Differences…Just Differences

Hello again! I recently read an article that brought some not so happy memories to mind in the light of day. Yesterday, one of my facebook friends, who was also a favorite teacher when I was in high school, posted an article. This article (you can link here http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/2005/11/i-love-lucy-bible-studyentertainment.html ) takes the time to tell the reader how absolutely awful it is to try to reach out to people using this new Bible study. Whether or not I agree with what is contained in this Bible study is a moot point. It doesn’t matter to anyone, and shouldn’t matter to anyone, whether I agree with it or not. The most my opinion should do is cause someone to check it out for themselves. But this person decides to blatantly tell people that this Bible study is “not a joke—however much [he] wish[es] it is.” Right away, this statement puts me on the defensive. I don’t think this is a bad thing. His adamant negative language does, in fact, drive me to read more to find out where he’s coming from. Maybe, he has a point. But as I read on, I just find more and more opinionted language and not much proof of a reason to discount this Bible study. Since scripture is open to interpretation, it’s difficult to use this to prove a point. Does this guy see people, actual people, being led down a path that is detrimental to them? Has this been proven? Where are his statistics?

Another phrase he uses is “dumbed down.” This would not be the fault of the author of this Bible study. It would be the fault of those in charge of the education system. We have allowed our children to go to schools and participate in programs that “dumb down” everything. Heaven forbid we actually require a student to study in order to pass his or her classes! And colleges are even worse! The same profs use the same tests and just rearrange the order of the questions. My uncle teaches at a college in Texas and is constantly appalled by the lack of vocabulary and spelling knowlege contained in the minds of his students. Again, this is the fault of the school system. We ALLOW our students to behave this way. We tell them by our actions it’s ok not to study. We tell them they’ll pass anyway. Why the author of the above article would choose to attack a person who is trying to reach this less educated crowd in a way they would understand boggles the mind.

I mentioned in the first paragraph that I remembered some disturbing things from my past. I grew up as a child who was encouraged to read and encouraged to always do my best in school. I LOVE to read. I love to read FICTION. I admire a healthy imagination that can help take me to a place I’ve never even seen. I like opera and heavy metal. I like art. I grew up in an area where these are held up as “weird” things. I liked things that were different. And because of this, I was ridiculed, mocked, laughed at…sometimes viciously. I even had a teacher who thought it would be fun to mock my 1st grade attempts at art. Do any you know what that kind of behavior can do a child’s self esteem? Well, guess what? It made me stronger. When I was in high school, I wore a perfectly modest outfit (that I was really proud of) to church. I was promptly told not to wear the outfit again because one man complained that it was “too revealing”. Again with the “me bashing.” Hmmm…a little stronger still? I have a friend who was trying to do his best to lead his family down a good path. Sadly, they no longer feel they have a place to go to in order to worship as they feel led. A person at the church they attended told them they were “going to far” when they shared their happiness in celebrating Passover. WTF? I’m sorry. Jesus celebrated Passover! What in the world were they thinking??? It is the people like the author of the above article that drive the masses away. If we don’t speak to the masses in a language they will understand, how will we reach them? If a tv show can help me tell someone about my beliefs and my faith, you can believe I would use it. I’m not eloquent. I’m not an orator. I would use any help I could find to get my point across. I recently heard a sermon with my husband. Perry Noble, who pastors a church in one of the Carolinas (can’t remember which), brought out this point. As you can see, I agree with him.

So, here I am with one tattoo and wanting more, enjoying an alcoholic beverage every now and again, enjoying the thought of being able to go sing karaoke again at some point, loving to dance and wearing things that some people might find “inappropriate”. These are things that make up ME. These are things I enjoy! Jesus loves me where I am. He loves me just as I am. That will never change. He only wants good things for me. He wants me to have a joyful, abundant life. This is something I know in my heart of hearts. And if I’m wrong, so be it. But if I’m right… Shouldn’t we be encouraging people to tell others Jesus loves them, just as they are?