I cried after the last church service I attended, and it wasn’t for happy reasons.
I’m not going to go into too many specifics, for I don’t want to stray from the point of this post, but the concept of being a good, faithful Christian has been on my mind a lot lately. Politically and socially speaking, I think everybody is having a hard time with one thing or another (whether it’s disliking the new president’s policies or getting annoyed by all of the random, argumentative FB posts). It was hard hearing that I shouldn’t allow myself to be influenced by the world (in regards to anything that strays from the teachings of the Bible) when a lot of the things that I actually support are straight up scorned in God’s word. Of course I know that the times have changed, and that some sins and teachings are no longer as relevant, but I was having a hard time knowing that I stood for and believed in many concepts that I know I technically shouldn’t as a Christian.
I think we try to live in a “this or that” mindset. In other words, “I support this, so I can’t possibly support that.” But, the thing is… we don’t have to be like this. We do that to ourselves. We are allowed to live in the gray areas in life. (Note: As Christians, we shouldn’t ever be lukewarm. Period. Let’s chat if you feel like you are! Trust me, I get it.)
In a sense, though… being a bit more open-minded (and… gasp!… even understanding) of contrasting views may make us come across as hypocritical. And, you know what? So be it. You do not have to change to fit into a mold that somebody expects from you. You’re allowed to have conflicting opinions, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to compromise who you are to please others. And I’m not just talking to fellow Christians here.
Let’s break it down just a little bit more.
You’re allowed to be against abortion and still believe that the government has no right to control women’s bodies. (And, furthermore, you’re allowed to be against abortion and still understand that by taking away legal abortions only opens the door for illegal and unsafe abortions.)
You’re allowed to be an advocate for an increase in American jobs and still want to stop efforts towards the Dakota Access Pipeline.
You’re allowed to support protests and marches and yet still wish that the people included would remain classy about it. (For instance, I can’t get behind the p****y hats. They bug me so much.)
ALSO – You’re allowed to support protests and marches and still think that the people included should be mindful about destroying private property.
You’re allowed to strive for gender equality in the workplace and still advocate for longer maternal/paternal leave for parents.
You’re allowed to push down and question gender norms/expectations and still wish to go on dates with kind gentlemen that will open the door for you.
You’re allowed to recognize that Americans are privileged compared to many other countries and still acknowledge that there is still a lot of progress yet to be made.
You’re allowed to wear whatever you want in public and still have the right to say that you do not want sexual relations with somebody.
You’re allowed to be thankful and supportive of cops and still recognize that there are bad cops out there.
You’re allowed to love the United States and the American public and still hope that we allow more immigrants to come to us.
You’re allowed disagree with views of others and still be respectful towards them.
You’re allowed to be an ally to the LGBQ+ community and still not completely understand why or how they feel the way they do. (Furthermore, you’re allowed to be an ally to the LGBQ+ community and still be a devoted Christian.)
And so much more…
I had to do some soul-searching this past week about Christianity and also modern movements, and I have come to this conclusion: First and foremost, God has called Christians to have grace and to love ALL of His people. We can’t just pick and choose the people that we think deserve compassion. If I could live in such a way that the people who know me, but don’t know God, may come to know God through me, then that’s all I could ever hope for. We aren’t called to judge one another. End of story. We are called to show the love of Christ through our words and actions. Maybe God and his disciples didn’t have in mind that I’d be showing love towards everybody by advocating for their social rights (even the ones that actually contradict God’s teachings), but, in a weird way, I feel like this is exactly what I need to be doing as a Christian.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll read this and think that my mindset is completely flawed. We can agree to disagree.
The Art of being Unapologetically “Hypocritical” is one that may take your mind a little while to digest. Life is like a recipe: we’ll need various ideas, experiences, concepts, actions, etc. to make it a good one… to make it worth tasting. Sometimes it’s worth mixing things up a little bit. Challenge yourself.
We aren’t expected to be perfect or to get it right all of the time. Remember that.
“Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. Do as God does. After all, you are His dear children. Let love be your guide. Christ loved us and offered his life for us as a sacrifice that pleases God.” – Ephesians 4: 31-5:2
Featured Photo Courtesy of Upworthy.