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I read this Huffington Post interview of Derek Webb this weekend and loved so much of what he had to say.

“I personally don’t think that any Christian who doesn’t have a friend — not just a token friend, but someone they love and care about — who is gay should speak out about the gay issue. I think that should almost be a requirement to publicly voice your opinion, because I can’t tell you how it changes your posture and your language when you’re not just talking about a “behavior” or a “faithless” group of people, but a family member or loved one — someone who, when you’re done saying what you’re going to say, you’ll have to deal with.”

via Chris Stedman: Just Follow Jesus: Interview with Christian Singer Derek Webb.

I so totally agree! This is why I don’t allow debates about certain issues on my Facebook wall. I have friends & family from many different backgrounds and points of view. I don’t want someone making a comment on my wall that will be hurtful to anyone else reading my wall.

I hope that anything I post is nothing more or less than what I would say directly to those friends. That’s, my goal, at least. Because I DO have to sit across the dinner table from them at some point.

It’s my hope that everything I say and do in public, on the internet, and in private, is in line with what I believe, and is loving toward those who don’t have the same beliefs. Because it’s not worth it to lose loved ones or miss out on friendships over issues that don’t have easy answers.

A few other quotes from Derek that I liked:

I think this is an especially important moment and conversation. At a time when everybody in our culture is talking about tolerance, it seems that tolerance has the highest premium of any response — “If we just tolerate one another…” But my feeling is: Who wants to be tolerated? People don’t want to be tolerated; they want to be loved.

I don’t want to be tolerant of people. I want to move toward and love people, to know them and know their stories, and to tell them my story. I think, if we did more of that, we’d all learn that our stories aren’t that different, and that there might even be a bigger story — a meta-narrative — that we’re all tied up in together.

I believe that it’s going to take going beyond tolerance, to love and care for those who are not like us and don’t believe like us. That’s a spiritual discipline, for Pete’s sake. One of the hallmarks of following Jesus is to pursue and love people who are different than we are and have different beliefs than we do, and to live our lives loving, understanding and coming into common ground with those people.

Anyone who thinks that being a Christian is an easy, “follow a few simple steps” kind of lifestyle is deluding themselves. From the beginning, we’ve been asked not to take the simplistic view of “morality” and dig deeper.

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