We Aren’t Dead Yet, But Thanks for Asking . . .

church-717830_640Dear Shea Watts and all your friends at the Huffington Post,

How blithely you speak of the death of my faith! How cultured you sound as you articulate the position you’ve cultivated about me based on connections fabricated by the media and politicos of the day. In your expansive wisdom you’ve spared me your compassion and simply informed me that the time has come for me to fall like the autumn leaves and become compost for the new life you see emerging for America. A new life that requires my death, a sort of religious euthanasia, really, as if you expect me to express gratitude that you’re ending my life before it’s natural conclusion out of your great kindness. Spare me.

Your keen insight seems based on observations of the Republican party which you assume everyone knows represents my faith, as an American Christian. I’ll have you know this is a false construct. My soul has no political affiliation. My love for Christ transcends any one political candidate. It crosses national borders, and bridges divisions greater than the congressional aisle. Followers of Jesus Christ, from the birth of the church until now, have lived from hearts of service, compassion, reconciliation, and redemption. We love because He loves us and we live our love in every corner of the planet.

As an American Christian, I welcome the recognition of an erupting pluralistic society. It was in the midst of another pluralistic society that Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose again. The same pluralistic society was the cradle of the early church. Have no fear, pluralistic neighbors will not consume nor bury the church of Christ but fuel the fire of our faith.

There’s nothing natural about death. Death is the enemy but because of Jesus, death is a defeated enemy. I don’t fear death. The church of Jesus has never derived its life from popularity or polls but solely from Jesus so don’t be so hasty to declare our demise. He faced and conquered death so those of us who follow Him can do the same.

You say “Imagine what this type of Christianity might look like: A Christianity of the future is not about right thinking; rather, it is about acting rightly, justly.” I have to mention the obvious that right acting is born from right thinking.

You seem to have a view of Christians derived from soundbites, media clips, and late night monologues, not from a deep experience with actual

Christians. We’re not a perfect bunch, but we’re the first to confess this. What needs to die is the caricature of Christians perpetuated by the loudest voices of our times. I am not an editorial cartoon or a wacky supporting character on a sitcom. I am a living, breathing, American woman with a deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ that I cherish and that drives me to acts of love, sacrifice, and service to my neighbor. That’s not something you want to cheer on to death unless you’re a culture that celebrates death. As for me, I will continue to celebrate life.

Sometimes when an entity is crushed, pressed, and appears smaller, it’s true worth and power is revealed. This is what will happen with the church of Christ in America and in the world.

Thank you for listening, not dead yet,

In response to your blog in The Huffington Post


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7 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Mary Ellen Santaniello says:

    Bravo, Lori!

  2. Melanie Gibson says:

    The majority of this blog from the Huffington Post makes my hackles rise, too. But I do like the way it ends with the author saying a “Christianity of the future is not about saying formulated prayers or equations; it is about living out the commitments of Jesus. “, and about finding new life on the other side of whether or not American Christianity is indeed dying.

    • I agree. I’m just not willing to paint every believing “American Christian” with the same brush he does. I love and serve with many, many American Christians who represent Jesus with their whole hearts and lives.

  3. I’m confessing blogger envy over this one (among so many others). Powerful word and SO needed. Thanks 🙂

  4. Joyce says:

    I totally agree with your reply to the article. But how sad that the world sees a candidate running for president as the face and voice of Christianity. But perhaps the article in the HuffPo says more about the state of the Church (as an organization) in America than it does anything else.

  5. Terra says:

    You wrote eloquently and I agree with you. It sounds like they are celebrating death and I know we celebrate life both here and in heaven.

  6. Mark Salmon says:

    Reminds me of a wonderful quote I was given today at our Church council meeting.
    ‘Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it has a God who knows the way out of the grave’
    (G K Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, Hodder & Stoughton, 1925, p.288).