Pious Playwrights

Do you see why Christianity is called “good news”? Christianity proclaims that it is an equal-opportunity faith, open to all, in spite of the abundance of playwrights in the church who are more than anxious to announce, “There is no place for you in Christianity if you: wear an earring/ have a tattoo/ drink wine/ have too many questions/ look weird/ smoke/ dance/ haven’t been filled with the Spirit/ aren’t baptized/ swear/ have pink hair/ are in the wrong ethnic group/ have a nose ring/ have had an abortion/ are gay or lesbian/ are too conservative or too liberal.                                    ~ Michael Yaconelli

I’m a fairly new Twitter user. I’m pretty long-winded for tweeting. In the past, I’ve only keep an account to keep up with a few family members. But tonight I did and saw a re-tweet from one year ago from the Westboro Baptist Church that read: Cory Monteith found dead in Vancouver hotel room – STRUCK DOWN BY RAGING MAD GOD!

I’m uncertain what compelled God to kill Cory Monteith. I don’t know if God was RAGING because Cory was on a television program that has gay characters; or if God was MAD at him because he was intimately involved with a girl he wasn’t married to; or if God STRUCK him DOWN because at 31, he took a lethal mixture of heroin and alcohol.

Here’s what I’m certain of, Michael Yaconelli had it right. The Gospel is “good news”. And whoever you are, there is a place for you in this equal-opportunity faith.

When I read the WBC tweet, I’ll be honest, it made me angry. I thought things like: No wonder no one wants what we say we have when this is how our faith is represented.

And I thought other things. Things like: How can people be so: ignorant, hateful, malevolent, evil.

In a moment my heart was seared. Hating the hateful is my spiritual Achilles. I was ready to assume the role of a playwright, too. So quick to say there is no room for you Westboro and your brethren who preach hate and proclaim the message of an angry God.

I’m more willing to extend unqualified grace to those who hate Christians than to Christians who hate.

Tonight I’m praying for a heart like my Father’s heart. The One who says: Come to Me, ALL of you who are weak and weary and I will give you rest.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

19 thoughts on “Pious Playwrights”

  1. I don’t hate the haters… I judge the judgmental! Which, I suppose, is really another way of saying the same thing…

  2. I guess the point we all have to come to is that everyone of us struggles with something. It is not the struggle that qualifies or disqualifies us (for in that case we would all be disqualified) but it is grace that qualifies and causes us to embrace the struggle. It is not the saying that sin is no longer sinful but it is the saying we all struggle with sin and Christ has set that aside so that we may walk in ever-increasing victory over the things that once held us back.
    I am no longer what I once was (thank God) but neither am I all that I shall be (thank God)!

  3. Oh gracious one . . . this is me too. And it’s so uncanny, but just recently I was posting a tiny poem on twitter and read a tweet that upset me. 😦 Before God could show me more about it, I shot off a tweet myself into twitterdom. Thank you for helping us to always remember grace . ..and to stay away from twitter. 😉

    1. Debbie –
      One of the drawbacks to technology is possibly how easy it is to use.
      It seems to me that Twitter, in particular, involves quite a lot of thinking out loud.
      Fortunately, I’m an exceptionally poor typist so by the time I get my few words written, I’ve often hit delete instead of send. 😀

  4. Obviously all you folks are much more educated in religion than I: Mostly for the reasons you listed (quite eloquently) in your column, Debbie. As always, a pleasure. I saw this on FB first (before realizing it was Two Minutes of Grace) and thought it was some sort of “auto-correct” crazy “joke”. After reading your words, I am still haunted by the God my mom found. I believe she had Calvinistic roots (whether she knew it or not). She beat herself to death with that God and I burned it into my brain. But, I have cleverly kept an eye open for the God of love and mercy, and I believe he has carried me, but I still fear wrath. Time for some Grace. Must do. Must get. Love to you! XO MEL

    1. Oh Mel –
      I wish you knew how entirely precious and loved you are by the God Who wholly knows you.
      Being “educated in religion” is one thing. Knowing and showing His love and grace is something else altogether.
      You’re a seeker.
      I find seekers so much more gracious than those who have already found all they think there is to find.
      The more you look, the more you’ll find the truth of how loved and lovely you are right now.
      Love and grace to you, Mel.

  5. Every time I’m upset in any way… it is a gift showing me where I need to turn something over to Him. Resentments, worries, fears… all good red flags for spiritual growth issues. This is a wonderful reminder of grace. It IS available to us. Thank you!

    1. Heidi –
      Exactly!
      I have come to believe, with you, that every agitation is all the warning I need to know I’ve left “Graceland” and have started off on my own.

    1. Debby, my friend, thank you for introducing me to Yaconelli! Brennan Manning was my initial tutor in grace; Michael Yaconelli moved me into the “wild, passionate, free-wheeling plunge from which there is no return! 😀

  6. ‘I’m too long-winded to tweet.’
    Marvellous. Me too. But this is pretty short and sweet (and spot on) for someone too long winded to tweet!
    You have hit the button for many of us. I find myself utterly intolerant of intolerance; and can so justify it as to completely miss the irony. And the tragedy.
    Saw a comment on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: one kid from each side arm in arm – ‘Anything war can do, peace can do better.’
    Applies to so much, but we just don’t believe it enough!

    1. Beautiful quote, Ian.
      Why don’t we believe it, I wonder?
      Both the experience of all of history and of our own lives are a testimony to this truth and yet we continue to choose to be defensive and argumentative – as if that were virtuous and gentleness a vice.
      Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I always look forward to the expressions of your kind heart.

    1. Maureen –
      You make a good point. That’s something I should pray for.
      I’ve been reading about a documentary Fred Phelps son, Nate, is making called “Not My Father’s Son”. Not only has he distanced himself from Westboro but also from God and is now an atheist.

  7. Speak, girlfriend! How in the world does the Baptist Church hierarchy not say anything against these monstrous creatures. And I don’t mean to impugn vampires or zombies by comparing them to the WBC! 🙂 Peace & Blessings, Ruth

    1. Hello dear Ruth –
      You’re too funny!
      Although this probably reads like a commentary on WBC, I really meant it as a commentary on my own faults. ;D
      But to try to answer your question,according to Wikipedia: “The WBC is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination. The Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention (the two largest Baptist denominations) have each denounced the WBC over the years.”

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