Friday, December 9, 2011

It's not only Rick Perry...

For the last several days, I've seen fights and arguments stemmed from Rick Perry's latest campaign ad.

I had heard so much about this video and witnessed the confrontations long before I even actually saw it. Then, I watched it. Before I go any further, I'll post it here so you, too, can see it.

Now, let me offer full disclosure. I am a Christian conservative republican, and have been since I was old enough to know what that meant. However, this ad angers me for a couple of reasons.

There is a HUGE breakdown in how we define "Christian" and "War on Religion." I also have a huge with how Rick Perry uses the term "gays."

Every issue I have with this video can be summed up in the same way. We've totally lost sight of what it means to be able to call ourselves a "Christian." Jesus told us "If ANY of you wants to be my follower, you must first deny yourself, take up your cross DAILY, and follow Me." (emphasis added) First, he says "IF"'s our decision. Then, he says "any of you" - absolutely anyone.

In Peter's first letter the to the Christians driven out of Jerusalem, he ends his letter with "Greet each other with Christian love." Jesus tells us we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind...but He doesn't stop there...he says "and love your neighbor as yourself."

If Jesus Christ wouldn't condemn us, who are we to condemn others? Our assignment as Jesus was leaving the Earth wasn't to find "non-believers" and tell them all the wrong things they're doing in their lives. Our job as followers of Christ is to be the light of the world. Be a witness to love of Jesus Christ. Be an EXAMPLE of that love! Show what it means to live every day knowing that no matter what, you have an amazing God that loves you more than you're able to comprehend. In our darkest moments, in the times we are unable to love ourselves...God is there. Smiling upon us. Ready and eager to love on us unconditionally. THAT is the message we're to spread! THAT is the GOOD NEWS!

For hundreds and now thousands of years, people have sacrificed everything they have to be able to experience that love of Jesus Christ. Given up their jobs, possessions, families, and even their lives. People all over the world have been willing TO DIE just for the privilege to call themselves a Christian...just to experience the love of Jesus Christ that we take for granted. THAT was "war on religion." Has congress passed legislation that doesn't go along with our "Christian values"? Sure. But that is not "war on religion."

Governor Perry, I would ask that you re-evaluate your definition of "Christian." I think you, too, have missed the point.

I will end this how Paul ended his second letter to the Corinthians:

"Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet each other with Christian love...May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

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