Friday, November 03, 2006

Even Wal Mart Loves Sinners

I've been thinking about how to shape my comments for this particular post. That's not normally my mode of thinking, but I'm not sure how to phrase what I'm about to say any other way. Religion sucks. I am blown away at the comments of people who claim to "represent" those of us who follow Jesus.

Take this week for example. Our beloved Missouri Baptist Convention met for their yearly shindig, and I'm sure the normal course of conversation filled the air. "How are you doing?" "I'm just fine. How are you doing?" (feign an interested voice here) "Well how is your church doing?" "Just great. We blah blah blah this year. How about you?" "Well, not so good. You won't believe what our pastor is doing blah blah blah."

And then they convene.

"Hear ye! Hear ye! Let this meeting come to order. I've got an idea. How about we vote to oust the gay population from our earth?"

Don't believe this happened? Read this story.

The MO Baptist Convention adopted a formal resolution pledging to "ban" consumer support of all Wal Mart stores. Or in more "politically correct" language, to "exercise moral stewardship regarding the businesses they patronize." Some delegates (messengers to be exact) demanded harsher words be used in the resolution. Why the ban? Simply because Wal Mart has agreed to provide an equal opportunity working environment free from discrimination.

Now please don't misunderstand me. I am not in favor of gay rights, gay lifestyle, or any other "choice" that someone may make. I believe that God has set up an order of marriage that includes a man and a woman in one of the most sacred relationship. That part is biblically very clear.

The part I don't read about in the Bible is where we condemn those who may have a different sin than us. Let's face it. All sin is sin. If we are going to ban Wal Mart for allowing gays to work there, shouldn't we ban other businesses who have employees who are having sex out of marriage, or maybe an employee that beats their spouse, or someone who doesn't spend any time with their kids? Or better yet, let's not shop any place where there are sinners at all. Won't that fix the problem?

Jesus doesn't tell us to love only those who agree with our same beliefs. He says to love one another as He loves us:
"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other." John 13:34-35 (MsgB)
Many people are confused on this issue. WE DON'T GET TO CHOOSE. Will you be a radical follower and disciple of Jesus, or will you simply be content to live a life full of religion?

We will never fix life's problems. Never. We will always fall short of the perfectness God originally designed. Ignoring the problem or "voting it away" like it never happened is similar to the colloquial expression "calling the kettle black." When you clean up the pot, it's still black.

Let me suggest something radical. Something so radical that Jesus thought of it (and was certainly accused of it) 2000 years ago. What if we simply develop relationships with those who have never experienced the love God? No condemning, no judging. Authentic relationships built on authentic conversations.

Let's do our part and let God take care of the rest.

6 comments:

Stephen said...
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Stephen said...

Strangely enough, the BSU tackled this same issue, but not with Wal-Mart. They had a homosexual girl speak about being a christian. She spoke at the "outreach" service that BSU has, and the campus minister got up and spoke afterwards and made it clear that he doesn't agree nor does BSU have the same beliefs but that he wants people to love each other no matter what their orientation. The only thing I found hard to understand is how this girl is both gay and christian, I'm still looking for that answer

Anonymous said...

Michael, It is not that Wal-Mart provides equal opportunity, everyone does that, it is their support of the gay agenda that is the problem. Wal-Mart has asked and received permission to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and has pledged $25,000 annually to fund two conferences for them as "part of the company's ongoing committment to advancing diversity (homosexuality) among all of its associates, suppliers and customer bases." Wal-Mart also sponsors training events aimed at defeating a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage. The MO Baptist convention voted not to declare a boycott but to express to Wal-Mart our concerns and to exercise moral stewardship regarding businesses they patronize.

Wasp Jerky said...

What I find fascinating is that *this* is what bothers Christians. Wal-Mart is notorious for using sweat shop labor, for paying poor wages, for asking people to work off the clock, for discriminating against women and minorities, for putting locally owned businesses out of business, and on and on. Are we to assume that Christians don't care about those things?

goldie said...

Wasp Jerky,

Your question about whether or not "Christians" care about those things is a valid one. But I also wonder whether or not "people" care about those things. I don't think anyone would agree with sweat shops, discrimination and the like, but it seems that "humanity" tends to look the other way when it's convenient.

For me, Christianity is following Jesus even when society and/or politics try to turn Christianity into something it was never intended to be - a ruled-filled religion that focuses on itself instead of the very problems you've described.

Thanks for your thoughts and post!

Joe said...

I think anonymous summed up what I wanted to say after reading the post. It's not that they are just allowing them to work there, but they're almost rewarding them for being gay. They're financially supporting the gay agenda, with money that I spend there (and I spend plenty there every month!) The American Family Association was also on the boycott bandwagon, and I really think that the loud-mouths of our conservative groups did get Wal-Mart to wake up and realize they should not be throwing that much support to a group whose actions are opposed by so many of their customers. It has nothing to do with discrimination.

Then again, I'm still on the whole "Boycott Disney" kick from 1997!

As far as low wages and poor working conditions, no one is holding a gun to anyone's head and telling them that they HAVE to work at Wal-Mart. My uncle's sister worked at Wal-Mart for years, starting as a cashier at Fredericktown and retiring from management at Arnold. She loved Wal-Mart . . . and she was never discriminated against. People need to get over the whole victim mindset and take personal responsibility for their own lives . . . and they'll find that there are plenty of opportunities available anywhere they look.