November 9, 2010

23 responses to COEXIST?

  1. thank you!! I’d say ’nuff said.

    I’m so tired of people thinking this is cool. Bono unfortunately got this one wrong but made it very popular.

  2. Amen! I couldn’t believe the naivete when I saw this. Puh-leeze.

  3. Ditto, nuff said.

  4. Fascinating that homosexuality is now one of the world religions.

  5. excellent steve! i agree. my dad was just barking about this! lol

  6. Actually, I think that symbol that this says is gay rights is actually supposed to represent male/female equality, which makes sense if you look at it more closely.

  7. I don’t feel this is directed against me.

    I also don’t feel like homosexuals are intolerant of Christians… I think when we use a person’s sexual orientation as their defining reductive characteristic (it’s not), and then tell them they’re wrong, they’re bound to bow up.

    I do wish this was possible, and hope I always do my part to live it. Coexisting doesn’t mean agreeing with. It just means that even if we’re not of this world we are in it, right?

  8. The ‘Coexisters’ left out the Sikhs, Bahai, Buddhists, Hindus (another violent group lately) and a few others, I’m sure.

  9. Our need to divide, label, and judge continues to beweilder me as a Christian. Why would I ever be threatened by any other religion (or lack of religion)? I know the One who Created the Universe!

    Jesus boiled down the entire law to ONE: LOVE GOD, SELF, and ONE ANOTHER. “Where there is Love, there is God”. Anything else is just another idol, false religion, and false teaching. I don’t care what symbol or name you put on it. If there is love…then there is God. If there is not Love, DO NOT CALL IT GOD!

    I would rather COEXIST and shine the Light of Love than to isolate, divide, and hide which is what I often see with Christians who are not empowered with LOVE.

    I have friends who identify with many of those symbols and I can say that my life is richer from each Muslim, Gay, Pagan, Jew, Environmentalist, and Christian I know. I can only hope that my life shines the Love of Christ to them.

    How do you suppose I love them if I do not coexist?

  10. @John & Rhonda, did either of you read the text or just the heading? No where in the text is it suggested that coexisting is undesirable. When one actually reads the text it is clear that it is satire; and if one spends the minimum amount of time reading various cultural commentators the designer’s premise is fairly accurate: the original sticker is aimed at Christians. Secondly, the text makes the point that Christians, if they are true to Christ, “pose no threat to the others.” A fairly coexistent posture. It really helps to read what is actually said, not what one infers or extrapolates from the text.
    Thirdly, to be true to Christ, or to truly love God and our neighbor, disciples of Jesus are compelled to share the good news of Christ, which, culturally is an increasingly intolerant and divisive action.
    Lastly, John, I have no idea of your church background. However, your “feeling” that homosexuals are not intolerant of Christians is simply naive. I live in a denomination (Episcopal) where the revisionist/gay lobby is actively marginalizing and persecuting (via lawsuits, slander and obstruction. The former as a simple matter of public record with the latter two clearly on display in the revisionst/homosexual lobby’s current opposition to Fr. Dan Martins’ election as bishop in Springfield, IL) those who hold to a biblical, orthodox faith.

  11. @JamesW – if you look up they meaning of the symbology you will discover that both your interpretation as well as the one mentioned in the graphic are both given as the meaning of the “e”.

  12. Rob, per your points:
    First, I did read the text. Not just the heading. And I usually score pretty high on reading comprehension (not quite a satirical statement, but maybe a little sarcastic [also fun sometimes]). I just don’t see how it can be said the it’s “aimed” at Christians. If you feel it’s aimed at Christians, then that’s most likely because Christians (at least those who label themselves as such) are the ones that were in power when this sticker started springing up all the backs of Priuses. If you feel (that stupid word again) that the people it’s “aimed” at aren’t-as you put it-true to Christ, then no worries… it’s not aimed at the true ones. No harm, no foul. I just don’t see how it’s possible to say that this sticker (when the very brief seven-letter text is read fairly and we don’t infer or extrapolate from it) is aimed at Christians. 7 letters. A different symbol for each. Couldn’t a pagan bottom also read this and say, “I’m two out of three of these, and I don’t have the highest opinion of Christians, so this must be aimed at me.”?

    Now that I think about it, I do hope it’s aimed at me. Because it is something I need to do.
    I work very closely with seven other people, and with them we help about 500 volunteers take care of some very real needs in the community we coexist in. I’m the only Christian. A Muslim, two pagans, one gay Buddhist, one Jew, a few that are just vegetarians, and me. They’re not attacking me. They appreciate my views. They don’t agree with them. I don’t agree with theirs. But I can’t think of many other people I would rather work with, or join for a happy hour once we’re done.

    I also wouldn’t “feel” it’s quite fair to say the good news of Christ is culturally increasingly intolerant… at least in our nation. I mean, I live in arguably the most unchurched, pagan city in America, and I’m still willing to bet it’s infinitely more tolerant of Christ’s message than, say, parts of the Roman empire sometime around 33 AD. We’ve got it pretty good. We get laughed at, or called close-minded, or even sometimes asked to play well with others, but most of our hands are still scarless.
    Which begs the question… Really? Persecuted? Marginalized, yes, but persecuted? In the tamest form of the word, I suppose… harassed and annoyed… but not in the “the gays are coming into our houses and burning us at the stake” kind of way.

    And for the record, I agree with the stance St. Andrew’s (and other churches) took regarding the state of the Episcopal church. And if the building had been taken, and it had hurt the kingdom one bit, then it wouldn’t have been a very powerful kingdom anyway. But I don’t think that would have been the case. It would have just been the loss of some walls and big red chairs, right? Not tar and a lit match or a stadium full of lions.

    I believe Jesus came to give life eternally and in the moment. And I hope that all of my friends that live entangled in sin can learn to walk in the freedom that they’ve been offered, just like I hope that I can walk in it as he’s offered it to me. And I’m not an uber-liberal left-wing Christian. I’m simply trying to point out, as I stated in my previous comment, that even if I’m no longer of this world, I am in it.

    I’m in it with Janine, the Muslim that sits across from me at work, and Justin who sits to my left and is not only gay all the time but also grumpy all the time. I hope they know I love them. And I hope they know I love them because I’m loved, not just because I’m told I’m supposed to love them – I want it to be something that’s sincerely taken root in my life. I hope they know I’m glad they’re on this planet, too, coexisting with me.

  13. I read the whole thing. My head hurts.

    I never won anyone over with intolerance. I also never won freedom through acceptance of everything as right either. I was the type that had to suffer my own ideas a while.

    Most of the people I talk to who have those stickers really are agnostic and believe in nothing in particular, or were angered or hurt by one religion in particular (usually a christian based religious idea of legalistic behavior) they just don’t want to conform based on someone else’s right. I was like that.

    I used to have pagan, equality and Darwin stickers on my car. That same car sat in the parking lot at St. Andrews every Monday night and Sunday morning as one christian man in particular and then by default of my love for him, all of you who he led me to, were so attractive to me that I could no longer evade or ignore the truth.

    I was miserably trying to maintain chaos and disorder in my life and found in the final argument that I needed a savior desperately. Thank God for a Power and Spirit so much greater than all those stickers and all my brilliant ideas. Self-knowledge availed me nothing, but the hand of a loving and forgiving savior, now that has been a priceless treasure beyond measure!

    I’m so grateful that instead of arguing with my logic you just told the truth about yourself and said no question is too hostile or too simple (or something like that… I really appreciated the nothing to hostile, it was like a personal challenge), lets share a dinner and talk about the truth, some historic facts and let you come to your own conclusion.

    I love St. Andrews. I love God and Jesus’ life of sacrifice, reflection of Gods power and Great Commission, and the greater Spirit sent out in His sacrifice even more!

    Miracles! The Bible, your lives, this world… shot full of miracles! Thank GOD!

    Thank you Steve!

  14. @John, thanks for your reply. And so you know, I agree with you regarding the Christian posture toward other faiths, etc.
    Two things I would say though, to complete my thoughts:
    First, yes, I believe that the revisionist/gay lobby of the Episcopal church is persecuting dissenters. Tangibly, revisionist dioceses have not only sued the vestries (as boards of directors) of departing churches they also filed suit individually against the parish leadership. That is personal and costly, and thus, persecution in my book. Thankfully their cases have been dismissed, but only after individuals had to expend personal income to defend themselves.
    Secondly, I went after your usage of “feeling” because words matter, and, they clearly matter to you as you as you defend your reading comprehension level and then write a well written response. Here’s my point: we feel emotions (anger, depression, disappointment) and we think thoughts. Feelings are generally non-debatable; you feel what you feel (I may feel fear for no rational reason – I still feel fearful). You were and are expressing thoughts (your thoughts may stir your feelings, or your feelings may prompt thoughts). To remove your thoughts from the realm of the intellect and locate them in the realm of feeling or emotion is not only inaccurate, it makes discussion impossible.
    Finally, about the original “coexist” sticker itself; I think the intent behind it is correct (and laudable) but the execution is failed. I think it communicates an attitude of condescension, not coexistence. Tim Fountain (who posted above) wrote this on his blog: “Jesus says, ‘blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.’ The challenging thought is that he didn’t stick his message on a bumper sticker, but hung in on a cross . . . once we’ve gone to slogans and graphics, we’ve probably stopped our peacemaking efforts.”
    Well, said.

  15. Abandoning God’s Word, Commandments and Design for the world of tolerance and technology produces this:

  16. Rob:

    Understood. And you hit the nail on the head. Words do matter to me, a lot. Terminology is one of the few things that not only reflects, but also impacts theology. And for that reason, I think it’s important to note that it’s not gays persecuting Christians, suing vestries, and taking action against parish leadership. It’s a group of people, often gay, with a sin condition and an agenda acting like a bunch of a-holes. On the same token, I hope homosexuals would quit thinking they’re being condemned by Christians. They’re being condemned by a group of people, often Christians, with a sin condition and an agenda acting like a bunch of a-holes.

    Regarding Tim Fountain’s comment on his blog, once again, I agree… mostly, and think it was beautifully said. The beauty of the peacemaking cross was that it was both reactive and proactive. Our non-peacemaking lives are usually simply reactive… perhaps this bumper sticker, but also the offense one takes from it.

    Heartbreaking. Really. I’m also reminded that abandoning God’s word, commandments, and design for any reason also looks like this:

    Thankfully, it’s His kindness that leads us where we need to go. Let’s all let our lives look more like that.

  17. Hey Y’all?
    This is supposed to be a funny tongue in cheek take on a popular bumper sticker. Relax and laugh a little:)

  18. A misinterpretation of the “two kingdoms” might make this sticker not make sense. In the kingdom of man this sticker represents a real hope. In the Kingdom of God the He has no tolerance for idolotry without the washing of His Son.

  19. Rhonda,
    Well said. We need to leave God’s justice out of the equation more…thanks for pointing that out. Tell Rick Warren hi for me.

  20. @Danny – how insensitive, patriarchal, judgmental and exclusionary to speak about a KINGdom in which the King will execute His justice against His enemies. That’s not a very coexistent picture of eternity with an all loving, make Him what you want to make Him, God that western christians have created.

  21. @Danny – sheesh, it’s people like you who give Christians a bad name. You’d think that the apostles were sent out by Jesus proclaiming that people should repent or something. I’ll stick with my “can’t we all just get along” Jesus, thanks.

  22. @ Danny
    Thank you. So you know Rick Warren! Cool. I appreciate your Kingdom comment. Good summary.

    @ John & Rob
    What a nice dialogue. I enjoyed reading all of your comments. (And, yes, Rob, I read more than the heading…I just did not interpret it as you did…I am simply not offended.) You are both well spoken, strong, and full of love for God and his people. I am thankful for brothers like you.

    @ Mark
    Very funny. You made me smile!

    @ Steve
    You are such an instigator! Thank you for providing a platform for controversial discussions. We all need to question what we believe and why we believe what we believe. I am thankful for your wisdom and understanding as you continue to spur us forward!

  23. The people who are willing to embrace and validate other ways to God other than the Cross (Christ’s and our own) are seeking cheap grace that does not require repentance.
    They have not experienced the circumcision of the heart, the crucifixion of the old fallen nature, the natural mind and the ways of the world/flesh/devil.
    They do not have the Bride’s fervent love for Jesus Christ, imparted by the Holy Spirit, that calls and constrains us to walk in obedience to God’s Way of Truth, Love and Life – as defined in His Word.
    They have not yet seen the Kingdom of God (John 3:3) not known God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit (John 17:3) nor partaken in the power salvation that saves us to the uttermost. (Hebrews 7:25)