Thursday, October 21, 2010

Identity Crisis

Please bear with me, but I can take it no longer, and must let all this spill out here.  I am a christian, because I believe that Jesus died for our sins, and I have repented, been baptized and follow Him.  Lately though, the word "christian" has taken on such an ugly meaning, even in my mind.  The behavior of several proclaimed christians has been so unlike the behavior of Christ that I hear a lot of people trash-talking christians as a whole, and I can't blame them.  I know exactly why they feel that way, because I feel that way toward those people as well.

I'll start from the beginning, so that you may understand why my heart is so heavy.  What once was anger has turned to despair.  How can followers of Christ behave this way?  Well over a year ago, Norm Johnson ran for a legislative office at the State level.  In his campaign he was clear, he believed marriage was between a man and a woman, but felt that same-sex couples should be afforded the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.  Legal rights that I believe most heterosexual couples take for granted.  He was elected, and voted for a bill that would allow same-sex couples, and heterosexual couples over the age of 65 that were unmarried legal rights. Last year, the issue ended up in the hands of voters.  The majority of the State chose to uphold those rights, but the majority (around 60%) in our area voted to withdraw them.   Enter Michele Strobel.  The wife of a Selah pastor.  She vowed to run against Johnson and bring morals back to our State.

As a christian, she had every opportunity, and I expected her to, run a clean campaign.  A campaign that would show everyone how believers in Christ behave.  She and her team have failed.  Her supporters include the owner of the local christian broadcasting, and many leaders of churches throughout our town.  At first her platform was all about that one issue of granting rights to same-sex couples.  Soon she added being a small business advocate.  Soon her campaign became all about how Johnson is wrong, that he's owned by gay lobbyists.  Emails went out from her supporters calling prominent people on Johnson's campaign team homosexuals.  Except they weren't using nice words.  No, they chose to use the derogatory terms "fag" and "dyke."  Many of you may see a lawsuit in the making, but they were careful only to name another elected official (who cannot sue) and generalize that it was everyone else. 

Then came the advertisement in the paper.  A sketch of Johnson, as a king, with little gnomes at his feet wearing the label gay lobbyist.  In the sea near him were 2 gay men being married by a Catholic priest.  The sun and the birds were all visibly upset at this "unnatural" union.  The story below told of King Canute and his attempt to go against nature, and compared Johnson to him.  Attacks have continued, against Johnson's family (he has 2 sons that are gay) and claims that he is in office with his homosexual agenda.  A term which I fail to understand. 

I've attempted to fight back through a Facebook page, dedicated to letting people know that Strobel will not represent all of her constituents, only those that are heterosexual.  I firmly believe that Jesus taught us to treat everyone well, to love everyone.  He didn't come to this earth and walk among the saints.  He came to this earth and dined with prostitutes and tax collectors.  He came to help all of us, and we are all sinners.  I'm not attempting to argue whether or not homosexuality is a sin or not, because I honestly am undecided on that fact.  There are many things in the Bible that are prohibited that we do not apply today, and many that we do.  So I leave that between you and God to decide for yourself. So my argument is based on what Strobel and her supporters believe.

If Strobel's group believes that homosexuals don't deserve the same rights as the rest of us because homosexuality is a sin, then should we also withdraw rights from adulterers because adultery is a sin?  Should alcoholics be treated differently because they struggle with sin?  Maybe anyone that has ever cursed, lied or gossiped should have some right withheld from them as punishment for that sin?  Where does it end?  The Bible doesn't have a rating scale of sin.  Sin is sin.  And every last one of us walking on this earth today has sinned.

I am ready for this campaign to be over.  But that will not end the way I feel.  I've been asked, "Why don't more christians behave like you?"  For that my only answer is, "They are forgetting to act like Christ."


Mrs. Mordecai said...

I agree with you. I think a lot of the time, Christians running for political office forget their own sins in attempts to point out others'. Really, sometimes I wonder if a campaign can even be won without mudslinging. It makes me angry.

Michelle said...

Right on, sister. Right with you all the way.

jennifer said...

Clap. Clap. Clap. *clap.*clap*clap*clap*clap*clap*

You get a standing ovation from me. We have to react in love or how else will people see Christ in us?

Kelloggsville said...

I popped over from DustBunny as your title grasped me as I had very similar feelings about the Quran burning pastor. Like your difficulties over whether what they are saying about Homosexuals is right or wrong. I felt the same way about that. regardless of what the sin was, the way it was being dealt with, treated, handled didn't sit right. I pictured Jesus in front of him and wondered if he would applaud his behaviour and I doubted it. I keep wondering if religion is bad, I am a follower of Jesus, I'm not comfortable with being part of the same label as the people that behave like the pastor and the people you are talking about.

A very interesting and thought provoking read tonight, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm here if you need to talk. I've been through the "identity crisis" more than once.

Mallory said...

I agree that many christians tend to sit high and mighty and look down their noses on those "lower" then themselves. They forget that the little lie they told earlier in the week, or the gossip they spread just the other day is JUST as bad as murder, adultry, or any other sin that they are looking down on others for.

I do consider myself a christin, bow ever I strive to live up to the person who makes up most of that term CHRIST. I think if being a christian was a little more about that and a little less about beliefs and traditions this world would be a lot better off!