Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shards of Good from the Circle of Evil

    There have been days I've been scared to call myself a Christian.
    There have been days I've been embarrassed to call myself a Christian, due to my inevitable pride and fallability.
    But ashamed? I've never been ashamed before Monday, before this whole World Vision debacle.
    These last few days have been the days, the days I - can I write it? - type, fingers! - the days I don't want to be associated with the name Christian.
    I mean, I love Jesus. I love being a Jesus-follower. But this week I was ashamed of the name Christian for the first time. 
    Now it's supposed to be over. World Vision reversed its decision and will not hire gay people after all. They presented their decision as reconciling themselves with God (though I do think it's fair to ask whether God or pressure convicted them. But it's not for me to judge further).
    So, I guess people are hoping it'll all blow over now. Because forgiveness. Because Christian.
    Except...I'm still reeling. These last days have changed me, changed my perspective, and not for the better. In short, I'm devastated.
    Like, I-want-to-cry-and-languish-in-a-corner-level devastated.
    I'm angrier than I've ever been. And I'm ashamed.
    It's disgusting to punish a child for what you deem the sins of a corporation. How can you call yourself Christian; how can you be so self-righteous -
    Oh, wait. By my accusation, by my judgements, by some of the comments I left on the original article, was I any better? I judged them for being judgmental. How can I call myself Christian?
    Obviously, I endorse calling out balderdash (like choosing to let a child suffer because of a policy) when we see it. But to do it in a judgmental way - you, callous you! Rawrrrr! - doesn't help people listen. And when people don't listen, we don't understand, and when we don't understand, reconciliation is never reached.
    (Here's the part where I admit I'm honestly not okay with the tone of my last post, but I'm keeping it up because I don't like the idea of deleting a post. And I'm not changing my opinions, just how I go about sharing them).
     So, yeah. I don't know where I'm going with this, other than that there seems to by this cycle of evil I can't quite break free from.
    And then there's the label I can't escape: Christian.
    Both bind me. They're not dichotomies or anything of the sort, just two of the many situations I am in.
    But in the aftermath, in the devastation, maybe - dare I hope? - I see a glimmer of why I need the gospel. Why everyone needs this good news.* Because what else can "work all things together for good for those who love God?" (Romans 8:28). Even in evil things like letting children starve in the name of standing against sin, in telling the LGBTQ community they're abominable to us, in vitriolic judgements, in questionable decisions and reversals of those decisions, even in shame, where nothing on earth will make these evils better, there is hope.** Even in all this mess, some shard of good can emerge.
    Right now, I don't feel like good can emerge from this. Hence the devastation. But the gospel tells me I'm wrong. 
    I suppose now all I can pray is, with my fickle wisp of faith, God have mercy on us all. 
    If this is Christian, I will confess the label on my bloody knees, whispering from my broken heart.


*If you don't agree with me, that's fine. But I think we can all agree that bring good out of evil ... is good. :)
**For the record, I'm not saying that all of these things are equal in magnitude. Just that they're all bad.

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