My First Amendment Right…..still submits to Jesus.

I am  pissed angry, and tired.

I’m tired of political posts that are used for “making a point”. You know the one that calls people who have an abortion a “murderer”, the ones that proclaim that people living off of welfare as “leeches”, homo-sexuals as the root cause of all America’s problems. I can keep going…

You know exactly what I’m talking about…

I may agree with some of the political stances behind some of these posts, I may disagree blatantly, but if you’ve somehow thrown a few stones at any person in the process…you’ve lost me.

Here’s why: Jesus said,

Matthew 25: 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Jesus came for those people too.

Sometimes I think we think that our first amendment right means we get to say whatever we want-regardless of the consequences, another blogger this week said, “Again, the First Amendment protects our freedom of speech; it does not protect us from the consequences of the things we say.”

Let me remind you that while we have the “right” to say, whatever we want, we cannot forget that our political bullying posts may in fact be hurting someone. More importantly, it may be damaging the witness we have for Jesus.

Making a political stand, will never be the right thing if we do it in the wrong way.

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 8.38.05 PMWhat if you knew that your words like an ice pick dig into the wound of a woman who made a choice she regrets everyday. A woman who grieves the child she willingly allowed to be removed from her body. When she sees posts calling her a “murderer” she is reminded of that day and she feels unwanted by a community that is supposed to be the people of the great physician. What she needs is grace, healing grace. 

What if you realized that your degrading words infiltrated a single parent working 3 part time jobs. Who was trying with all their might to make a living, while still stuck in a financial rut. And wants to walk right out the front door of the church. Because they feel unwelcome. We forget that living on a minimum wage job and supporting a family isn’t always possible. We forget that sometimes (especially in an economy like ours) that jobs are hard to find for the educated-let alone those relying on a highschool diploma. If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in a government agency, you notice right away the whole system is meant to demoralize and make you feel like a leech, unwelcome, and unwanted. We forget that the church isn’t often a place that is welcoming for the poor, but it should be. And hearing people of God, saying as much just pushes them further from the pews. What they need is grace, redeeming grace. 

We may be finding that the gay community genuinely believes that God hates them. And why wouldn’t they? It’s plastered on your facebook wall. What they need is grace, reconciling grace. 

I know that these situations are simple, and they are not always true, but they are conversations I’ve had recently with people who have been hurt. These are my friends. These are your neighbors. These are people you may not expect.

In James 2: 5-13, it says, ” Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms? You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.”

But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.”

If you use your first amendment right, use it carefully. Be above reproach. Use mercy when posting. Use endless amounts of grace with your speech. Jesus didn’t use words to condemn, he used service to win hearts.

If you call yourself a Christian and claim to follow Jesus and He wouldn’t have said it….then please don’t either. You’re first amendment right…still submits to Jesus. Try it his way.

What are your thoughts? How do we engage in open dialogue without being offensive? Have you had similar experiences with social media?

Other blogs you may be interested in:

Favorite Most Bestest Mom    Grandpas Without Homes   Obama Won, Romney Lost: Now what?

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18 thoughts on “My First Amendment Right…..still submits to Jesus.

  1. As always; wise, winsome, and well thought out. Thanks for the timely post. Keep up the great work sweetheart. God is really using you.

  2. Christ died with his arms wide open, bridging the gap between ourselves and a holy God. Our posture must be the same in word and deed toward every human being. Our love for people should be beckoning them for a closer look at Jesus. If we cannot speak words to someone with arms open and ready for a full embrace, then Christ would never say it or even think it. His arms were never crossed against any lost person except the Pharisees who were supposed to know better anyway.

  3. Lets not forget Jesus also had a line drawn in the sand against his attackers. He condemned the pride haughty religious rulers that were more concerned with man’s way than God’s way. We must remember even Jesus fought physically against those he thought was wrong, flipping their tables over. The one truth is he always had compassion on the ignorant people of His way.

    • Thanks for your feedback. I think what I’m saying that its ok to be angry its ok to disagree and its ok to agree. But if we are throwing stones and doing it unjustly or beating someone up with our words. Than let’s seek to evaluate how we can better express our opinons without degrading someone. We need both truth and grace in these conversations.

  4. Not sure I’m exactly on the same page with you – except for the fact that Jesus was all about LOVE…since that word is synonymous to the word “God”. People, if they are made in the image of the Divine, have the Divine in them…and thus we can trust that they will make the decisions they need to make for themselves given the chance to do it. But when we have a government and a Church that has brainwashed us to do almost everything else first but LOVE, people are left hurt, lonely and disconnected from themselves and others…and thus are more likely to make poor decisions. I could go on…but since you talk about how your friends have been hurt by the Church – I thought I would share my series about “Divorcing the Church and its god of hierarchy” for it is for friends like yours that I am opening up and sharing my story. For I want them to know that the Love they need is with them and in them…and that they don’t have to be held down by the oppression in the Church caused in my belief by the Doctrines that we tend to love more than love itself. We (the Church) really have become like the pharisees of Jesus’ day – we love the law more than Love itself…we (the Church) are the white washed tombs of our day…and that is why I can no longer sit by and support It….http://www.practicejoy.info/2013/01/grounds-for-divorce.html?spref=fb

    • Holli, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. I think it’s safe to say we are probably disagreeing more than agreeing. I’m okay with that and I can respect your position.
      I have found that when I look inside myself, I often end up with a gossiping, petty, self-indulgent, easily angered outward display of all the things I hate. Finding Christ is what has freed me. I believe that Christ frees me by offering grace over and over. and I out of love for Him reflect that love towards others.
      Church for me, has not been oppressive, I am in a wonderful faith community. The church (universal) while it has dark points, and beliefs, they are still my family. And, loving God (I know we disagree here) calls me to love them just as much as He calls me to love those outside the church whom I don’t agree with. I may not always do well at that. In fact, most days, I stink, but when you put a group together of people who are all trying to Love based on their freedom of Christ there is both sin present (because of our own selfishness) and there is beauty there too as we continue in the process of becoming more like Christ and less like our selfish used-to-be selves.
      So, I guess we can disagree with all the grace, peace, and love we can muster.

      • The church certainly can and does act like the pharrisees on a bad day. Gay pride week etc… My idea
        instead of trying to condemn a condemner (pharasee)
        is to reveal love at all cost.
        If i make someone in the church mad because i refuse to picket their (gay’s) free speech,
        I am teaching love in a non judgemental passive way, the loving way.
        I choose to not be bound by their anger and condemnation, and point them back to the stories of Jesus’ overwhelming grace, mercy and love.Hate the sin love the sinner, of which I am the worst. I point out that the world is looking for Gods love and the church is His ambassador. We do not always represent Him well.

  5. This was a great post. I 100% agree. Its message was really hurt by the cartoon chosen to go along with it. The cartoon does the opposite of what the post just said about God. It would help to delete the offensive/slang cartoon. That does not show God’s character.

    • Thanks Chris. I appreciate your feedback. While I think the cartoon, may portray God being “angry” at his people. I think sometimes that God gets angry with his people for missing the pulse of his heart altogether. I think the cartoon relays the irony of some of his people (who I am directing this post towards) and is a light-hearted attempt to portray how silly we are with our words sometimes and we need to evaluate how our words align with His. (which is the whole point of the post altogether). Thanks for the comment, it gave me something to deeply consider, but I’m disagreeing with grace and I hope you feel that too.

  6. This reminds me of house rules when kids were little
    think before you speak
    think
    t Is it true?
    h is it helpful?
    i is it inspiring ( a big word for the kiddos so we used important)
    n is it Necessary?
    k is it kind?

    I fall very short
    my foot is often found in my mouth
    i worry when He comes back for us will he find my berkenstock in my mouth?

  7. Pingback: Saturday Suggestions 1/26/13 | the chambers chaos

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