Get Up, Stand Up: Flipping Tables for God

en-el-temploIn many ways, this blog page is my response to what I see as a general malaise that has fallen across  Christianity in the U.S.  We have bought so far into a kumbaya, turn the other cheek, Jesus is more of a doormat than a door theology,  that we have rendered ourselves ineffectual.  We think that being nice and kind and loving to one another means not making anyone upset and being non-confrontational.  Worse yet, we have started measuring our success at being that kind of Christian by how many people ‘like us’ compared to how many people don’t.

How we got here, I hardly know and, quite honestly, it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that a very large number of Christians practice their faith by this misguided understanding of what love looks like.  In that kumbaya version of Christianity having an “attitude of gratitude” means possessing a disposition of constant submission to the world and those who think they rule it – turning the other cheek so many times that you no longer know if you are looking left or right.  Biblically that song is a disharmonious, disconnected and disturbing distortion of who Jesus was.

Need I remind us all that so many people didn’t like Jesus that they nailed him to a tree.  Not because he was a bad person, but because he did not make nice when people distorted God’s message of love.  He didn’t turn the other cheek when politicians and religious leaders conspired to step on the ‘least of these.’  He stood up for what was right.  He flipped tables in the name of God.  He did not lash out violently at another human being, ever, but he did lovingly confront them.  He was always motivated by love… but he did not back down, he did not sacrifice the Word of God for the comfort of humanity; he did not keep his mouth shut in the name of being nice.

For too long the people of God have suffered – for far too long.  God has claimed the meek and the poor in spirit and those who morn and those who thirst for justice and the merciful and the pure of heart and the peacemakers and those that suffer persecution for justice sake as God own, as the children of heaven.  Those who take advantage of the meek and persecute people who work for justice, have been given a pass by Christians who think that ‘turn the other cheek’ means to sit passively by like a doormat as they and the marginalized get stepped on, used and abused, by the powerful who wipe their feet of the world’s sometimes gritty reality so that the houses that they have built on the backs of the rest of us don’t get soiled with the pain, the abuse, the hatred of the world that they themselves have created.

When Jesus was confronted with people that had distorted the purpose of the house of God, he flipped tables.  When Jesus was confronted by people using God’s name to dupe those who had little, who were meek, who were abused and marginalized, he flipped tables.

What makes a  peace-loving, easy-going, hippy-dippy, Jesus freak start flippin’ proverbial tables?  People using God’s name for false purposes.  Politician and religious leaders using religion to further marginalize ‘the least of these.’  Pharasetical proclamations from ‘Christian’ leaders that inspire hate, division and at times violence (even if veiled in words like ‘hate the sin, love the sinner).

I had had enough and so The God Article began.  I hope you too have had enough.  If you have, let me hear from you in the comment section, share this post with your friends far and wide. In the words of Bob Marley, “Get up, stand up. Don’t give up the fight.” Start flippin’ tables.

In the name of Jesus, people like The God Article, The Christian Left, The Progressive Christian Alliance, Those Crazy Liberals…and Conservatives are taking up the good fight.  It’s time for us to not only flip the tables but to turn them.  It is time for us to take back the voice of Christianity.  It is time for followers of God to start acting like followers of God.  We must confront hate at every turn.  We must profess love in every moment.  We must see Christ in every face… and it might just take flipping a few proverbial tables.

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