I have always liked this meme. I have never posted it. I’m really not a big social media user. I did mention it in my sermon last Sunday (5.21.23). It comes in various shapes, sizes, and formats, but they all contain some variation of the same message. I like what this meme means.
I do not like that I only ever see it around presidential election times. I do not like that I see my Republican friends primarily (or exclusively!) post it when a Democrat is elected, but not when one of their own is elected. I do not like that my Democrat friends primarily (or exclusively) post it when a Republican is elected, but not when one of their own is elected. It is true all year round and all four years and regardless of any presidential party affiliation.
So let’s talk about it more. King Jesus is reigning. How dare we claim that we have to wait for Christ to reign some time in the future (the so called “thousand year reign of Christ”). Christ is reigning now! And he will reign for all eternity. Any interpretation of Revelation (or any other part of scripture for that matter) that claims anything else is heresy. He ascended to the right hand of the Father and from there he reigns over the cosmos and from there he will one day come to judge the living and the dead.
I am sick of the defeatist Christianity that I often encounter. I want a victorious Christianity because I serve a victorious Christ! To clarify, this does NOT mean that I want an arrogance over other world religions or other believers who think differently than me. This does not mean that I want to stand on a street corner and condemn LGBTQ+ people. That’s not victorious that’s viscous. People who feel they need to do that kind of thing are not victorious. They are victims who are operating from a place of pain, anxiety, and inferiority. They have probably been hurt (beat over the head) by a poor version of Christianity. And so they hurt other people. Hurt people hurt people.
So then, what would a healthy and robust victorious Christianity look like?
- Not using “Christian” as an adjective (i.e. Christian music, Christian art, Christian movies). Please stop doing this! The idea behind this is a separatist stance against the world that judges the world for being the world rather than contributing to it so that it can flourish and hopefully find fulfillment in Christ. So just make good stuff and be a Christ-follower. Don’t hide it, but don’t shove it in people’s faces either (that goes both ways my friends!). Just contribute something good and beautiful to the world whether it be art, music, film, or anything else. When we have to slap the label “Christian” in front of everything we do, listen to, and consume it ends up creating an unnecessary insolation from the world and a functional in-group and out-group. It also usually ends up creating cheesy sub-par products that do little to encourage an actual faith and instead encourage more tribalism.
- Stop watching (or reading) the news. This goes for my right and left friends. Stop watching FOX News! Stop watching CNN! Stop watching all of them. It’s all toxic. I know everyone thinks that their favorite group is the one that gets it right….., but you’re wrong. They are all toxic and unhelpful. When we are constantly watching (or reading) the news we end up anxious, depressed, and defeated. So stop watching and start working. Stop compulsively scrolling and start collectively contributing.
- Get up and do something. Instead of lamenting everything wrong with the world get off your butt and go do something. If we served and volunteered as much as we sit on our butts watching and reading the news it would be a different world. Go serve in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Work a side job to help fund a children’s home or orphanage. Volunteer with the local child advocacy center. Instead of throwing a fit that there is a Pride parade in town go hand out cold waters and soft drinks and meet people.