I enjoyed this piece by Jon Acuff – he does the blog: www.stuffchristianslike.net.
The CNN article, “My Take: Why Christians are jerks online” can be found at: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/29/my-take-why-christians-are-jerks-online/?hpt=Sbin.
I especially like the “Room Cleaning Christianity” synopsis. In the article, he says this:
“Why do Christians argue about drinking beer or why the tankini is the least slutty of all bathing garments? I think it’s because we sometimes practice "Room Cleaning Christianity." Think of it like college. When you’ve got a final paper due Monday, you will be amazed at how energetic your desire is to clean your room. You will scrub tile with a slow toothbrush if it means avoiding the bigger, more difficult work of writing your paper. The same thing happens with Christianity. Loving your neighbor might be simple, but it’s not easy. Maybe my neighbor is a jerk too. Maybe they hate God. Maybe they are actively and violently opposed to everything I believe. And showing them grace feels impossible. So instead of dealing with that, we get online and police people. We find small things to focus on that will distract us. I think God wants us to discuss the little stuff, but we make it an idol when we practice room cleaning Christianity at the exclusion of love. And we tend to become jerks.”
I don’t think this behavior is only online…
It’s not unusual for Christians to dismiss each other over little things and argue to death about stuff bordering on the inconsequential. In the process, they miss the whole person and larger spiritual goals…and may sew seeds of conflict in the process.
It’s good to be observant of “small things” as you get to know someone, because the details can help paint a complete picture of the person. But I think the reminder is to not be petty or so wrapped up in the small things that you miss the big picture and get sidetracked. The "room cleaning" concept can hurt budding relationships and also hold people back spiritually, so I thought it was worth sharing.
Happy 4th of July!