This is an interesting article from Julia Marley, one that made me go, “Hmmm…” Definitely fodder for some interesting conversation. I’d love thoughts from some of my readers.
“I first started thinking about this martyr complex in 2013, when I read a story on a then-college student at the University of Arizona who called himself Brother Dean. His “ministry” consisted of standing on the sidewalks of campus and preaching about the evils of extramarital sex, feminism, and homosexuality—all in a highly inflammatory way. He once followed around a Take Back the Night demonstration carrying a sign that said, “You deserve rape.” Reflecting on his approach in an interview, he seemed aware of the social cost of his shocking language, but he managed to justify it by appealing to the Bible. “When I decided to start preaching, I decided that I was willing to give up everything,” Brother Dean said. “The preaching puts someone into a wilderness, a wilderness of aloneness. If you decide to do what the Bible says, you will be alone most of the time.” In using this language, he was invoking Christ’s martyred forerunner, John the Baptist—and in a way that doesn’t sound all that different from DC Talk. Brother Dean’s rationale demonstrates how Christians can interpret John 15:18–19 to justify offensiveness for its own sake. Jesus’ words made people so angry that he got himself killed. If Christians inspire a similar level of rage, they must be imitating Christ. I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you.” ~ Click on the link to read the entire article:
In the past, I’ve been accused of this thing called “hypergrace”; of going overboard in such hot button areas as “acceptance” and “inclusion”. It was an accusation I backpedaled from for longer than I care to admit.
Now I gladly welcome the accusation.
Yes, I practice hypergrace. I suppose these days you’d call me a “snowflake”.
If I’m repeating myself, bear with me…I take this whole “love thy neighbor” thing pretty seriously, as if it were a scriptural truth or something. Funny how that works.
I posted the above meme on my FB Author page a while ago, and I’ve seen it posted among several others. I’ve also read some of the comments following these postings.
I’ve read the accusations of “not doing what’s best for our country”, and of “being selfish.”
I have been interested in neuroplasticity for a few years now, especially as it relates to addiction, and in how our brains process emotion, reason, and the dichotomy between the two. This is a fascinating article by Derek Flood that addresses a possible psychological basis for how white, Evangelical Christians can sing songs of the love of Jesus one minute, and “amen” to a sermon on the evils of ______________ (insert your minority, religion, lifestyle, etc. of choice).
“…it makes sense to think “There is just no way a person could experience love like that and be so angry and hurtful. They must experience God as angry and hurtful.” So when Mike said essentially this, my first reaction was to agree. Then the more “science-y” part of me began to kick in. The fact is, people are very capable of compartmentalizing and showing great inconsistency in different parts of their lives.”
“For the last few years, Christians— particularly white evangelicals — continue to sing the words: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …” but fail to realize the shameful irony that they’re largely responsible for refusing shelter and opportunity to some of the world’s most helpless and oppressed people.” –Thus begins a recent article by Stephen Mattson on Sojourner.com entitled “American ‘Christianity’ Has Failed”.
Thus is also a large part of the reason why I have no words. Why I can’t even…
The irony. The hypocrisy. The pride. The fear. The anger.
This is why we can’t have nice things. This is why I’ve recently deleted my Facebook account. This is why I said I’d written my last Spiritual Drift post.
But then again there’s nothing like a vow of finality to get the creative juices flowing.
My Own Hypocrisy
It’s becoming harder and harder these days to sit in the pews of church and stew in my own hypocrisy. When I hear offhand ‘jokes’ coming from the pulpit about a certain U.S. state being “the land of fruits and nuts”. When I hear fellow ‘Christians’ sitting around a men’s breakfast gathering, swapping stories about particularly touchy neighborhoods they used to patrol as former cops, including the homosexual community, spitting the word between clenched teeth then clarifying, “fags, we used to call ‘em” to nods of understanding and chuckles of solidarity.
I say “stew in my own hypocrisy” because the hypocrisy of the church has been on display for years now. Centuries even.
It’s not them, it’s me. My own hypocrisy is in continuing to sit there. Numb. Dumb. Mute. Confused and angered. Unable or unwilling (fearful actually) to speak out. Because apparently I’m the weird one. I’m the ‘no rules’ progressive. I’m the bleeding heart liberal. I’m the one practicing ‘hypergrace’. All accusations I’ve heard over the past months and years. Most all given in contempt with a dismissive wave of the hand if not all-out red-faced anger.
The spiritual life and random musings of a part-time novelist and Spiritual Drifter…"the trouble is not with the law, for the law is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human…"