I’m starting to question my sanity.
Apparently, I’m not the only one. John Pavlovitz has questioned his sanity when it comes to American Christianity.
He has a series of statements I can identify with. Things that he has “outgrown” as he calls it:
I’ve outgrown the furrowed-browed warnings of a sky that is perpetually falling.
I’ve outgrown the snarling brimstone preaching that brokers in damnation.
I’ve outgrown the vile war rhetoric that continually demands an encroaching enemy.
I’ve outgrown the expectation that my faith is the sole property of a political party.
I’ve outgrown violent bigotry and xenophobia disguised as Biblical obedience.
I’ve outgrown God wrapped in a flag and soaked in rabid nationalism.
I’ve outgrown the incessant attacks on the Gay, Muslim, and Atheist communities.
I’ve outgrown theology as a hammer always looking for a nail.
I’ve outgrown the cramped, creaky, rusting box that God never belonged in anyway.
I’m with you there John. Maybe we haven’t totally lost it. Or maybe losing what the majority think is sane if not a bad thing. I agree with John’s list concerning religion. I’d like to add a few more to the list that relate to politics.
I’ve outgrown the idea of placing any hope in a politician.
I’ve outgrown placing the salvation of the nation in the hands of a politician.
I’ve outgrown the ridiculous continual need to remind me of what country I am in – ie. the apparent requirement to play the national anthem before every single sporting event – professional, amateur or even school sporting events. When did nationalism get tied to sports? Besides Canada, I can’t think of another country that does this – they just start the game when it’s time to start the game. You’re there for the sport, not for nationalism.
I’ve outgrown the empty rhetoric that is meant to stir emotions, divide, and scapegoat.
I’ve outgrown the need to hear what some celebrity pastor has to say about, well, just about anything – especially politics.
I’ve outgrown religion that feels compelled to prop up the nation.
I’ve outgrown religion that feels compelled to side with one side of the political ideological arguments. Religion should be involved in politics – it has some important things to say about issues. The problem, as I see it, is when the words voiced make it sound like religion is just another mouth piece for either the Democrat or Republican parties.
I’ve outgrown the amusement at seeing memes that are arrogant and demean people who disagree with the poster of these memes.
So where does that leave me – in a weird place. As I look through the results of the Super Tuesday primary results, I can’t help but have a few responses. Neither of the two American political parties align with my beliefs. And certainly their seriously flawed and in some cases dangerous candidates seem almost alien to me. They might as well be speaking in an obscure language – that would make about as much sense as what some of these candidates stand for.
As I look at what goes on in religion and culture, I’m feeling pretty good overall about what denomination I’ve been called to. Is it perfect? No, because it involves people. Could some things change? Sure. But what I see is an attempt to live out the theology being preached. A message that is so desperately needed in our nation and world. A message of God’s action in a world that is exhausted from trying so hard and yet failing – trying to do it through force. A message to people that says that God’s grace overcomes all. That God is love and will overcome a world a violence – not by destroying the world, or sucking God’s chosen ones away in some kind of Rapture – but rather through the cross and through patience. A message that brings people together in a world that tries to divide. The contrast between this Gospel message and what we hear in the world of American politics is huge. I’ve outgrown the need to hear a message of division and scapegoating. I hope you have too.
As I see the results of Super Tuesday, I can’t help but do one thing – pray. Pray for our nation. Pray for it’s citizens. Pray for all who reside here. I pray for sanity, calmness, and clarity. I pray that wisdom spreads like a virus – infecting all, but in a good way. I pray for hope for people apart from fear. I pray that scapegoating end. I pray for silence. I pray that people see the fear in their lives and turn from it to hope. I pray that people listen past the rhetoric. I pray for peace. I pray that people see those that are different from them not with fear, but rather with wonder. I pray that people can see God walking with them through their lives – especially in the difficult times of life. I pray.
Please pray with me.