WWJD: Who Would Jesus Diss

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So apparently two full grown adults, who happen to be famous Christians, have some beef with each other. As far as I am aware, neither has spoken to the other personally, but rather they have referenced the other’s comments or platforms via public forums such as social media, interviews, and large conferences. And now the Christian community at large is all aflutter. I honestly would never have known who said what and when if not for individuals feeling the need to leap into the fray and declare their support for one and/or disdain for the other. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is scripturally sound? Who is more Christ-like? Who sits on a throne of lies? Who smells like beef and cheese? Personally, my question is, “Who cares?” 

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Why are we speculating over which of the two is most likely to host Pancakes with Beelzebub? What exactly do we have riding on this?

What would be laughable if it weren’t so sad is how predictably the lines fall for the debate. On one side:

  • Posts IG pictures of a steaming mug next to a highlighted devotional
  • Cried watching The Blind Side
  • Almost certainly has a Live Laugh Love sign somewhere in their home

On the other side:

  • Likely have no idea what IG stands for
  • Typed up their treatise on why they support Person A on Microsoft Word, pausing periodically to consult their 36 volume, leather bound set of Greek-Hebrew concordances of the New and Old Testaments
  • Would never get a tattoo… but if they did, it would be a toss up on an upper arm portrait either of John Piper or St Augustine

I almost get the feeling that these two factions have been simmering in resentment towards each other and leapt on this opportunity to condemn those filthy sinners on “the other side”. In all likelihood, they could really complement each others’ strengths and weaknesses if they so chose. But where is our love for one another? Why do we feel the need to join into these camps?

None of this is to say that Christians can’t discuss and debate points of theology. It would be disastrous if we never questioned one another or dug into what scripture tells us. In my mind, there is a difference between discussing the merits of an idea, the scriptural accuracy of a specific teaching, etc., and gleefully condemning an individual, name calling, and self-righteous posturing. A prime example for the most current debate: “I can’t believe this scum sucking pig would dare to insult a fellow Christian! That son of a motherless goat!”

The individuals in this public conflict are just two humans. Our faith isn’t dictated by what they say or believe. Neither one of them is without sin, and none of us are, either. Why don’t we focus on the only one who is? Maybe we could spend more time reading what he said instead of someone else’s book or commentary. This petty squabbling makes a mockery of the church. Let’s stop rushing to divide ourselves by allegiance to a mortal teacher. Let’s look at the unifying factor among us and celebrate Him.

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Nap, Interrupted

There is a ritual in my home. It is constant as the tides, intricate as the shifting of winds, as majestic and mysterious as Chris Hemsworth’s hair. It is the process of my dog Bear getting on the couch.

 

 

It begins with the The Look. Sarah McLachan would weep to see Bear in the throes of cushion depravation. He rests his chin on the sofa and casts the Gaze of Supplication towards me. I respond, “C’mon up, buddy.” He considers, then turns to my husband, seated next to me. Bear’s body language suggests he will need written authorization from all parties currently occupying the couch.

It is important to stop here and note that Bear is – and has always been – allowed on the sofa. At no point in his life has he gotten in trouble for getting onto our furniture. Regardless, he watches my husband anxiously for a sign of acceptance. Once that is attained, he lifts his chin, hesitates, then puts it back down. Thus begins The Encouraging.

The Encouraging starts with one of us slapping the sofa cushion and saying, “Up!” Bear is unconvinced. We tuck our feet, move cushions, and clear off any item that Bear may see as obstructing his way up. His eyes accuse our callous indifference to his plight. He remains on the floor. Then comes the freestyle phase. We pat the cushion while chanting “BEAR BEAR BEAR BEAR” in unison, mixing in an occasional “Up!” and slap to Bear’s rump. The key here is enthusiasm. When perfectly executed, the chanting and pounding of cushions steadily increases in volume and tempo until at the crescendo Bear’s ears prick forward, he sweeps his tail in the Wag of Acceptance, and leaps up to his rightful place.

However, Bear also enjoys a variation of our ritual called the False Start. When The Encouraging has reached fever pitch and the sofa is quaking from the fury of our blows, his ears prick forward. He shifts his weight forward. His muscles tense. And he walks off, sits down and scratches his ear. This constitutes a reset, and the ritual begins anew.

With or without the variation, it all ends with Bear sprawled across the couch, taking up more space than me and my husband combined, cheeks puffing and making little puppy woofs while he dreams of apprehending squirrels.

 

 

Routines and rituals fill our lives. Some are mindless. Some are harmful. Some are holy. Some are necessary structure, like brushing your teeth. And some are just there to make you smile every day. It’s helpful to occasionally think about our patterns, so we can strengthen the good, change the bad, and appreciate the absurdities that bring us joy.