I'm no better than anyone else in this world. I learned that a long long time ago/link.
The past few days, I've been caught up in the whirlwind of opinions regarding Duck Dynasty and A&E. I tweeted and retweeted. I copied and pasted articles and posts (just like millions of other people). I got followed by several on Twitter and stopped following a few on Twitter.
However, I do not watch Duck Dynasty on a regular basis. What I have watched, I really think is funny and fun. They exemplify what families should be about-- though they squabble and quibble, they make up and poke fun at one another and reconcile. They love work, one another and God. Though I don't see every episode, I'm tickled pink they've worked hard and built a dynasty from duck calls and ingenuity.
I don't watch anything on television religiously, or faithfully. Life is far more than what goes on inside a 60-in box. Yet, I disagree with folks who try to decide for me what I should say, read, think, or watch. My interests vary from babies being aborted to Pastor Saeed's imprisonment, from healthcare to the stripping of COLA pensions for Vets. I tweet about James Rosen's interviews and Megyn Kelly's Santa controversy. I'm not a fanatic follower of everything Ducks--nor a Bill O'Reilly groupie. But I do like to know what people think.
Folks have very interesting takes on the world and I like to hear their take. Even with those I disagree. Why do they think the way they think? Do they disagree with me because I'm just like all those other "thems" in the world they disagree with? Not sure. I am me-- I'm not completely like anyone else. I may have similarities, hold some same opinions, some similar beliefs-- but I do not consist of all of anyone else. I can't see that ever changing--not for me--nor anyone else.
This deal over Phil Robertson has never once angered me. I've simply shared what I thought when I read something someone said. I've held the beliefs I have for a very long time. And while I totally agree with Phil on the depravity of man, I would never have chosen to express myself as he did about sin. I would have defined it differently. Why?
Because I am me. I express myself differently. That's probably why Phil is on a reality show and I'm just boring little me. Phil is Phil and he bluntly expresses himself as he chooses-- just as you choose to express yourself. Knowing what little I know about Phil, I can call him a brother in Christ because he seems to believe what I do about Jesus.
Some folks look at the world through a clouded lens-- without the knowledge or understanding of the presence of God in their lives. Some judge every syllable and phrase Christians say through the lens of what they have determined a Christian is, and what all Christians should say or do. It may or may not be valid, but it is their interpretation; they are entitled to think whatever way they choose, just as I am. The reason Christians can make particular statements about sinners is because we know we are all sinners. Each of us. We know sin well. We battle it ourselves. But we know we have a Savior who has paid the ultimate price for our sin and became the substitute for our punishment so we could live forever with Him.
Many articles and posts I've read recently have addressed why we think what we think and how we should assign motive and intent to the reasoning behind actions of A&ETV and those defending A&E and those defending Phil Robertson. Those are think pieces-- opinion articles to provoke more thought. Many are written to inflame, to incite, to encourage further debate. Few are written to bring peace or understanding or reconciliation.
I'm not all that interested in "thinking" anymore about the why or how in this debacle.
Of greatest interest to me is the heart of the matter-- as in the heart of the Believer and follower of Jesus Christ. As in me--my imperfect fleshly self and my part in it all. In fact, I thought about deleting every single post I had written on facebook and every tweet I'd tweeted on Twitter regarding Duck Dynasty. I even considered deactivating my Twitter account altogether.
You see, as a Christian, when we allow our minds to supercede our hearts, the Spirit of God begins to check our spirit and poke us in places so we become painfully aware of portions we need to address. In Romans 12:2, it is written:
"be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
God wants to purify and sanctify us in order that we might be a "light" to Him, not away from Him. My mind wanted to fluff off what I'd been thinking; my heart wouldn't let me. Words matter. It's important that we're careful choosing our words and being responsible for what we say.
I've been pondering the "us" and "them" in this war of words between A&ETV, Phil Robertson, GLAAD voices, the fans, and Christians who have spoken out about "them" and "us". Mostly, I'm thinking about the ones in between "us" and "them". They are the ones who are neither in the whole conversation--they are onlookers. I wonder, how do they see "us" as we react to "them"? as we one-up the other in tit-for-tat tweets?
I think about me.
For me, that is worth considering in depth, considering all I've tweeted in the last few days. Mercy is my favorite word next to Jesus-- though how can one say Jesus without simultaneously thinking of the word mercy is beyond me. He is mercy. I'm glad He has mercy on me and His mercies are new every morning. I need that clean slate. And while He allows sin because we live in a fallen world, He doesn't condone it, nor will He tolerate it (especially in His children)-- even if it is the simple sin of thinking we know more than someone else and must let them know it as well.