This is my first post of 2018 (although I originally wrote this in May 2017) and I'm going to commit the unforgivable sin... I'm going to write about religion AND politics! I just can't help myself. Maybe I have a disorder... Anyway, here goes nothing!
Many of my Christian friends have been enthusiastically sharing posts from Jewish political commentator Ben Shapiro, angry, pseudo-religious blogger/hate-monger Matt Walsh, and other emotionally and spiritually stunted, conservative opinion peddlers (sounds a lot like what I'm doing. I'm such a hypocrite...). More specifically, they've been sharing videos and blog posts entitled, "Ben Shapiro Destroys Black Lives Matter", "Ben Shapiro Destroys Transgenderism and Abortion", or "Ben Shapiro Destroys the Left's Remedial Pro-Choice Argument". Are you seeing a trend? There seems to be an obsession with "destroying" anyone with a differing political, religious, or social worldview. This is why I have a problem with many of my fellow Christian's obsession with guys like Ben Shapiro, Matt Walsh, Josh Feuerstein, and (dare I say it?) President Donald Trump.
Now let me be clear; it's not that their views are not valid. It's not even that I disagree with their views. In many cases, I agree with Shapiro, Walsh, and Feuerstein (Trump less often) in WHAT they are saying. Ben Shapiro, for one, is usually very logical in WHAT he says. The WHAT isn't the problem. The problem is the HOW.
I won't challenge Ben Shapiro's methods. He is an Orthodox Jew after all and his approach may very well be true to his worldview. I do question whether or not he has normal human emotions like empathy and compassion. I really do wonder if he is a psychopath. I'm not saying that in a denigrating way. There are plenty of psychopaths who are successful and very decent people. Also, psychopath is not the same as psychotic, but seriously... If you doubt me, just watch how he berates his fellow humans without so much as a hint of ANY emotion. But I digress... I won't take issue with his method; that's a discussion for another day. I do, however, take issue with the enthusiastic support he receives from many fellow Christians.
Here is the problem: The Christian worldview is supposed to be different. I know that we have may diverse and often divergent views within the larger "Christian worldview", but there must be an overarching "Christian worldview" that reflects the foundational teachings of Christ. If our worldview doesn't reflect any of the foundational teachings, actions, or attitudes of Christ, then I would argue that it simply isn't a Christian worldview. Call it dogma, maybe even doctrine, but it's not Christianity.
We can be great Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, or whatever and be terrible Christians... I fear that is what we are doing when we enthusiastically share the rants of people like Ben Shapiro, Matt Walsh, Josh Feuerstein, or Donald Trump. We are telling people that we don't really care about them. We are saying that our political opinion matters more than our relationship with them. We are openly hostile on social media and it's making us (Christians) look like self-righteous jerks. I know a lot of Christians and unfortunately it's true of some of us (you know who are).
If you aren't in that camp, however, stop and think about how your words and actions look to a world that you will have an impact on. Ask yourself what you want that impact to be.
Who am I?
I'm a random guy.