Since Friday of last week, I have been pretty much consumed by a viral marketing campaign that I personally find offensive on a very visceral level. After posting about it a couple of times and making several comments on other blogs about it, late last night I made what I hope to be my final public comment about it on Pete Wilson’s blog.
I have come to the realization that my connection to it and to the parties involved is just way too personal for me to discuss publicly without becoming overcome by anger and sadness. I am also aware that to a certain extent, there are those who are using this blog and those who have been linked to it as a means to further their exposure into the spotlight. I simply will no longer be a party to any of this. My church will continue to quietly help those that have been left at the curb, even as others deem our efforts as a complete and utter failure. I frankly don’t give a rat’s patooty what they think.
As to their impassioned pleas for people to give them a chance to prove their critics wrong, I will only say that, if nothing else, I pray that your relationship with Tim will give you a clearer understanding that he and others like him are people, not projects; and that if after this is all said and done you teach others too see people through the eyes of Jesus, I will consider it a tremendous success. In the meantime, all I’ve got is this:
Now, if you will kindly indulge me once again, I will close with the words of someone whom I consider to one of the most underrated Christian visionaries of our time:
I am a Christian because I have seen the love of God lived out in the people who know Him. The Word has become flesh and I have encountered God in the people who have manifested (in many “unreasonable” ways) His Presence; a presence that is more than convincing, it is a Presence that is compelling. I am a Christian not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, but because there were people who were willing to be the nuts and bolts, who through their explanation of it, held it together so that I could experience it and be compelled by it to obey. “If I be lifted up,” Jesus said, “I will draw all men unto me.”
So, here I offer what is possibly the worst thing that can be offered: an explanation of a joke. And, what makes this more inexcusable than the fact that this is that, is the added fact that this is an explanation of a joke you’ve already gotten. I offer it anyway. I offer it in the hope that it might somehow encourage you to live out your lives and, by your living, tell the joke that I, in my writing, so feebly attempt to explain. Love one another, forgive one another, work as unto God, let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts. Make it your ambition to lead quiet lives. Obey. Greet one another with a holy kiss. No one will argue with that.