Okay, I don't have a list of ten things yet, but I've been thinking recently about things that maybe as Christians we should stop worrying about. Now don't get me wrong. Not worrying about something is not the same as having no opinion about it. Far from it. The problem is that when we worry about something it tends to force us to think about it from a defensive position. Rubbish I hear you say. Okay, let's try one shall we. How about gay marriage. Feeling defensive yet? What about multi-faith events? Or try being able to wear a cross to work.
Do you see it now? When we worry about these things we get defensive. Every move by culture or government or employers becomes and assault on our rights, our faith and preeminent position as guardians of all that is right and proper in the world. I wonder how many complaints last week's episode of Red Dwarf got from enraged evangelicals? Hopefully none. Hopefully those of us that watched it were able to laugh at the jokes and ignore anything that might have fallen into the bad taste bucket. Personally I thought it was funny. The presumption that there was only ever one person named Jesus and the confusion that caused just made me think about all the other "rebel leaders" that are hinted at and recorded in the historical records of the time.
Anyway, Red Dwraf isn't the focus of this post, so let's return to the plan.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that when we get worried , we get defensive then we become offensive and we distance oursleves form the very people Jesus misses most. We put distance between them and us and we ask them to change and come over to us, to see it our way, to make the first move.
Jesus didn't do that.
What we need to do is find ways to engage with our culture to show them a better way, to show them just how much they are loved and to reconnect them with the God who loves them. Telling them how morally offensive they have become doesn't seem like a good place to start.
I don't have all the answers and I don't want to criticise those who have stood up and challenged things in the past. But I do remember how ridiculous Christinas looked when they protested too much about "THe Life of Brian" and how irrelevant we appeared when coronation Street was declared to be smutty or whatever Mrs Whitehouse called it. There just has to be a better way.
And if you're still worried about gay marriage, then remember, as someone wrote recently, if we're worried that gay marriage will undermine the value of marriage in our society then we shouldn't worry, the heterosexual community has managed to do that all on its own.