Someone Else’s Words: Reposting a blog that I think is relevant here

cobblestones-1085753_1280

Good day all,

I’ve thought long and hard about how to discuss this topic, and how to address an excellent blog post that I ran into a few weeks ago, and the best solution that I can come up with is simply to add my support to what Dr. Coyle has written by reposting it:

A Letter to my Christian Friends who are Anxious about your Religious Liberty

 

I hope you’ll take a moment to look through it.

I’d happily just repost the full text here, with appropriate attribution, and leave it at that, but I suspect there is some sort of blog ethic against that.

The author makes many valuable points. And she indicates a path out of fear about the current state of our world, out of striving anxiously about our rights. A path that is correct, that is based in eternal promises.

The most significant point, to me, is that other people having civil rights and liberties is not the same as mine being threatened or taken away.

I feel sometimes that we are so very far from understanding what it means to be oppressed that we’ve come to view any risk of discomfort as an assault.

It’s no longer enough that I have the right to believe as I believe and practice my beliefs so long as they don’t harm you. Now  just knowing that you have the same rights I have, though you don’t believe the way I do, is an assault on my civil liberty.

That is a dangerous place to get to.

The concept that church and state should be separate except when it’s MY church, is all fine and good when MY group happens to be the majority. But I can’t be sure that will always be the case.

At the risk of being melodramatic, it’s a bit like the Niemoller statement

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I don’t want to get to that place.

But even if that were not risk, I agree with Dr. Coyle that I have a responsibility as a Christian to not put others in that place either.

And for more than one reason.

I AM obligated as a Christian to treat others as I’d want to be treated, yes.

I’m also obligated to display the image of Christ.

But perhaps the most important reason comes in Dr. Coyle’s note:

I must say to my fellow Christians that lots of people are tired of hearing us whine and blame and squabble and demand our own way. People will be much more inclined to listen to us when they can actually see us:

partnering across divides to feed the hungry;

advocating for a hopeful future for all children;

demanding justice for the oppressed;

challenging the abuse of our planet;

working to include the marginalized;

and maybe even baking cakes for our neighbors’ weddings. 
Maybe even “bake for them two.”

Call me crazy, but I just can’t shake the suspicion that living as Christ commands us to is meant to be the key to our success as his image bearers.

Be well. 

Looking for reasons to be happy

Happy Monday!!!

I hope everyone is well!

I found this neat little article by Joshua Becker that gave me quite some food for thought.

The thesis is that if you’re looking for reasons to be happy, you’ll probably find them.

Mr. Becker extrapolates this out to many more examples:

If you’re looking for reasons to be scared, you’ll find them.

If you’re looking for reasons to be mad, you’ll find them.

If you’re looking for reasons to be encouraged, you’ll find them.

And so on.

I could absolutely see how that works.

It’s like that  great Thai restaurant on 5th and Main that your friend just mentioned: You’ve lived here for 8 years, the Thai place has been there for 3 years, but you had never once noticed it.

NOW, however, in the 6 days since she mentioned it, you’ve seen two ads for it, one review of it, and your brother mentioned having lunch there.

All it needed was an anchor in your consciousness, and now it’s EVERYWHERE.  

So, Mr. Becker’s point hit home. Whatever anchor my mind is working from is likely to grow in my awareness – it’s happened a million times without my even trying! 

And I don’t know about you, but I could do with more happiness, gratitude, encouragement, hope…! I’ve also got more than enough fear, anger, defeat, and loss to last for a good long while.

So, I’m going to be on the lookout for those reasons to be happy, to have hope, to look forward to the future…

 

Be well.