As of late I have been more observant of the Christian culture wars through social media (especially twitter) but just as quickly as I watched, I have become weary. I recognize that this is more of an issue for our neighbors to the south than it is in Canada, but trust me I’ve seen the evidence of the damage that is being done by the war here.
I think that part of my weariness is that I don’t really fit on either side (what some would label progressive or conservative). Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I am sitting on the fence on the issues facing Christianity today, I have strong convictions on many issues. It seems to me however that in order to fit with any group in the church, one must readily adopt all the views of a certain group or it is considered that you accept none.
The issues at the heart of the culture wars are important, they are things that need to be examined, understood and even debated. But in our searching, we have started the war. We’ve become content to tear one another down, judge, and damn in the name of defending our point. All the while we forget that despite our differing opinions we serve the same Jesus, or at least I think we do after all the scriptures highlight only one.
We, on both sides of the issues, are failing to relieve the burdens of those around us, we are creating casualties on all sides.
We’re too busy trying to fit Jesus into our agenda that we become disillusioned when he does not dance to our tune.
“It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ (Matt 11:16b-19a).
Have we missed the point in all of this? I think so, and many have chosen to leave “religion” behind as a result.
While I am often found shaking my head at the way we treat each other in the name of religion and the fact that I can never really live up to the expectations of either side, I am also encouraged because despite it all Jesus is still inviting each of us to lay our burdens down, even if we don’t have it all figured out.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-29)
Isn’t this something that we can all share in the name of Jesus?