Thursday, May 31, 2007

Adam and Jeremy Say: People Hate Us and Liberty

Adam: So I was on this guys blog today (we will leave it nameless) and the whole thing was devoted to how he hated Dr. Falwell and how evil Dr. Falwell was; you know the routine, but then the guy gets all angry about Liberty... he calls us fools for attending the school and says that we are buying into lies and making the world a worse place...
Why are people ignorant like that? Why do they stereotype and make ad homenum attacks on Liberty and its students? Sure some people from LU suck, but so that‘s just the way the world works... take homosexuals for example (since that seems to be a flash point in the Liberty discussions) most people who are gay are pretty normal... but then there are some who feel the need to crude and brash... like not only am I gay but I am also flamboyant and shameless and I want to force you to accept me because I am gay in all my over the top glory... okay... glad to hear your gay... but I have a thing against assless chaps... not against you just the fact that you and your partner are walking around in assless chaps... Am I crazy... am I missing something?

Jeremy: My initial reaction to this kind of persecution is to fight back and be hateful towards them. “They suck, and are stupid and ignorant.” Then my thinking changes just a bit towards, “hey, if they want to make themselves look like a big jerks then let them.” I think rational people will determine that they have crossed the line socially, and then judge their comments accordingly. Of course, Jerry at times "crossed the line socially", but he was quick to either apologize or explain himself.
That of course doesn't give these jerks the right to go ahead and do the same thing back. In the great words of Derek Webb: "an eye for an eye will never satisfy" Any who, we can’t stop people from being stupid and making dumb comments like that, and I don't think we should fight back and come up with reasons justifying why we are right and they are wrong...even though it seems easy. People are always going to be ignorant, and people are always going to persecute you for loving Jesus (John 15:18-26)Oh well....

Adam: You are right... but I think when Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, He is not telling us to ignore it, but telling us to respond to it respectfully, Rob Bell talked about how culturally Jesus was telling his followers to stand up for themselves but not to be disrespectful... I think it is incumbent on us to love those who hate us, and to stand up and tell them that. "Hey I think you are wrong, and I don’t like what you said, but I love you and want to understand what causes your hate."

Jeremy: I think we may have brushed on this topic before. I hate being taken advantage of and being picked on for stupid stuff, but I don't really know where to draw the line on fighting back and standing up for myself.
I think you make a very good point, and if we could pull some scripture together to back that up, that would be cool. Did Mr. Bell reference any verses?

It’s like on one hand you have the homeless guy who sits at the intersections and begs for money knowing that he could make 10 bucks an hour just because people are nice. I feel like the homeless dude is taking advantage of people like that, and I don't want to give them money, but Jesus says to give to the poor. And then there are those jerks who think they can just slander Christians verbally as much as they want because they know we are nice and won’t hate them back.

Adam: In essence Jesus told Peter that he is to forgive unconditionally and forever. However, Jesus also told his disciples that unlike Moses they should turn the other cheek. Was he telling them to be push-overs? On the surface you would think that means that He is saying we should let ourselves be walked over, but there is more to the story. Jesus is preaching to believers in Jerusalem around 30 AD or so and because of that there are context clues in the culture of the time that help us to better understand what He was saying.... this may take a bit of explaining but I think it is cool when you hear it out...

So before the advent of modern plumbing many cultures had sanitary rules about what hand to use in restroom activities and what hand to use in every day life. This is still the case in places like rural India. In Israel the rule was that you used your left hand for your restroom duties and your right for everything else (eating, handshaking whatever.) This is important because this would mean that if someone were to strike a cheek they would use their right hand to strike your left cheek... try it at home... but then if you turn your right cheek to them it becomes impossible for them to strike you with their right hand, in fact the really only way to do it would be with your left, but here is the rub... in that culture using the left hand was severely frowned upon and would be considered shameful, and you can probably guess that at that time shame was a big deal (yeah shame only died about ten years ago) so what Jesus is saying is take it, be forgiving but take it standing up... they hit you then you stand up turn the other cheek and say alright you want to hit me then why don’t you hit me here too... obviously those who are truly evil would do it, but in reality Jesus was espousing a form of non-violent civil disobedience... sound familiar(MLKJ)? So while Jesus obviously teaches us to forgive... I think at the same time He is not telling us to get walked on... do you know what I am saying?... now the part that hangs me up... what is the practical interpretation of this in our modern culture?

Jeremy: I was looking at different translations for that passage of scripture.The Message is a bit interesting:"...Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously...

Adam: So maybe our best response is this... "Thank You for hating us because we believe in a risen savior and the led us to attend school at Liberty University, which was founded by Dr. Jerry Falwell. We are sorry that our schooling upsets you, and we hope that we change your mind in the future." Does that seem like a logical and loving response... or is it too jerky?

Maybe a bit too jerky and sarcastic. I don't think I would really thank someone for hating me.

Adam: Yeah... but How do you stand up for yourself while still being Loving?

Jeremy: That is the question we are trying to answer, huh? See that's where I don't know where to draw the line, and I think it's a case by case basis. I mean you have to react to people differently. All people accept love in different ways, so I think whatever's best for the situation, but again....I don't necessarily know how to do it. Sometimes I’ll instinctively(or holy spirit led) react and say things that I had no idea where they came from, and later ill be like, "holy sweet!, how did I come up with that?" truth is, it was probably the holy spirit taking over my body and using it and I had nothing to do with it.

Adam: I hear what you are saying about the Holy Spirit guiding us, and I agree. I mean really the point is our sinful selves want to get ego stuck up in it, but in reality its like Peter said, you will be persecuted for your faith and you should consider it a blessing. The real point is that we need to rely on the Grace of God to guide us and we need focus on his peace instead trying to make our own... That's just what I think.

Jeremy: You pretty much summed it up, so I don’t have much thought in addition to that. I was thinking about how different people need to be loved differently, and how "tough love" is really the best kind for some people. I was also thinking about how "being nice" and "being loving" may not necessarily be the same thing. I’m not sure exactly where that fits in the thing with the deal, but you know what I’m saying.


  1. Very well said. I'm impressed on how truthful you guys are. You don't gloss over the topic.

    I'm posting a link to this post on my blog.

  2. I think you guys pretty much missed the huge blatant mark in all of this, which is EMPATHY.

    How can you really know how to love someone without knowing them or wanting to know them? I am reading what you are saying and the fact that you chalk this up that they are persecuting you because of your faith leads me to believe you really don't understand why "they" are so mad.

    If someone told you that a horrific tragedy happened because of something that you had no control over or constantly been labeled as an abomination, disgusting, evil...etc etc...once again because of something that was not your decision to be, I don't know really, but I'd pretty pretty upset. It has nothing to do with your faith, it has to do with your ignorance and your inability to even want to understand.

    I am gay. I love Jesus. I don't wear assless chaps. I have many friends that are very feminine, not because they looked into a mirror for 3 hours a day most of their life to perfect their trates, but because that's just apart of who they are...and many don't wear assless chaps...some may though, but that's none of my business. And honestly, chaps are not even the point.

    You keep trying to think of ways to defend yourselves from these heathens when you should just be going out there and buying these people a cup of coffee and getting to know them better.

    Work at a shelter for a day, take a meal to someone with full blown AIDS and ask them about their story. Go to Fan Free Clinic and see if there's any ways you can help them out. You are not going to win anyone over by your words anymore, they've heard's by what you do that will show them your love. If you notice, every reaction that Jesus spoke of were never verbal responses, but actions.

    When you do these things you will get a better glimpse into the reasoning behind the hate, you will be showing love to people the only way they can see it these days, and most of all you will realize that you are all the same and it won't all of this us vs them.

    Guess that's it. cheers.

  3. ugh, I hate to double comment just as much as anyone, but I thought they'd let me preview my comment before it published...and it sounded much harsher than I wanted. Main point being, it's not Christ they hate, it's the people that are shouting ignorant and hurtful things in the name of Christ. Many of their hearts are wounded and growing bitter. They are seeing a misrepresented view of Christ and by merely defending "Christ" to them you are defending "hatred towards them." Show them Christ's love by what you do not by what you say.

  4. From what a I have read of Falwell's comments during his life, Falwell was anti-Christ. Christ taught love and forgiveness and I see many examples of Falwell preaching hate and vengence. Sounds like the opposite of what Christ taught to me. Do you concentarate more on the New or Old Testament at Liberty?

  5. I'm actually glad you double posted CJ because I really didn't agree with your first post. You are correct is essentially, as James wrote, "Faith without works is dead."

    However, you don't know how much service in the name of the Lord that Adam and Jeremy have done.

    Also, believers will be persecuted because of their love of Christ. It's been proven time and time again. Christians are typcially portrayed in our society as ignorant simpletons that aren't as in touch with the world as non-believers.

  6. IMHO, many so called Chritians know little about the teachings of Christ and are therefore quite hypocritical in their actions. For example the widespread support of the war among Christian leaders is totally anti-Christ. Live like Christ taught and you will gain much more respect and love.

  7. Adam and Jeremy good post today.

    CJ - I'm not sure how they missed the mark. Here are 2 guys who love Christ, love Liberty and admired Jerry Falwell.

    Jerry Falwell was not perfect - was he a Christian? Am I a Christian? Is Adam and Jeremy a Christian? We all say we are. We all try to walk the walk as Jesus says to do. But we have our own convictions, we are sinners. Even Jerry Falwell was a sinner. We can't be perfect. We ask and pray for God to help us with our walk and help us guide us back to our path he has set for us. He knows we are going to make mistakes, to sin. For he knew us before we were born (missing script).
    I guess what I am trying to say is that we are all human -- There are some great people out there in this world that love Christ - they are good people.. But there are also some good bible loving people - who can preach the word of God better than anyone - but are not good people and for us Christians it does make us mad and it does turn people away from Christ. Same goes for all religions, race, sexual orientation, creed -- insert more labels -- etc.etc..

    I'm not sure about the reference to volunteering at the fan free clinic or buying someone a cup of coffee. I can't think of another group of people who does more for Aids and the homeless than Religious organizations.

  8. hey anon #2,
    I wasn't questioning if they were Christians, the mark I was refering to was the one of how they respond to those that are attacking them. I know better than to question anyone's salvation.
    I never said I agreed with those that condemned Liberty or their choice to go there. But to truly respond with love back to those that attack you, you have to be able to try and understand why they would say these things.
    Also, I'm not really sure if you get outside the "bubble" too often, but I can honestly say that the church has definitely dropped the ball when it comes to AIDS work and even homeless ventures. Luckily Bono has done a great deal to get the western church to become more aware of what is going on in Africa, but even on the home front in America, the church isn't the ones leading the way in helping those dealing with HIV/AIDS. You may laugh, but I thank God for Oprah and Bill Gates for their huge amounts of money they spill into organizations that fund these ventures.
    I do think if the church was truly being the church in all it could be, there wouldn't need to be a welfare system and there wouldn't need to be a redcross. Social justice isn't just the cool new Christian's what the church used to hold true to, but I think we switched many Christian ideals for Republican ones and have held too strongly on materialism and capitalism...