They ring through my head and some fly by, but some I cannot explain or define.
Tonight, there are two. They have actually been in my head for a quite a few.
The two are tied so closely together. But their meanings have changed.
Tolerance used to mean getting along with people you disagree with.
If you could not value people despite the fact that their opinions differed from yours, you were intolerant or bigoted (which simply meant to be intolerant).
I could always value people more than their opinions because I truly believed that God created them with innate value and nothing they say or do could ever take that away. I still do.
Valuing people…what does that mean anymore? Now, it isn’t about who people are. It isn’t about the fact that they were created with innate value. That is not their identity anymore. Their identity is what they choose.
What used to be cool facts about people have become all-consuming. I hear people’s conversations, and they ring in my head like the sound in the movies after a bomb goes off. Everything seems distorted and I wonder how I can still think, and what has survived the explosion.
After all, my “black friend” used to just be “my friend.” My “gay friend” used to just be “my friend.” I didn’t need to describe their color or their choices because that color and that choice didn’t use to define that man. I loved that man because Christ loves that man. That was all that mattered.
As for society, identities have gotten thicker and thicker and thicker, and skin has gotten thinner and thinner and thinner.
Society defines everything. Something that was deemed scientific fact is simply a social construct. Call it that for long enough and society may forget it was ever viewed another way. It’s desensitizing. If societydeems it so, it is so, and so society can deem and un-deem as they please. And they have deemed tolerance to mean something that it never meant before.
In this day in age, our society has defined tolerance as being in agreement with every ideal that others hold and valuing those ideals as if they hold the same validity as yours.
Why did I personalize it? Because now, society has deemed it true, so it must be true of you.
On nights like tonight, I wonder why.
Why do people fear religion, fear Christians, fear administrations, fear the opinions of others while telling others to accept all opinions, all creeds, all leaders?
Did they not mean to tell others to accept their opinions, their creeds, and their leaders?
Was that not clear?
Do people fear religion, Christians, administrations, and others’ opinions because that paper-thin skin might get broken, and worst of all, the new social constructs might deconstruct and eternal truth might break through?
Would that not be absolutely shattering, since society defines truth?
Would it not be terrifying for people to meet God and have him shatter the image in the mirror that they believed was god?
But isn’t that the conversion story for every Christian, no matter when their conversion took place?
“I thought I was god, and then realized I wasn’t.”
Have logic and common sense left us, church? Or have we forgotten how to use them? Why do we stay silent about the truth for so long that we have to argue it when if we had simply spoken when addressed, we could have simply stated it?
Society asked us what we thought and we said nothing. That spoke louder than everything. Now, when we speak out, it’s intolerant. And we have almost forgotten how to think.
Think with me for a second.
Under the new definition of tolerance, isn’t calling someone intolerant… intolerant? Isn’t calling someone bigoted…bigoted?
It seems that now, free speech is for some, but others must be silenced. So they might be parading their cause, and coming out of oppression, but if someone disagrees with their cause, they better silence that person!
The clock is ticking.
Better silence the noise quick.
They have to know.
Otherwise, there wouldn’t be such a rush.
They have to know that one word from someone else could break the barricade around their heart, or at the very least, weaken it.
They have to know that if they listened long enough, they might realize that someone else’s opinion may not only be valid…but true.
They might realize that God is not a social construct, and “He is not you.”
They might realize that people are not so perfect and infallible that no-one can disagree with them. People are not truth such that every disagreeing opinion is false. People’s disagreeing opinions might not only be valid…they might be right.
How will they know if they shut you up? How will they know, church, if you shut up and give up? And how much do you have to hate society to give up on them?
Let’s redefine tolerance, together. Church, let’s step in.
First, let’s break down tolerance by overwhelming it with love. Let’s build relationships with people. Within those relationships, let’s speak the truth in love.
Let’s love like CRAZY. Let’s love our friends. Not our “black friends” or “gay friends” or “democratic friends” or “republican friends.” Let’s lose the adjectives, and stop the name-calling. If we don’t, how will they see something better? The only thing people need to know they are is “loved.”
Stop saying people will go to hell if they voted for that candidate. Stop saying people be blessed if they share that Facebook post or type “Amen.” Amen? Seriously. Stop telling people they’re in your thoughts, and start telling them they’re in your prayers! Society doesn’t define truth, but it does set trends. Let’s be trend-setters.
On nights like tonight, church, I wonder what will happen if we don’t!
I say out loud into the night, “Lord Jesus, help us.”
And He says “I will, but help yourselves by doing what you know is right.”
Church, if we do not step into a broken society and meet them where they are, some of our greatest fears will come true.
When will we be bigots for mentioning our God instead of someone else’s? For believing in Him instead of some other god? For worshipping Him instead of what society worships?
That’s my closing thought. Mull that over in your head. Count the cost. Decide what will make better change - a Republican-dominated government or a Christ-dominated society?
Ask yourself that question, and live out your answer.
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
[Please share this post, and God will bless you. that is a joke…but feel free to boldly share this.]
anyways, i went to the #notmypresidentsday march in nyc today. i love peacefully fighting bigots and hamilton. so i combined the two into my sign. also? i love my friends more than i love life itself? big shoutouts to my main hoe @sugaredcardiovascularpump, my tru lov @primaryaftermath, and the cutest boy this world has ever seen @bfflclap. couldn’t have done this without u.
She chipped away at her own skull, cracking it like glass, because she knew there was more to understand than she could comprehend with a wall around her mind. So day after day she hacked away, shattering bits and pieces of the tunnels around her vision. Those breaks in the barricade were how the light got through.
She also talked to the show’s writers about adding a gay or lesbian character for next season and doing an episode about racism in order to shine light on stories that affect all viewers, not just the ones who identify with stories about straight, white characters.
(Article contains a light plot summary for an episode that hasn’t aired yet.)