What have we learned?
(Hang on… really, really consider what we really learned)
Over the past week, individuals within the Christian and non-Christian community at large have shared their opinions.
- Some have stereotyped the Robertsons as rich people with a bigoted attitude. Others have claimed inspiration from someone who boldly says what he believes.
- Some have have an opinion from afar, reading the headlines and assuming they know the story. Others have micro-analyzed one or two statements of the GQ interview.
- Some have rallied to activism, from pages they like to merchandise they do/don’t buy. Others have been activists at putting down the activists, which has itself is quite an activity.
- Some have attempted to hold strong to their own view while appearing moderate, which is quite the trick. Others have attempted to magnify their own view, whichever direction they took on any issue.
- Some have taken the stance that A&E is a company that has the right to revoke a contract as it sees fit. Others have asked, “Why are they doing that now? I’m pretty sure they knew who they extended the contract to in the first place.”
- Some have dug into the Robertsons as a family and looked for context on who they are behind the edits of the show. Others have assumed that you can judge a book by its alleged cover.
Some have even crossed lines from what you’d expect to hear out of them and said something completely out of character to share their viewpoint… which is kind of ironic, if you think about it.
So what have we learned? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything.
It will all be revealed in one of two approaches to what happens next:
- You will come up with a one-liner.
- “It was all about the money.”
- “It was all about the pressure.”
- “It was all a publicity stunt.”
- “It was all about my boycott!”
- “It was all about the _______ community.”
- You will come out of this a better listener.
Real people with real feelings that really matter to God were on all sides of this issue.
Or will you ultimately choose the boycott approach and pull into your own circle where everyone thinks like you?
I suppose that’s up to you.
- A quick word to the non-Christian, atheist, agnostic or “spiritual” person: Thanks for reading this. I’m not sure what you tasted of Christianity in this process, but the reality is we’re as much as mess as anyone. Perhaps the difference is we’ve stopped letting that be our excuse to quit growing, so there is hope within us… His name is Jesus Christ. Please keep giving us a chance, and I hope you often find exceptions to your stereotypes of us.
- A quick word to the Christian: There are times to circle the wagons and take your stand against Satan, but don’t mistake people who disagree with you as Satan. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood… it’s just how you see the push-back to your faith at times. Forming a like-minded community seems like Christianity, but it’s really not the way it’s supposed to happen. We’re called to follow Jesus and let Him form the community that includes a rag-tag bunch of people we’d never choose to have lunch with on a sane day.
I’ll end with a quote from Shawn Harrison:
The non-Christian world won’t magically submit to Christian ideals and values. In fact, Jesus tells us things will get worse, that we will face unfair treatment*, and even be put to death for our faith (see John 16:33, 15:20). In response to this trouble, Jesus does not say, “Start a Facebook group in protest,” or “Boycott this company,” or anything like these ideas. Rather, Christ calls us to live for Him despite what others say; He says to pray for those who don’t understand and ridicule us; He says to love those who we find to be unlovable (see Matthew 5:11-12, 44, Romans 12:14). He calls us to be a light in the darkness (Matthew 5:14).