I know you are, but what am I?
Ok, another movie quote. What movie was this from? Answer: Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure. Frances is trying to convince Pee Wee that he wants Pee Wee's bike and will pay him any amount of money. Pee Wee declines and he and Frances get involved in one of the most quoted movie lines, "I know you are, but what am I?" Unfortunately, the political dialogue here in our country is a despicable depiction of that movie line.
I don't recall in my lifetime such vile, angry, and unapologetic name calling in the political conversations of the day. I am not taking sides here because both political parties have been guilty of it. What seems quite fine to one political persuasion is unconscionable to the other. Case in point- at last weekend's Correspondents' Dinner a comedian attacked the "other side," and even used words that criticized someone's looks. Of course, those with the comedian's political slant laughed hysterically. Those on the receiving end, cried "foul," even though they have been on the other side hurling the insults, name calling, and questioning a person's looks and even mental capacity. The political discourse usually falls into "what goes around comes around," but have we reached a new low?
I am not here to debate who is right or who is wrong, but it is quite evident in our culture today that we can always justify our comments about others by simply "labeling" them. We have seen it time and time again throughout political campaigns, but for me, it seems it is unprecedented. And it is not just politicians, but also gun control advocates and those who want more restrictions on gun sales, background checks, etc. It doesn't stop there. Labeling women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and even people of faith have practiced the "labeling" game in hopes of justifying whatever words or actions they deem necessary to remain "on top." Especially for people of faith, this is so far removed from what our faith has taught us about loving one another.
What is your response when you hear people being attacked because of their skin color, sexual orientation, place of origin, looks, political flavor, or their religious beliefs? Is it appropriate for people who follow Jesus to fall back on the argument, "I know you are, but what am I?"
This Sunday we will be looking at the instructions in Acts 10 in accepting others in the name and love of Jesus Christ. In our passage, the debate is going on as to how is a "Gentile" really a "Jew and really a Christ follower?" It appears God's Spirit has something to say about how today our country is spending an enormous amount of time on living in a Pee Wee and Frances world instead in God's realm!
I hope you join us Sunday as we address this issues found in Acts 10:44-48 — Spirit-Driven Disruption.