Mo Scripture Bombs, Mo Problems.
I was assuming that because you tagged under Christianity I was conversing with a fellow brother in Christ. Ergo, I’m not trying to draw you to Christ but rather explore for the truth in the Scripture as one would do in a weekly small group organised by one’s church.
You are indeed conversing with a fellow brother in Christ. But there’s an enormous difference between dropping a Scripture bomb on Medium and using those same words in a weekly small group organized by one’s church. Context. In a weekly small group, you have the benefit of face-to-face interaction. In a weekly small group, even the most minute scraps of personal details build the context of relationship in which to frame communications.
Yes, the intention was “have you considered this”. If it rang false it’s only because of our natural tendency to take the written word in a negative context, and the fact that you don’t know me from a bar of soap :)
I have no tendency to take the written word in a negative context. I’ve read hundreds of comments from people I don’t know “from a bar of soap,” and I’ve understood their intent clearly … because they took the time to establish either context or relationship. The primary reason your intention rang false is that your execution was feeble and you made no effort to impart any information about yourself or form any sort of context for your communication or intent. Again, I refer to my previous paragraph on Scripture shared in the context of relationship.
I did notice that your articles have lacked reference to Scripture to support your call to action from a Christian perspective.
LOL! Quoting/citing Scripture is not the only means to catch people’s attention. To that end, if one doesn’t walk around citing chapter and verse one isn’t being an effective Christian. I call B.S. on all that. Nice try, though.
“shaking the dust off my sandals”
Nonetheless, I closed my interaction with the individual.
This is a problem I do not understand.
That’s the most authentic statement I’ve read from you. And I say this not as chastisement, but lovingly. We would have gotten off to a much better start had you admitted that you were Australian and didn’t understand the problem of race in America. That would have thrust the door from its hinges and paved the way for open and honest dialog.
The concept of racism isn’t a foreign one on any continent. If I’m not mistaken, there’s a huge problem with racist attitudes towards Australia’s Aboriginal people. I agree with you partially in your statement that “the problem is within the human heart.” The Bible’s pretty clear on that point. But in the realm of racial prejudice, the problem originates in the heart and manifests itself as one race deeming others less than, also known as racism.
Here’s a quick test to see if you understand the problem of racism: would you as a self-professed Australian, of fair complexion, choose to live the life you do as one of Australia’s indigenous peoples? If you answer is anything other than an enthusiastic “yes,” you clearly understand the concept of racism based on the way Australia’s indigenous people are treated. The End.
The problem is not the color of anyone’s skin, or their hair, or the way they dress, or the way they speak, or the way they eat, or what they eat. It’s all good because the Lord deemed it as such. The problem is people of one hue elevating themselves at the expense of subjugating people of another hue. The color of one’s skin is one of the first things people notice about one another. The attachment of more value or less value to particular hues is learned.
People who are not people of color can engage people of color in a discussion about race when they come to the table with the intent to first listen. Engaging people with humility helps a lot. The irony is that this approach is the crux of Christ’s teachings. Humility is the ultimate deflector shield against getting flamed with the words “oh, you’re white, how would you understand.”
Think about it.
If you’re approaching a situation that you by your own admission don’t understand, and you’re going to pretend to have the answers, of course you’re going to get flamed. That’s the energy you’re putting out, so of course that’s what you’re going to get back. Maybe that’s why as Christians we’re called to approach one another with humility. Call me crazy, but it all goes back to context and relationship and treating others with care and respect.
I did feel that you were giving me the brush-off (or being overly pedantic to avoid the deeper lesson) given your comment that forgiveness and patience were related but not the same — and that was it.
See above. And dropping a Scripture bomb with no greeting, no context, no attempt to establish even a modicum of charitable goodwill or relationship wasn’t pedantic? LOL! Again, I call “B.S.” You didn’t go deeper; you stayed at the same superficial level and lobbed more Scripture bombs. Nice try.
But you did ask the question — how much patience should you have?
Note: my question was not some random article. It was a part of a larger whole which you ignored at the time you lobbed your Scripture bomb. I asked that question in the context of racial injustice in America, a subject which you yourself admit to not understanding. Go back and read my original post and the one I responded to.
If they are Christian, yes, and there are certainly many scriptures that would suggest we should lob away.
I disagree with you here. I get the distinct impression that your approach to ministering to people (Christians and non-Christians alike) is to simply lob Scripture bombs in their general direction when it’s convenient. Wrong. Wrong! WRONG! We are called to love one another, not merely cite Scripture. That’s being irresponsible. If you value Scripture, it’s something you treat with care — not because it’s fragile, but because it’s valuable. Sorry, pal. But in my brand of Christianity all people are to be treated with care and respect. No Scripture bombs allowed. Christians affect more change, more impact on others when we interact with them with care and respect … as did Christ.
But if you are making a stand on the basis of Christian values (or tags), then backing it up with scripture is appropriate.
See, here you go again. Imposing your standard of what is proper on others, and excluding all other options. Forget that. I’m going to blow-up my own spot here.
Yes, I write as someone with a firm grasp of Christian values. So much so that I don’t have to cite chapters and verses. I don’t write for people who can rattle off a list of Scriptures that contain a certain word. That’s a parlor trick as far as I’m concerned. Even Satan can cite Scripture. I write specifically to those who have been burned by the church, those who don’t know the way back. I write to those who hear Christ’s voice calling, but don’t know it as such. I write to encourage others to come check out the reason I have joy. I have written numerous posts from a decidedly Christian point of view, but have opted to forego haughty Scripture bombing. And you know what, Andrew? Those articles resonate with people—Christians and non-Christians alike. Not because I’m some fantastic writer. Believe me, when I say that I in no way fancy myself as such. If there’s anything that resonates with the readers of my posts, I attribute it to the light of Christ connecting with people despite my human limitations. And you know what, if only people who didn’t profess to know Christ were the only ones to click that little green heart on my posts, I’d consider it a badge of honor. Because that means people are being touched. I‘m not called to reap the harvest, that job’s taken. I’m called to plant seeds. If you’ve misinterpreted, which you obviously have, I suggest you get your interpreter fixed and drop the expectations of how someone’s faith should be demonstrated. As a friend of mine says, “expectations are disappointments waiting to happen.”
We need to fight for the rights of these people. We need to fight for the rights that you feel passionate about. But the Christian is also bound by doing that in and through the love of Christ.
The double-standard you’re proposing is … were it not so sad … laughable. In one breath you say, “we need to fight for the rights of these people…” and only a few hours earlier you intimate that black Americans need to exercise divine patience. To that I say, “you kids get off my lawn.”
If you are in fact an unbeliever…
Yeah, yeah, yeah … “colorblind.” Being white does not mean you don’t have the capacity to empathize with the experiences of those of a different skin tones. No, you won’t inherently know what that experience is like, but you can choose to set your privilege aside and wade into the deep waters of social injustice with those who are all too familiar with the experience and at least try to understand.
Look, I’m tired and am officially done with the thread of our conversation. I had no intention of saying this much, but I guess these things needed to be said (written).
But there’s still this one thing …
You’ve wielded Scripture like a cudgel, questioned my faith, told stories of your child’s victories in not mentioning the visible affects of high levels of melanin in a really tall guy from the States, established a wee bit of context by being vulnerable and sharing about, and tried in vain to justify the use of Scripture bombs (the equivalent of standing at a busy intersection and screaming John 3:16), but you still have yet to speak a word against those who perpetrate injustices against people of color.
You can focus on the commandment to love our enemies, that’s nice. I choose to focus on Christ’s supreme commandment: to love one another.