I really should title this post “Arguments” or “Flat Out Fights” because that’s really what I’ve been experiencing in the community. We’re on the border of fighting almost every night nowadays because we’ll slide into theological discussion about this or that which will snowball into differences that are so much deeper than theology. It’s kind of like we battle out what we believe is ultimate Truth, undeniable, blatant. All the time. What starts out as harmless discussions on love or hate evolves into something intensely frustrating and sometimes painful. To realize truly how different our community is, especially as is pertains to things like Scripture being God’s Word or what it means to accept Christ or develop a relationship with Him, makes my head pound and my palms sweat in stress. I noticed after our heated talk really how shut off I was to considering their viewpoints and more so how intently I poured out my beliefs and understandings onto them. Broadening my horizons isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, and so much more uncomfortable.

I was thinking of these things tonight, and how frustrating it was for me, and how ungraceful I was about expressing my opinions. And then I listened to this song from Derek Webb, called “What Matters More”, off his new album Stockholm Syndrome. It’s getting a lot of praise and he’s just as provocative on this album as he’s known to be on his older stuff, so I wasn’t surprised that in this song he condemns our desensitized, hypocritical and uncaring society (which is considered provocative, since really no one else is so blatant about it). I’m convinced that he’ll pull a Johnny Depp before long and skedaddle off with his family to France or some other country that is anti-America at the moment. Anyway… the third or so time I listened to it, it struck me. I listened to it again, and it resonated so deeply with me that I kind of just gaped at the screen a little, pretty sure that my ears were the only part of me at all focused. It’s a fantastic song full of what feels like truth and a good mirror for us, but I especially narrowed in on this last verse:

‘cause we can talk and debate
till we’re blue in the face,
about the language and tradition
that He’s coming to save;
and meanwhile we sit
just like we don’t have give a shit about
fifty thousand people who are dying today…

tell me, brother what matters more to you,
tell me, sister what matters more to you?

I have to say, Derek Webb has a gift for getting people to see themselves in his lyrics, whether in one way or another. The last part particularly echoed in my heart, as I had just finished declaring my opinions on theological matters till I was blue in the face. How am I spending my time? My breath? My life? Expressing compassion, sympathy and grief over the thousands of lives lost and affected today, like God would act? The Trinity probably doesn’t argue within itself about what is True and what isn’t, so why would we, as followers, be called to do the same? Just as I hope to develop a deep hatred for sin as God has, I want to be like Him in so many more ways, showing compassion and grieving over sin’s hold on His creation. I’ve got millions of miles to go.