The Moment Your Opinion No Longer Mattered

September 18, 2017

On September 22, 2016, almost exactly a year ago, any weight your opinions may have held in my life vanished.

graphic displaying the title of the article

I was recently married and along with that, recently freed to share my rapidly changing opinions. I was no longer held back by the idea that you might not pay for my schooling or the wedding, so I started sharing “controversial” things on my Facebook page. Refugees have obviously been a hot topic the last few years, and for some reason most of the Christians I grew up around were (and still are) adamantly against taking them in - especially ones from majority Muslim countries. (I know, I know, Sharia law and terrorists and such mean we don’t need to love them. You don’t need to explain yourself to me. *eye roll*)

The following tweet from Donald Trump, Jr., was making the rounds:

screenshot of Trump, Jr.'s skittles tweet

In response, I shared the following:

screenshot of "eat the skittles" post

This post caused quite a bit of drama as well as some good, productive conversation. What sticks out to me the most when I think back to it, however, is not the fact that some of my family and friends are seemingly heartless when dealing with Muslims in particular. It’s the response that my father posted.

My father, who spent a lot of time and money sending me to a private Christian academy, taking me to church, making sure I went to youth group, and paying for me to attend a Baptist college. It’s obvious which values he wanted to instill in me, and I would say that by all possible measures, he succeeded. The problem we’ve now run into is that I seem to have bought into a more radical living out of those values than he ever intended.

See for yourself:

Your suggestion with this piece sounds good in theory, and is biblically a good response. But in real life, I guarantee you would think twice and maybe never eat the skittles. Your overt denunciation for the preservation of our ability to even remain the country God has given to us is starting to wear on me. Simply because we want to preserve our God given rights in this country does not mean we have no compassion what so ever for those in need. Your idealistic thoughts are noble, but naive to the world as it is today.

Did you catch that? Let me make it more obvious, without all the stuff in the middle.

Your suggestion with this piece sounds good in theory, and is biblically a good response. But in real life… Your idealistic thoughts are noble, but naive to the world as it is today.

So what you’re telling me, dad, is that I have presented a biblically good response that you deem idealistic, naive, and therefore unrealistic to actually live out? Do you hear yourself? Everything you’ve ever presented to me as the truth is centered around the Bible, and now you’re telling me that I got it correct biblically but not “realistically?”

My opinions have surely been drifting further and further from yours, but not because I’m leaving the things you taught me behind. I’ve been walking away from your brand of Christianity because I see such a disconnect between the things you told me were true and the things you seem to believe. I’ll cover more of them in future posts, but this particular instance represents the first time the full weight of this discrepancy hit me.

You made it blatantly obvious in your comment that you are willing to disregard biblical truths for your own comfort and personal safety. You also apparently place more value on your American rights than you do on biblical truths that might warrant forsaking those rights (but that’s a topic that deserves its own post, as I have since discovered many other areas of your life that such a view affects).

Really, though, it wasn’t what you said as much as what it represented. Up to the point that this interaction occurred, I still believed that you were just misguided in a few areas, but that you still believed the things you had taught me. I no longer think that.

I see now that your religion actually has very little to do with following Jesus and much more to do with serving your selfish American ideals. I don’t know where along the line you lost Jesus, or if you never truly wanted to follow him in the first place, but you also lost me.

You lost my respect that day, because you didn’t even attempt to use the Bible to back your beliefs. At least people who use the Bible to back up their lack of love can semi-convincingly state that they’re still following the Bible. At least then we can debate biblical interpretation and practical application. You didn’t even try. You just outright ignored the Bible, cast it to the side, instead choosing to follow your nationalism.

Your opinions about my faith and how it should inform my politics no longer matter to me, because you have demonstrated that they are not informed by the love of Jesus but by your love of self and country.

But despite the disappointment I felt upon having this realization, I will continue to love radically, just like you taught me.