While browsing music for my quiet time this morning I thought about all the artists who have chosen a path in their music. So many lyricists have chosen to mock faith based culture or what they view as ‘religion.’ The question begs if there are so many people who would base so much music, as well as other forms of art and entertainment, toward the rebellion against the faith that is Christianity, then why is this? Should we as Christians conform to meet the expectations of others or should we understand that prejudice is just that and call it a day?
The church has been in the wrong in the past. The Catholic Church has a long tradition of huge errors, not in judgment, but also far more importantly the actions of many leaders. But what of the church that is becoming thinned? People are walking away because of other reasons. We have had so many fallen leaders, great and small whose actions have hurt the church and its ability to reach people.
To me the answer is simple. Are the services, the way we treat the newcomer consistent with the teachings of Jesus, the prophets, the Apostles of God contained in the scriptures of the Holy Bible? Each church, each parishioner represents the body of the church. What we do is far more important than what we say. It would be amazing if we could just love on people in the way Paul, and of course Jesus asks and as well rebukes to love those whom even harm us.
I believe, as Christians, our need to separate ourselves from those who are in is far outweighed by our commandment to just love them and abide in their walk to more glorious living. As far as our ability to change how people view the church and how we are viewed, I think it will be amazingly important to examine ourselves and seek to understand others before castigating them as unworthy. Thought of that nature is directly opposed to the mandate Jesus has instructed.
We are a light on a hill, and it is important to continually understand people will see in you not just your works of inequity as you judge even your brothers and sisters too harshly, but also as you fail to love those who mistreat you. We are all guilty of rushing to anger, not cancelling a debt in the form of forgiveness or otherwise and generally being small. It is how we act in those moments that reveal our true nature as a new creation in Christ.
As far as the news of the day and how we react, are we reacting with a spirit of helping or proving we are correct? We are a society of point makers rather than spirit lifters. We need to remember who we were before we were in Christ, so we do not wander. I would say it is also helpful in this way to remember to add perspective to how far we have come, but oddly enough so that we may be of influence in people lives. While no one likes a tourist, it is important to know the customs of the day in order to help those who are attempting to transcend their own dark places.
If we start with ourselves to have a meeting in the aisle I think it would be far easier for us to at least feel far more secure that we as the church have not earned hatred by artists. I don’t know about you, but the last person I would want to be is the person who through their actions and words turned a life away from the freedom and body of Christ.