We Don’t Need Another Martyr

This summer has been crazy, and it has left me with so many thoughts swirling through my mind. There are so many of them that I honestly don’t know where to begin. As I have been pondering what to say to begin this blog post, one common question has come to mind: “when did we become such an angry nation?”

As this summer brought more freedoms to more people, I also noticed the increase in popularity of what I will call Angry Christian Bloggers. From political wanna-bes like Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin to talk show hosts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh down to Matt Walsh and Joshua Feuerstein, I have seen an explosion of anger across social media sites. It frightens me that the angriest people claim to be Christians.

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Instead of explaining in my own words, I am going to go to the scriptures to support my argument that American Christianity is heading down a dangerous path. After all, the scriptures explain things more clearly and plainly than I ever could.

15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17. Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” – Matthew 7: 15-20.

I see many follow these bloggers and personalities in a cult-like manner. They, to me, have become the false prophets of which we have been warned about since the time of Jesus Christ. Now, I am not saying that any one of the people I mentioned above actually claim to be prophets, but all use their Christian beliefs as a means to build up a following in social media outlets. Unfortunately, their message seems to be one of fear, anger and hate, and it scares me how many followers they have.

22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians 5: 22-26.

If the Spirit speaks to use through all of the peaceful means listed in the scripture from Galatians, what does it mean when these Christian bloggers cause their faithful followers to be fearful and angry? I don’t think that’s Christ’s way.

Not a Hero Nor a Martyr

Now, to the Kim Davis controversy. I think Stephen King stated it best when he tweeted “Kim Davis has gotten exactly what she wanted: martyrdom.

Some believe that the only way you can be a true Christian is if you are persecuted for standing up for your faith, so they find twisted ways to become martyrs in their own minds. Too often this perceived persecution comes to people who treat others in ways contrary to Christ’s teachings. These people aren’t really martyrs; they are simply sowing what they reap.

Let’s make Tuesday a Day of Love

Mike Huckabee and Joshua Feuerstein are gathering the angry mobs to protest Kim Davis’s consequences for refusing to abide by a court order. They are using angry rhetoric and scaring good people into believing that their religious freedoms are being eroded.

I propose we create a counter movement and designate the same day as a Day of Love. Choose a happy color to wear: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo or violet. Share messages of love on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media feeds that day. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or do something to lift others less privileged than yourself. Let’s show the world who really has the spirit of love within their souls.

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Chapter Five – The Difference Between Romantic and Brotherly Love

Dad led our family conversations at the dinner table that evening. He asked all three of my sisters in order of age what happened at school. He then asked what they had learned in Primary. Finally, being the youngest, he asked me if anything interesting happened during the day.

“Colin got in trouble in Primary,” Stephanie said.

I began to push my green peas around the plate with my fork so I didn’t have to look my dad in the eyes.

“Is that true?” he asked.

I nodded and put a scoop of vegetables in my mouth.

“What happened?”

I shoved some tuna casserole into my mouth. If I kept it full, maybe I wouldn’t have to answer.

“He and Danny were kissing during singing time,” Stephanie explained. “And it made the chorus leader mad.”

Dad coughed up a little bit of the milk he was drinking. He wiped liquid off his chin and shirt and looked at each one of his children sitting at the dinner table. His eyes looked sad, and I focused my eyes more on the mess of vegetables and casserole on my plate.

“What ha–,” Dad began to ask, but something in his throat stopped him from finishing the question.

He looked at me again, but I wouldn’t lift my eyes up from my plate. His eyes moved across the table and until they met my mother. They looked at each other, and I thought I could see my father struggling to hold back some tears. My mom gave him a small smile, winked, and nodded her head.

“Let’s talk after dinner, Colin,” Dad finally said. He placed his folded napkin onto his empty plate. “But help your mother clean the table first.”

 

 

Dad was reading a book when I entered his bedroom. I couldn’t read the title, but it was very thick, and I could see that he had written some notes into a notebook he had placed on the small table next to him. He pulled the additional chair he had brought into the room in front of him so that we could have a face-to-face conversation.

“You and Danny are pretty good friends, aren’t you,” he said as I sat in my chair.

I nodded.

“Peter, too,” I said.

“Peter, too,” he repeated. “It’s nice to have such good friends, isn’t it.”

I nodded again.

“I understand that Danny was kissing you and telling you that he loves you today.”

I smiled and laughed a little. It was good to know that somebody loved me. It made me feel happy. I looked at my father and he seemed upset. Why?

“Boys don’t do that with other boys,” my dad said. There was a tightness in his voice.

“Why?” I asked. “We talk about love a lot in Primary.”

My dad placed his elbows on the small table, clasped his hands together, and rested his forehead between his thumbs and index fingers. It looked to me like he was saying a silent prayer. After a couple of minutes, he lifted his head and was ready to speak again.

“You see, there are different kinds of love. There’s a romantic kind of love—the kind of love your mother and I have for each other. That is a strong love that leads to marriage and starting a family.”

“Peter, Danny, and I want to get married when we are older,” I said.

“When you get older and meet a girl that you feel that romantic love for, then you can get married,” my father replied. Dad knew I meant something else, but he wasn’t about to let that ruin the great lesson he had planned.

“You and your friends share a different kind of love—a brotherly love.”

“Ya,” I said.

“That sort of love isn’t expressed through kissing and hugging. Boys shake hands or pat each other on the back, but they don’t kiss. Do you understand?”

I wasn’t sure what was wrong with boys kissing each other, but I shook my head in agreement. If my dad said it, it must be true.

We sat quietly for a couple of minutes when my father finally pulled a brochure from the back cover of the book he was reading. He opened it and scanned the page until he found the information he wanted.

“I think it’s time we get you started in some sports,” he said.

“Okay.”

“They are signing boys up for the city basketball league right now, and the games are every Saturday at the junior high school. The same times your sisters have dance classes. This should be fun for you.”

I wasn’t even sure what basketball was, but I was excited to go with my sisters when they have their dance classes. They seemed to have a lot of fun doing that.