- "A Musing Pastor"
You're going the wrong way you idiot.
I remember the time (A long time ago) I went downtown and momentarily forgot the borough had turned Front Street into a one way thoroughfare. Guess which way I was driving? Yep, as I started down the street, people were beeping at me, pedestrians were staring, and I was flabbergasted. What is wrong with you people? The next person drove by me, stuck her head out the window and yelled, "You're going the wrong way you idiot!"
That will get your attention quickly. I could have done without the 'idiot' part, but none the less, I hurriedly found a cross street and got out of there. Funny thing about One Way streets, there is only one way that is right. Everything else is a version of "Russian Roulette".
I actually prefer two way streets. They seem more user friendly. I understand the principle behind one way streets and traffic flow issues. Admittedly, one way streets are great when you are going point to point and the streets are in your favor. Trying to go point to point when one way streets are 'one way' and we're traveling the wrong way and your easy travel becomes a lesson in humility. There is such harmony on a two way street!
It started about 20+ years ago and has been getting more bizarre the longer it goes. What am I talking about? This thing called "hate". I hear people talking about their 'haters' and how one needs to rise above those 'haters'. The obvious evolution of how 'hate speech' and 'hate' related crimes are viewed by law enforcement permeates our society and in some cases might even infringe on 1st Amendment rights and religious freedom. As a minister of the Gospel, if I talk about sin, anything I say could be construed as 'hate' speech.
Take for instance the latest flap over sports figures refusing to stand and honor the National Anthem. Various reasons are proffered for this action and quite frankly, I see nothing wrong with one expressing their freedom to choose. My issue rises to a boil when folks will rail against 'Anthem protesters' then be called haters for speaking their minds. I must have missed something. Public discourse is a two way street. If it becomes a one way street, then one side or the other claims superiority and discourse ceases to be an option.
In a civil democratic republic, society has freedom to choose to honor the flag out of gratitude or stay seated to protest it. Both sides of the issue are protected by the Constitution (At least they used to be). I'm not convinced this last statement to be true.
Not to dredge up old arguments, but I remember a young man who professes Christ as Lord and Savior being vilified by society as a whole and in the media. When Tim Tebow, Heisman trophy winner and professional football player, would bow and pray to God in his famous "Tebowing" he was and still is made fun of by many. What gives? If Mr. Kaepernick has the freedom to not stand to honor our country and the people who died to give him that freedom then why is a Christian practically crucified? One way street keeps coming back to mind. In many cases, Christians are being yelled at, "You're going the wrong way; you idiot!"
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to
become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get
rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which
can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who
listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after
looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like..." (James 1:19-24a, NIV)
Oft times, those who scream and yell at the opposition are either not familiar with the Word of God or not familiar with God...and in other cases, believers have forgotten what God's Word instructs. Bad memory, isn't good for our witness. Consider us having two ears and one mouth might mean we should listen twice as much as we talk. In listening, a better way forward might unfold for us to share the road called public discourse.
PS: Beware of "One Way" streets.