Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How Does the Child of the Kingdom Respond?

Earlier, I posted a question regarding the family friendly nature of Christianity. The motivation for this question was a letter to the editor in the local paper in which the writer sites passage after passage of seemingly condemning Bible verses that paint Christianity and Jesus as family destroyers as opposed to the upholders of family values that Christians so often employ themselves and Jesus to be.

I was pretty upset when I read the letter. I often get upset when reading the letters to the editor and threaten to write a letter in response. This time, I actually sat down to write one. I couldn't let the a lot of this stuff go! Judaism and Christianity different traditions? The verses being taken completely out of context? The nature of Jesus being completely ignored? What about all the stories in which Jesus upholds the family? What about Paul in Ephesians and 1 Timothy? The letter and the reasoning didn't sit well with me. Wife and screaming child be damned! I was going to rebut this letter!

By the time I got done with the letter, I had written not a letter, but the first draft of a book. It was huge, incomplete, and ready for more. But, as I sat looking at the draft of my masterful apologetic, something didn't sit well with me. Is this really how we're supposed to respond to those outside the Kingdom? By sending this letter, am I being a minister of reconciliation or just another religious yahoo?

I'll tell you what, I'm not sure that sending the letter is a bad thing. The guy's ideas need to addressed publicly because they were made public. But, at the same time, I can't get over the thought that I need to call this guy and have a cup of coffee with him. I don't know this guy. He doesn't know me. If I'm going to have an impact on the community for the Kingdom, then shouldn't I at least be interacting with the people in my community as opposed to launching apologetic missiles from my home? Isn't this lack of or separation from community part of the problem in North American Christianity?

How does the child of the Kingdom respond?