Monday, November 08, 2004

Who are Republicans?

Last week I had an interesting experience and thought I would share it. I took my daughter, Rachel, to her weekly gymnastics class last Wednesday. I had, as you know, spent much time the day before trying to help President Bush win re-election. In the excitement of discovering a concession speach was coming, I decided to wear a Bush/Cheney '04 t-shirt to this class. I was simply excited about the future. In all honesty, I also thought perhaps I might have conversations as a result.

Wow! What an understatement! Ultimately, I ended up in a deep and slightly loud conversation with one of the other mothers concerning the Marriage Amendment. In truth, I loved the conversation. I often enjoy lively banter between people and it is very rare I am able to experience that either as a pastor or as a mom with two children in tow. Needless to say, my four year old daughter informed me following the class that I was so loud it was difficult for her to hear her teacher. Oy vay! Not my plan at all.
Never do I want to detract from what she is enjoying and doing for my own purposes.

I struggle with this as a highly opinionated and educated person. I long to speak my mind, but I don't long to squash my children or others in the process. In fairness, I think the other mother did a fanstastic job of explaining her views. Perhaps you can pray for me anyway as this Wednesday will be the next time I see her and I hope I in no way offended her.

The church I have been attending is starting a series on sharing the good news with our friends and our community. As the pastor spoke this Sunday, he mentioned that sharing the gospel is not about winning it is sharing or witnessing. He pointed out and confessed to knowing Christians who share their faith for the purpose of "being right" and somehow this rightness with convince others to change their minds. Oops!

All I could think about was how I had approached this conversation. A verbal battle...maybe I could change her mind, on the moment, with the right wording she would alter all previous views and change her thinking.
Right, that'll happen. I barely know her. If it were me, would I change my mind on a dime. No stinkin' way! Any opinion I have has taken time to form, to change it would also take time.

This election has made Republicans stand out as the religious ones. Those Evangelical Christians. On one radio show, Hugh Hewitt, children have called in to state the meanness they think Republicans express. Newspapers like the New York and LA Times are stating that evangelicals are the planners and starters of hatred toward gays. How does one talk about Jesus to someone who already assumes you HATE them? We are going to have to think hard about witnessing well in these next years. An assumption exists and we must not let ourselves fit that assumption. After all, "God is Love", if we serve Him, our goal should be to learn more about how to be LOVING.


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