Secondly, I hope that you are listening to Herva (see right) while you are reading the posts for your well-rounded blog-perusing experience and listening pleasure.
Awhile back I had written a post about bumper stickers and how dumb some of them are. (I deleted the post) During this rant I suggested that a sticker be created that says:
Religion is not a crutch - it's a lobotomy.
In the interest of keepin' it real, a recent response to one of our church fliers was that it "looked like it could be demonic". (We had a picture of a guy with an arm coming out of his head under the caption, "Nobody's Perfect".) This "demonic thing" was the judgment call of an unknown church-goer who was strongly discouraging a person from attending our come-get-to-know-us BBQ. The person came to our BBQ anyway which is how we know all of this.
Here's how lobotomy comes in: no one wrote, no one called to bother to speak with us in person and see what our purposes are (apparently sacrificing chickens in the moonlight?!). I am resting my case on my bumper sticker theology. It doesn't surprise me that people have these default settings they think are working so they don't bother changing them. "I am uncomfortable with this, therefore I deem that it is eviil." Simple. Neatly wrapped, tied, and thrown into the rubbish bin nevermore to be dealt with.
Here's what is real in all of this: this is how genocide begins. Yep, that's extreme. Give pause though, and think about it. Once we write someone off as being evil, worthless, wrong, or subhuman we begin treating them with less respect and dignity. I wonder where the concept of honoring others comes from? Let me think - was it Jesus? The "golden rule" perhaps? "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12
What would I want, ideally? I would want someone to call me and ask me where I stand. I would want the other person to give me a chance; I would want him to withhold judgment until he had met me in person. Even after meeting me, I would want that she, or he, would extend grace and seek peace. Even if we didn't agree on all of the particulars, I would want that we still be honoring to one another; not contemptuous. I would want us to be straightforward with one another. Those are just a few of the things I would love to see brought into reality.
Ironically, an acquaintance who runs a local coffee shop heard about the "demonic" comment and said, "That is such a disservice to you!" This kind fellow does not make any claim to follow Christ but he gets it. Makes ya wonder.
What good is a default if we've chosen the wrong settings?
"Believers may not often realize it, but even as believers we are either centered on God or centered on man.Gotta go change some of my own default settings; my recent orbit trail suggests that I think that I am the sun, rather than earth. Not working so well, Master of the Universe. Please forgive me.
There is no alternative. Either God has become the center of our universe and we have become rightly adjusted to Him, or we have made ourselves the center, and are attempting to make everything else orbit around us and for us." -Paul Fromke
Tweaking my settings: