Sunday Bonus Post – An Epiphany
What is Duck Dynasty and why is it clogging my FB newsfeed? For the past few days I’ve seen article after article and opinion after opinion pop up about this guy’s alleged racist and homophobic comments. The only thing I know about the show and what was said are the few things I’ve gleaned from reading a couple of the articles. Apparently, the patriarch (oh how I hate that word, but that’s another post) was interviewed and the interviewer asked him some pointed questions about his beliefs about gay people and black people. He made some comments that, whether taken out of context or not, come across as racists and homophobic. Since I don’t care enough to invest the time to look into it, I can’t say whether he is racist or homophobic. I don’t have cable so I don’t have to worry about supporting or not supporting A&E in what they’ve chosen to do.
All that is actually beside the point. From the little I know of this “scandal,” I’ve had a EUREKA! moment that is pretty monumental.
I got a late start today because I’m off and my only plan for today is to see Treun and have breakfast with him. Since I have no clue when that is actually going to happen, I got onto FB this morning to kill some time. Waking up at 5 am on your day off gives you some extra time to kick around. I read a couple articles about Duck Dynasty because I was sick of seeing it and got curious what all the hub-bub was about. I then hit the shower and prepared for my day.
It was while I was drying my hair that everything I’d seen and read gelled in my mind and a huge light bulb went on over my head. Some of my friends are outraged that this man would make these comments. Some of my friends stand behind him and his “Christian” values. On one side of the coin are the people saying that his comments were NOT Christian because Jesus didn’t preach hate. On the other side of the coin are the people saying that he is calling out sin and that is what Christians are to do.
And that, my friends, is when the light bulb starting glowing over my head. WHO can say they are 100% right in any area of what God’s character is? WHO can say they interpret the Bible with 100% accuracy about each and every matter that exists? WHO can say that they have the market cornered on an exact understanding of God’s nature?
NO ONE CAN!!!!! If we could accurately and thoroughly interpret the Bible and God’s character 100% of the time, we would be God himself. And that is where my problem with God’s church comes in. The reason that I’m so against trying to find a church again is because, for years, I was surrounded by people who arrogantly claimed to have it right. These people claimed to be the only right way to God, the only right way to read and understand the Bible, the only right way to live a Christian life. And if you didn’t do it exactly like they said, then you were not a good Christian and could, in fact, be headed for hell without even realizing it.
It was their arrogance that led them to preach and teach the way they did. It is arrogance that still has my sister Nancy convinced that I am a horrible sinner, heading to hell in a handbasket, who needs her to save me.
I think that people are missing the point entirely. When you are that arrogant that your way is the only way and anyone else who disagrees is not a Christian you drive people away from God instead of to God. Christians are called to be a light to the world. We are not called to browbeat people until they are so shamed that they come to God because they are terrified of what might happen if they don’t.
I am so unsure about so many things about God and His nature. I still fight with God on a regular basis and I’m still not sure how our relationship will ever heal and be fine. I’m still angry at God because it was His people who hurt me so badly. He allowed it to happen, even as it was happening in His name. I’m still confused and struggling to figure out what is and isn’t accurate about God.
No one can be sure of God’s character and how to interpret the Bible 100% of the time. The arrogance I see in so many of those Duck Dynasty articles astounds me. They are so sure that they are right that they won’t look at it another way. It is this kind of blind arrogance that drove me from the church. It is this kind of blind arrogance that Nancy threw at me on a daily basis for years.
I know people feel strongly about this and are just trying to do what they think is right. I just ask that before you speak about anything, consider that you might not be 100% right and that the other side of the story needs to be taken into consideration. Whether you think you need to call out someone’s sin to them or you need to preach the gospel, consider that maybe, just maybe, you might be pushing someone away from God. Consider what is the most loving thing to do.
Let’s say you have a friend who just ended a relationship with her live-in boyfriend because he cheated on her. She is devastated by the betrayal and the end of the relationship. You don’t agree with her and think she was living in sin. What would you do at this point?
Is it more loving to point someone’s sin out when they are in crisis and tell them that Jesus will forgive them if they ask for it or fix them a meal so they can get through the day?