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Onward Christian Whiners

| published November 21, 2016 |

By Craig R. Seaton, Thursday Review contributor

Onward Christian whiners, share your piece of mind

With the cross of Jesus, dragging way behind

Christ your loyal Master, must weep as you go

Fighting the wrong battles, choosing the wrong foe

Onward Christian whiners, with no thinking of

This, your humble calling: Living out His Love

Now, I know this will be controversial. It is fully intentional. I intend to step on toes—mine first. I intend to anger Causes—mine first. I intend to stir pots—yep, you guessed it—mine first.

For the last 36 years I’ve lived my life as a Christian—well for the most part. As with all of us (except for One), I’ve made huge mistakes, bad choices and have hurt those I love. But through all that, I never stopped believing that God, through Jesus, had a much better plan for my life than did I.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Surely you’ve noticed that people are becoming more outspoken, a bit more caustic and a lot more vocal about anything and everything that crosses their minds. With the advent of billions of computers connected to each other, controlled by billions more humans, many have turned into armchair quarterbacks. Social media and smartphones have converted tens of millions of people into sofa film critics (more like everything critics) and office-chair political analysts who offer instant opinion.

Faster-forward to November of 2016 (only weeks after a contentious national election in the U.S.) and the point of my satirical bent on a Christian hymn. I chose it particularly because of its original use as a children’s marching tune—and more contemporarily, as Winston Churchill’s choice of songs at a church service after meeting with President Roosevelt to sign the Atlantic Charter in 1941. (The irony of those two diametrically opposed purposes deserves its own separate article.)

As a battle song, the original lyric charges Christians to fight the timeless battle of Good versus Evil. In one verse, it says, “We are not divided / all one body we / one in hope and doctrine / one in charity.” For those not acquainted with archaic terms, charity, in the biblical sense is also translated as love.

So, how is this battle fought? Politically? I think not. I for one, am sick and tired of folks who call themselves Christian, filling the social media airwaves and roadside corners with rhetoric that is not only devoid of love, but flies in the face of the word of Christ. Read the Story. Jesus was likely the least politically-active person of his time. He knew why he was on Earth and apparently it was not to motivate his followers to make their own political agendas known to the world.

Indeed, Jesus had one message: love other people and believe I am who I say I am. Dying and nailed mercilessly to a hunk of wood, he prayed that God would forgive the ones who did this to him, because they "knew not what they [did].” His Message makes the needed change where it really counts: in the very heart of a man or woman.

Washington, D.C. will never change until the hearts of people change, and that means those who vote. People will not be changed by the latest “Christian” online rants against our current president, who now has only a few weeks of power left, or similar tirades against the candidates up and down the ballot. In fact, I think such vitriol largely repels would-be followers, the very people who may be most in need of the message of Christianity. Such ranting and raving repels me and I am a follower...

So, this article is not for atheists, deists, moralists—nor other “ists” for that matter. It’s for Christians. Period. Our job is to take care of widows, orphans; to feed those dying from hunger and thirst, and to clothe naked people. But, our paramount purpose is to show forth the genuine Love of God in all we do. Each hour. Every day. To every person.

So Christians, now that this election is finally over and the dust has settled on a particularly nasty political cycle, let’s leave the ugly rants and the mean-spirited comments to the rest of the world. As Jesus said, when they talk like that, they’re speaking their native language.

Our linguistic and grammar teacher comes from a different School. Quite different indeed.

Related Thursday Review articles:

How an Assassination Changed the American Conversation; Craig R. Seaton; Thursday Review; June 9, 2016.

A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to the Mainstream Media; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; April 3, 2016.