What if, as Christians, we decided to listen first, rather than respond immediately with, “But the Bible says…,” when we encounter views, with which, we disagree. Especially since, “but the Bible says” is just code for- this is my interpretation or what I’ve been taught.
What if, as Christians, we decided to act more like Jesus before we enacted any more methods and strategies for how we should give others information about Jesus.
What if, as Christians, we were as vocal and agitated about the sins of gluttony, greed, materialism, racism, sexism, nationalism, and our own failures in marriage, as we are about the supposed sins of others.
What if, as Christians, we were to admit that with our divorce rate being nothing to brag about, we are not that concerned about the institution’s health or protection by law.
What if, as Christians, we decided to spend most of our resources helping the poor, the sick, and those on the margins, before we spent any more money telling the wealthy, the well, and those already privileged, how to live their, “best life.”
What if, as Christians, we decided our first loyalty was to our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of where they were from, or skin color, before any loyalty to a state or nation.
What if, as Christians, we decided our first loyalty was to our brothers and sisters, Christian or not, regardless of where they were from, or skin color, before any loyalty to a state or nation.
What if, as Christians, we were known more for being citizens of heaven and putting such first, rather than putting the nation we happened to be born in, first, since such is only a relative, temporary, and imagined idea/place. “America” or “Germany” doesn’t really exist: heaven does.
What if, as Christians, we decided we would call out any elected leader, from any party, and hold them accountable, for failing to be truthful, a person of character and decency, or supporting policies detrimental to the poor and the least of these, regardless their deference or favor toward us as Christians.
What if, as Christians, we decided we would only support pastors, priests, and political leaders who were foremost people of truth, honor, integrity, and character—whose lives were marked by decency and kindness, regardless their agreement with our, especially peripheral, theology or political views.
What if, as Christians, we decided that charisma, physical beauty, confidence, and a big out-going personality, were either poor or irrelevant indicators of a person’s qualifications to be a pastor or political leader.
What if, as Christians, we decided to allow women to lead as equals rather than just talk about how much they are valued and needed. Talk is cheap. Also, just as an aside, I doubt there would have been the decades and decades of sexual abuse of children and female adults in the Catholic and Evangelical worlds, if women had been serving as priests/pastors and allowed positions in the hierarchies of their respective churches/institutions. Just a thought.What if, as Christians, we decided that rather than stockpiling food, building walls, and withdrawing from a world we think is doomed, we instead built tables, filled them with food, and invited everyone to join us—to talk about making the future better together.
What if, as Christians, we decided we wanted to be known more as peace makers than those quick to defend gun rights and state violence.
What if, as Christians, we were to carefully and seriously listen to those outside our own traditions and understandings, rather than assume if they are not Christian or not a part of our tradition—they have nothing to tell us.
What if, as Christians, we decided to just be quiet for a while. After this, this, this, and many more stories like them, maybe we should be seen and not heard for a minute or two. We’ve been talking for centuries.
What if, as Christians, we decided we wanted to be known more for our love for each other, including our enemies, than for what we said we believed…about…anything. Full stop.
I know it would be easy to dismiss the above as trite and sentimental. Perhaps they are. Or, maybe the response to these should be, “duh.” Another response might be, “Sure, you first—especially the one about being silent.” Fair enough—I get it. We all, or many of us, sit back and think we know what the “church” should do and what it should look like. If only it did more of this, and less of that. If only it looked more like this, and not so much like…that. I get that. It gets old sometimes.
I wrote the above mostly for myself. If none of the above applies to any reader, if you are well past the above as serious suggestions because you are already living beyond the, “if,” and have these well in play, then please disregard. Or perhaps you don’t even agree with some or most of these, “what ifs.” Either way, I was suggesting these for myself and any others who fail, like I do, to live this way.
I have a Patreon Page—please consider supporting my writing.