I am a progressive Follower of Christ; I have no problem identifying myself as a Progressive Follower of Christ. I find comfort in the theology of grace, love and forgiveness. I feel safe when I think about a theology that supports the homeless, the poor, the disenfranchised, and the misfits of this world. There is a peace in my soul when I think of what Jesus did for me, and can do for others. But lately, I have been dealing with the words and actions of the group that calls themselves “The Christian Left” that have caused me to rethink why I would belong to such a group of people.
I am not part of the Christian Right because I find them closed minded, hurtful and disrespectful to people who think differently, or have a different “spin” on how one follows Jesus – but as of late I have been finding that same close mindedness, hurtfulness and disrespect to others coming from the left, and if I am unable to handle it from the right, I am unable to handle it from the left. Generally speaking, there is no difference between the Left and the Right when it comes to having a closed conversation where “their ideas” must rule. it seems almost impossible to have a conversation with a group that desire to polarize the conversation.
Censorship is Not Cool:
I do not like censorship in any form, for any reason. It does not matter what you call it, it is wrong and not something people who live in love, grace and forgiveness can hold to. Now, I am not talking about people who just insult, but I believe if they are ignored they go away. I have friends on my Facebook page that I disagree with; some even would say we see very little in common. People who hold to very different points of view and ideas of theology than I do – but I would never censor them, or tell them because I disagree with them they are blocked. I enjoy our conversations and debates – I learn from them, I become stronger in what I believe because they make me think and yes, they have even caused me to rethink some of the things I believed. They have never knocked me off the path God has placed before me; they simply have made the trip enjoyable.
Killing the “Troll:”
The idea of a “troll” is so over used by people who do not desire to hear the ideas of others. It has gotten to the point where we label people a troll because we do not agree with them, and because we do not agree with them they must be a troll. What I have found is that people are too quick to call others a troll, and block them, because they have no way of dealing with the ideas expressed by those they disagree with. The simplest thing for some who are not able to defend their point of view is to tag another a troll and say “you are not answering my question” when in reality there questions are being answered, they are just not getting the answers they want. Calling another a troll is a copout and, in my mind, has no meaning.
Playing the Game:
Now, I know that The Christian Left on Facebook is not “THE Christian left” – they are a small part of the left, and they do not speak for everyone. I know, it is just Facebook page and they are the “owners” of the page and can do as they like. I am good with all that. But, given all that, I do not need to belong to a group I find insulting and close-minded. I do not need to be part of the dialog because by censoring others I believe you are censoring me, and I am very uncomfortable with that idea.
If there is one way to get me into the Evangelical Camp, it is to get me into a conversation with people who are so Left, they forget that they are just as cruel and oppressive as those on the Right. I have to say that in my conversation with my Evangelical friends like Dan Kimbal I find a kinder gentler heart then when I read some of the comments shared with me by the Christian Left. For me, the Left has gotten to the point where they eat their young.