Jesus, or the gospel… but because there are so many people who attribute this kind of thinking with all Christians! I find myself not using the term Christian, referring to myself as a Christ-follower. It’s not a great solution, but it helps to allow people to see and hear me as a person, before dismissing me as "one-of-those".
Another example just a few months back here in Naperville… a family lost a son in the war. A baptist group from Kansas announced that they would be showing up to the funeral to communicate to the family that their son died as a punishment from God on our nation because of our "liberalism" toward homosexuals. This baptist church group didn’t single out this naperville family – they were making an effort to get to every KIA funeral! The family, if I remember correctly, had to reschedule services and ask for police protection at their son’s military funeral!
Why? How can people who associate themselves with Jesus even BEGIN to think or act this way? Is it any wonder why so many have tuned out the church and "Christians" as nothing but angry, hypocritical idiots? What’s the answer?
Maybe we all have some repenting to do (myself included). Maybe it means that all of us who follow Jesus reconnect with loving each other and those far from God in new ways that stretch us. Maybe it means thinking and rethinking what we do/feel/say and why.