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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Change the Fear

Greetings in Christ.

So, I have noticed a reluctance on a couple of fan groups on Facebook about discussing religion.  One of them is a Godzilla group and the other one is a Star Wars group.

The Godzilla group has a post pinned by the administrator saying that religion and politics are both off limits.  All they want to talk about is big monsters destroying each other.  I wonder if they would consider a discussion about the viewpoints of religion shown in the movies?  They seem to forget that faith and religion do play a part in many Godzilla films, whether it be the Islanders from the original film who saw Godzilla as a deity or the culture on Infant Island that worships Mothra. 

The Star Wars group actually did have a discussion going based on a meme that takes a picture of a church sign with Matthew 12:13 which starts "Whoever is not for me is against me".  This is the only part of the verse on the sign.  The creator of the meme than put a pic of Obi-Wan Kenobi below that with the quote "Only Siths deal in absolutes."  (Both sign and the meme forgot the rest of that verse "for whoever does not gather with me scatters.") This started a discussion about Jesus, judgement, etc.  I went to put my two cents in and lo and behold the post had been revoked.  I am guessing they were upset about the argument going on.

Religion can be polarizing.  Part of that is do to judgmental attitudes from people of varying view points. Have you ever felt judged by another?  Maybe you were investigating Christ and you felt like Christians were mean and critical.  Or, maybe you were trying to explain the truth of Christ and someone refused to listen to you unfairly.  This criticism and judgement can come from holders of all world views; there is no such thing as a world view where no one who teaches it is critical or rude.

However, there is another thing: the assumption that one is being judged.  We tend to see people as judges rather than as fellow students telling us what they think will be on the test.  This is especially popular right now.  People don't like to be told how to live their lives.  

As we go out to share Christ, we need to remember what Peter told us in 1 Peter 3:15 "Always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."  We should not be judgmental.  It is God's place to judge, not ours, but we must not be afraid to say something.  We should remember we are students of Christ and that He is the test-grader.  We are the test-takers.  It is our responsibility to let other know what is on the test, but not to grade their tests for them.

I don't think these groups should be so scared of discussing religion, but we can only pray and speak in gentleness and respect to change it.

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