I wanted to write today’s column about angry town hall hecklers, spurious e-mail forwards and the morally bankrupt dialogue permeating so much of our political discourse.
I wanted to address some of the inexcusable name calling and derogatory labeling, the reckless use of words such as socialist and Nazi, and the fear mongering and base demagoguery motivating much of our political debate.
In fact, I was going to use today’s essay to point out that the word “debate” does not aptly describe the current condition of our democracy. Instead, the mode of national discourse has become an ugly shouting match fueled by Internet inaccuracies, corporate greed, political pandering and a ratings-driven media.
I was going to challenge my Christian contemporaries to stand up and speak out against the vile tone that has become commonplace among the political punditry. I was going to ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to stand up for a truth that is rooted in love, a truth that uses reconciling words, a truth that seeks the lost, a truth that shines the light of Christ.
I wanted to point out the importance of our words, our demeanor, our attitude and our spirit. All of it matters. If Christianity means anything at all, it must contrast the world. The fruit of the Spirit must guide our very breath. When a Christian enters the debate, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control should permeate the dialogue.
I thought of using today’s column to point out the importance of reading Christ’s words before championing his cause. I was going to point out how Christ repeatedly challenges us to love our enemies, to do good to those who persecute us, to serve those in authority, to submit to one another out of love for God.
Christ calls us to a righteousness that is rooted in the grace of God and centered in our willingness to seek first God’s kingdom and God’s justice. God’s justice calls us to look first at our sins, our failings, and our need for grace. Heavenly justice commands us to humble ourselves in the eyes of God. Christians are to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, humbled himself and became the servant of all.
Christians aren’t hecklers, we are healers. It is through the power of the cross of Christ that we stand. Our righteousness is not our own, it is a gift from God. Therefore. I have no right to judge, condemn or tear down. I am bound to a kingdom of truth and love. In God’s goodness and beauty I make my stand.
I wanted to address these ideas and truths in today’s column. However, I decided against such a tact. There just seems to be so
much angry noise; even if I had written these words down, I doubt anyone would have listened.
What would Jesus heckle? And this is what has become of my beautiful Savior …
Doug Bursch hosts “The Fairly Spiritual Show” at 6 p.m. Saturdays on KGNW 820 AM. He also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets at 10 a.m. Sundays at the Riverside High School Theater. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or email@example.com.