Guilt-ridden words at the end of memes usually have the opposite effect on me. “America Needs God… Share if you agree” usually means some court or election has decided something we disagree with, and because we also know, or in some cases simply believe, that God also hates this action, we blow up Facebook with pithy sayings to alert everyone of our opinions on the matter. If only social issues were so simple! Yes, America does need God, but not because of a social issue we disagree with. We, in fact, are a prime example of why America needs God, when we believe so strongly in our social or political position that we forget the human beings holding an opposing view. You see, they also need God, and our weaponizing God does little to model the grace God has shown us. (Tweet This) Yes, US, the ones who “have it right” on all these issues. We discredit His grace by our actions.
Think for a moment about the souls of those at whom we take aim. What about the guy on the back pew at church, who himself believes just like you do and friended you on Facebook, but whose daughter is in a committed lesbian relationship. This daughter, he loves dearly. What about the woman who had an abortion years ago, and the pain of that decision haunts her with every whimper or coo of a newborn baby? What kind of grace do we display to her?
I know the outcry, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!” Do we have to stand for EVERYTHING? Is every social and political movement necessary to broadcast, or can we rethink social media and remember that blasting our friends with our positions is equivalent to sitting face to face across from a hurting friend and yelling at him for his failures and becoming righteously indignant when he defends himself. Reasonable people would never do that in their personal relationships, but they feel invisible on the computer, as if their words—whether they post original thought or repost someone else’s—have a pre-ordained and divine impact on their friends, but it’s not always the impact God wants.
At a very low point in American church history, the segregation of black and white citizens was deemed a religious issue. I remember being in the same parades in my small rural town in Southern Virginia with another group who marched with great pride and wore white hoods. I sang on the back of my church float singing praises to God as we marched past a theater that had a colored entrance. At that point, the Christian church felt–at least in some areas of the country–that segregation was an issue worth fighting for. I remember sitting in the living room of a church deacon who held membership in the Ku Klux Klan and could not understand why my father would not join him. I cannot fathom that thinking today, but it was a “normal” part of my formative years. Imagine if Facebook or Twitter had been around back then. White pastors preached against blacks and whites working, living, socializing, and worshipping together as though being black came with inherent sin that whites somehow escaped. Today that sounds ridiculous—at least, I hope it does—but it illustrates an important point.
God’s ultimate goal has very little to do with our political and social agenda and has everything to do with our hearts, and we will never earn the right to have influence in the hearts of others if we do not first value them. Can we see others as God sees them, and can we follow His model and extend the same grace to them that He so graciously extended to us? Can we value others as God values them and treat them with the grace and dignity that HE gives them freely? (Tweet This) If not, perhaps we need a view from God’s Front Porch. Share if you agree!
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.
What are you going to do about it? Will you get off the porch and take action for yourself? If so, leave me a comment and tell me your plan to share grace with others you may disagree with.