I’ve been listening to a Christian Radio Share-a-thon the last few days. If you are even slightly familiar with christian radio you know what I’m talking about. At least once a year they encourage listeners to make donations to help support and keep them on the air another year. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that part.
But here’s the vernacular I’ve been affronted with:
“Get in the game today!”
“Play to win!”
“We are in a culture war, help us in this fight!”
Can I ask, … what fight? And what am I supposed to be winning?
Now, I give a certain amount of props to anyone who is trying to share the story of God’s son, at all. But we all know that not all methods are created equally. Or even effective. Or helpful. So we really need to be careful not just what we share, but how we share it.
I think there are two main things that we need to always consider when interacting with people who are not Christians:
- Is this loving?
- Is this effective?
I think that Jesus used these two parameters himself quite lot. We also need to keep in mind the instructions Jesus left us with:
In fact, Jesus took this a step further and said, “Okay guys, 1) make disciples, and 2) love each other…and tell you what, you know how people will be able to tell if you are my disciples? By if you love one another. Sha-bam!”
Jesus may have left out the sha-bam part.
Sooo, when my aforementioned radio station wants me to get in the game, and play to win, and fight against the culture, I have to ask myself; Is that effective? Is it loving? Does it achieve either of Jesus’ goals? Well, let’s break this down a little further. In a real life example, the station has been telling me for weeks to boycott Home Depot. Because Home Depot in some manner that I don’t remember supports homosexuality. Or something.
Okay, so let’s apply our loving, disciple making principle. If I boycott Home Depot, will I make any disciples? Will Homosexuals think I love them? Will Home Depot think I love them? Will Home Depot think I love homosexuals? Will those two demographics now “know me by my love” and want to learn where all my lovin’ comes from?
I highly doubt it.
Let’s say that all the radio listeners get “in this game to win” and we promote such a successful campaign that every christian in America never shops at Home Depot again. Let’s really get crazy with our exaggeration and say this boycott single-handedly puts Home Depot out of business.
Does that mean we won? What. did. we. win?
If we’re not serving and loving others to the point that we’re showing our culture that God is love, and using the power of that love to woo them into their own true and loving relationship with God…then we haven’t won anything. In fact, we may have pushed people farther from the God who loves them.
And I’ve got news for you, folks. God loves the gays. A lot.
Does that mean they’re living within the perfect parameters they were created for? Nope. And you know who else isn’t? Me. You. But God still loves me. And wants me to love others in that same way. Undeserving, unearned, and sacrificially.
Jesus does not need us to fight for Him, He can fight His own battles. He asks us to reflect Him. To put down our stones. And to love.