Lately, I’ve touched a few topics that have been near and dear to my heart. And quite by accident, I’ve really set some people off. There have been wild debates sparked over the last few weeks when I tried to explain how I put my wife’s interests ahead of my own, how I don’t believe women should be subject to the minutia of rules set up to maintain modesty, and over my expanded definition of spiritual abuse.
I am not going to rehash those topics any time soon. I’ve said my piece, and plenty of people have said their’s.
Instead, I’d like to give just a couple of thoughts on what it means to disagree with other Christians in the online space.
And, for the first time ever, I am setting out, very purposefully, to not spark disagreement. No, instead, in a gesture of goodwill and universal unity, I am going to give my very first list of one-hundred things that everyone - no matter their race, gender, nationality, religion or orientation – can agree on.
Preaching to the Blog Choir
I want you to take a look at the list of blogs that you have bookmarked.
How many of them do you find yourself always nodding in agreement with? How many of them make you regularly want to punch your computer in the face?
If blogs are like churches, then I think most people like to fill their blog readers with bloggers who are saying things they already think. Most of us like to be in the choir and have sermons preached to us that reinforce what we already believe.
Why not find a couple of bloggers who aren’t in your repertoire of “kindred spirits” and just keep them close at hand? You never know, they might say something you find yourself surprised to agree with.
I Don’t Know You, But I Hate You
I have never shunned people who disagreed with me on the blog, and the last couple of weeks have been no different. I did my best to engage and above all, be friendly. I make no secret that I my thinking is shaped by the dissenters.
And I cannot tell you how thankful I am for all of the messages of support I received via email and social media too. Last week, I had the biggest outpouring of support, to balance one of the hottest flame wars I have ever been a part of.
There were moments where I got heated too. But I want to caution myself at the same time that I encourage you to take this caution: why do we feel so free to blast strangers on the internet? Do we think a 700 word blog can really encompass a person’s heart? Would we speak to each other the same way in person? My guess is no.
Unique and Special Snowflakes
People say that we’re all a bunch of special and unique “snowflakes.”
Maybe you think that’s a bunch of fluffy weak-mindedness, but let’s go with that for a minute. If we are all so unique and special, and no one else is exactly like us…
…then no one is going to be exactly like us.
We’re going to have to learn to live with a bunch of other completely unique snowflakes who don’t look, act or think like we do.
Maybe the sign of Christian maturity isn’t when everyone agrees, but when everyone disagrees and still shows each other love and respect.
One-Hundred Indisputable Things
And now, what you’ve been waiting for:
To counteract all the disagreement I have caused as of late, I offer to you my definitive list of one-hundred things that everyone can agree on. If you disagree with me about any of these things, I can unequivocally and for all time say that you are wrong.
Here it is:
Kittens, Candy Canes, Cap’n Crunch, Rubik’s Cubes, Ferns, Fern Gully, Bob Evans’ Restaurants, Fluorescent Lights, Flowers, Flying, Frisbees, Puppies, Parking Lots, Piglets, Petting Zoos, Public Restrooms, Popcorn, Taylor Swift, Trees, The right way to eat a Reese’s, Roller Coasters, Disney World, Christmas Presents, Daylight Savings Time, Eric from high school, Buses, Band-Aids, Beaches, Whatever the last Die Hard movie was, Taxes, Truth, Tea Time, Dance Dance Revolution, Underwear, Pavlov’s Gun, Rainbows, Popsicles, Musicals, Magicians, Mark Wahlberg, Whales, Windmills, Water Skiing, Wristwatches, Mattresses, Runcible Spoons, Dr. Seuss, Starfish, Fish Sticks, Matchsticks, Matchstick Men, Nicolas Cage, Louisiana, The Moon, Money, Mayonnaise, My Mother, Hospitals, Hats, Hula Hoops, Hairdryers, Haircuts, Hot Tubs, Harleys, Hairpieces, The Celebrity Apprentice, Bacon, Punctuation, Pepto Bismol, Parties, Scissors, Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti Westerns, Scuba Diving, Clouds, Corduroy, Capri Pants, Kazoos, Carnivals, Corn Dogs, Quotation Marks, Quilts, Weddings, Waldorf Salad, Donuts, Days of the Week, Unicorns, Umbrellas, Umbrella by Rihanna, Glasses, Go Karts, Golfing, Romance, Red Lights, Radio, Birthdays, Locker Rooms, Lock Combinations, Loch Ness, Babies and Barfing.
Go ahead, I dare you to disagree with me on any of those things.
Or you can offer your real thoughts on how Christians should disagree online.