So I planned on chiming in at some point about this whole Phil Robertson fiasco, but I confess it wouldn't have been as well worded or kingdom minded as my friend Jared's. So I'll just let you read his, and if you aren't convicted afterward......well...I was anyway. What I came away with was this: there are far more important things we could be speaking out about than whether a reality TV show's cast member was wrong or right. So below are 6 other things that are more important than Duck Dynasty, because after all...it's Christmas.
- 500 people were killed in Sudan- (As Jared referenced) Why is this important? Because while we are concerned about Christmas presents, family gatherings, and decor, there are people out there dying. Innocent people mostly, caught in the crossfire of a very bloody civil war. It should make us more than thankful and open our eyes to a worldview that's different than ours. My biggest worry today? Getting the Christmas Cards I procrastinated ordering out. A woman in Sudan's biggest worry--that her baby might be killed tomorrow, that she won't be able to find refuge from the war swirling around her, that she might die and leave her children to fend for themselves. Sometimes it's good to get out of our own stories and into another's for a minute.
- North Korea threatens South Korea- Otherwise known as "Kim Jong Un be crazy." He killed his Uncle recently, and is now threatening his neighbors. Bully's should concern us, even if they are thousands of miles away, and Kim is a bully of the worst kind. He's often starved, tortured, and killed his own people, and NK's prison camps are notoriously cruel. He is a human rights offender of the worst kind, and as Christians, we need to be talking about it.
- Sex trafficking is at an all time high- It happens in our own backyard, which means there is a demand here in America being met. That should worry us....a lot.
- The fact that people will still surprise you and it's worth noting - This makes me happy. A young guy sees a homeless man and doesn't walk by or even throw him some change. He invests in him! This is important here. This is what we should all be doing, and it took a young computer wiz to show us how.
- Learning how to empathize - Learning to care for the hurting is important. I've watched Christians over and over again try to "fix" people by proclaiming that "God is good" and "God's got this" to those who are hurting. Let me be clear. God IS good. God DOES have this. But really, when I'm hurting, the best thing you can do is be there with me. No silver linings, no trying to fix things. The bible even encourages empathy, to "mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice." It doesn't say "make things better." The fact is, only God can do that.
- Jesus - You know He had to be on the list right? But more importantly we need to be aware of some things about Him, so that we can show Him to the world.
- Jesus stood for people over theology (see his run ins with the Pharisees). And when He encountered people who believed differently or were in sin, He didn't condemn them, He loved them. To the woman at the well, he actually talked to her (in a time where she would've been shunned), to the woman in adultery he saved her from being stoned and made sure she knew he wouldn't condemn her either, and He accepted a tax collector who was shunned by his own people. He loved on people, first and foremost, because it's kindness and love that will bring people to repentance. It disarms them to hear the truth. People on the defensive won't hear much of anything.
- He was much more concerned with people's hearts than Judaic nationalism. That's why they missed the Messiah. They were looking for a man who would set up the Jewish state they always longed for, overthrow the foreign regimes, and because of that, they missed it. They missed Him. We American Christians are in danger of doing the same thing when we put nationalism and our "rights" ahead of people's hearts (including our own.)