Please Stop and Breathe
I'm going to step onto thin ice, here. Please take care to see what I actually do and don't say, without inserting someone else's words into my own. I will try to parse my words carefully.
I'm watching this controversy about immigrant children being separated from their parents. But I'm also watching how people are talking about it. Dear Christian, please stop and breathe.
Don't worry - I will not tell you what to think about the situation or which "side" is right. In fact, that's the problem I want to address.
There are two controversy magnets that pull us away from the real issue: one is political and the other is religious ("never talk about politics or religion," right?).
The political jagged edge goes like this: A disagrees with B about other political issues, so no matter what, A will hate what B thinks about this issue, and vice versa. Both will take facts out of context or flat out lie about the other's view in order to make their argument. Rather than solving a problem, it seems that most of the energy is spent blaming someone.
The religious jagged edge is a selective, undisciplined use of Scripture to argue either that's it's unbiblical to separate children from parents or that it's unbiblical to ignore the law. More often than not, these arguments seem to be trying to use the Bible to justify a foregone political position, rather than truly attempting to adhere to the Word. (Not everyone, mind you.)
And then ask yourself some questions that you will answer with complete honesty:
- Am I strongly motivated on this issue by my existing political activities and views?
- Is my view on this predetermined by my political history?
- Am I supporting someone's view, or disputing someone's view, on this issue because I disagree with them on other issues?
- Do I refuse to agree with someone on this issue because of disagreements on other issues?
- Am I being selective with the facts?
- Am I even bothering to read evidence that might prove me wrong?
- Am I being selective with my use of Scripture?
- Am I finding passages to back my view, or am I truly asking all of Scripture to inform me?
- Is my concern for Christ's Kingdom and His ways or for man's kingdom?
- Do I buy into the false idea that there are only two possible views on this for me to choose from?
- Am I freely praying, "on earth as it is in heaven"?
- Is my view one that Jesus would personally hold?
So, I'm not telling you who is right and who is wrong (other than to suggest that most people are wrong is some way!). I'm not telling you which view you should hold. I am asking you to examine yourself before making up your mind.
(image: By Bidgee - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5062671)