Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

9/16/08

You, Me, Us and Them: Spiritual Arrogance in a Fallen World

As long as they are not we, we will have no peace with them.

Who are "we," and who are "they"? That depends how we divvy up humanity. Who counts as one or the other may not be shared by the other. Someone might think I'm OK, one of them, yet I might think they are not.

Race is the most obvious of discriminators, one of which is poised as a factor in this year's election. It should not be, and, for me, will not. I won't divvy up the colors.

Gender, religion, economics, all are others.

Then there are Sox and Cubs fans, a big deal to some here in Chicago. Trivial? Yes, but more than one buffoon has gotten into a bar fight over team colors.

Which are they and we? It comes down to faith issues for me, but, those who are "they," not believing in God as I do, are still OK in my book. The only book which counts, though, is God's book of life. Either you are in it, or you are not, but at no point am I permitted, as per God's Word, not to love even the one least like me or what I believe. I don't have a say in who gets into this book. I'm even called to love my enemy.

With an "us and them," perspective, we are forced into some kind of spiritual arrogance. I believe God chose us, with the freedom to reject Him. As such, it had nothing to do with me, or how good or holy I am. I'm not all that. I'm not any of that.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me." Nothing in that song says how great I am that God was smart enough to wrestle me from Earth to be exalted into Heaven. Not if you knew me -- and He, like no one else, knows me.

Why no peace? Lots of people either don't like what we believe (Muslims, atheists, anyone rooting for the other baseball team), or they see Christians acting like boneheads (and we too often do, so get off your holy horse). Jesus Christ is open to a lot of things, but rejection is not one of them. He draws the line by declaring Himself God, the only God, and one with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

Brain hurting? Love your neighbor. He's wretched, but, then again, you and me aren't so hot either.
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