Church, Please!

Dear Bride of Christ,

I love you with a relentless passion that I can't abandon no matter how ugly or derisive you become. You are the creation and beloved of my Beloved, and so I am inseparably part of you. So, since I can't leave (which is what I'm best trained in doing), I need to have a literal "Come to Jesus" chat with you.

You - we - have forgotten our First Love. This week's fallout hasn't just been about the election and two incredibly flawed candidates and grotesquely mutated systems. Yes, that is what evoked the vitriol - one side crying out, "You don't care about the unborn!" and the other retaliating with, "You don't care about the marginalized!" - but the division and contempt has long been there.

Thankfully, we serve a God who doesn't accept Band-Aid and make-nice solutions; sadly, our simmering turned to boiling with these catalysts and led us to a civil war for all the world to see.

So we are sitting in the aftermath, our fractures exposed and on display. And we have a choice: Will we continue on gloating without taking the time to understand, and condemning without taking the time to weigh our words for the Spirit's grace-filled wisdom?

Because that hasn't worked thus far. And that isn't our Savior's agenda. Our Savior came to unify through His transformational love diverse and disparate groups so He  can use us all to restore His creation, not to come up with the best comment zinger on a blog we disagree with. In fact, He probably would not spend much time at all reading blogs (including this one).

I have had two trees in my yard die. They had dead branches for a while, and then the whole tree gave up the ghost. That is too vivid a truth for me to ignore. A little bit of disease or neglect must never be avoided or hidden.

Galatians 5:7-10 tells us what happens to those who get in the way of the Gospel message of freedom and love through Christ alone. If we're part of the division, we won't be spared the penalty. 

So let's take a radical step to save our tree with its dying branches. Instead of debating the theology of what I'm saying here or calling out other siblings by the Savior in an unloving, uncompassionate way that is not at all our Redeemer's style, let's all commit to pray for those with whom we disagree before we say anything. Then reach out to those we may not understand and ask gracious questions if we must converse. Nonetheless, let's always focus on God's love, with learning and unity as the outcome - and that doesn't mean making them learn our side and be united to it.

Bride, we have a black eye we gave ourselves. So let's put healing back as a priority so we can resume the work of the One who called us, who has been waiting for us to return to His open arms - together. He has a lot of other stuff for us to do, and I promise it involves very little blog commenting.

By His grace & in His time,

P.S. Please listen to this song. We need to sing it together every day.