This all would have remained a quiet little contest had one Christian blogger not pulled herself from the contest in order to protest the presence of pagan blogs. Apparently she didn't have a problem with the Jewish, Muslim, and Roman Catholic presence in the contest- just the pagan. And then, she blogged about it and named a few pagan blogs by name. She didn't want to be in a contest alongside "those women".
And then, she blogged about it. The reaction she received, at least from what I've seen, has not been positive.
This situation got me to thinking about a blog post I wrote a few months ago called "Loving the Unbeliever." The gist of the post goes like this:
All too often, we Christians are characterized by what we stand against. We expect others to hold to our religious and moral standards and when they don't, we gossip about them or we boycott their businesses or introduce legislation to trample their rights. THAT IS NOT CHRISTIANITY. That is not Jesus Christ....
I know of people who are leaving the Faith, in part, because of the way American Christians are living out their lives in battle against those with whom they disagree. They are known by what they stand against rather than what they are for. Again, let me say, those people do not represent Jesus Christ any more then the 9/11 hijackers represent Islam. May the world know that we are Christians by the love we show to one another, even those who appear to be our enemies. Loving people does not mean we have to agree with everything they stand for. But it does mean extending KINDNESS, assistance when needed, mercy, friendship, and a constant recognition of my own faults and not my neighbors'. My sins are great enough!
For what its worth, I think its great that different faiths are represented in this contest. And I don't believe that my thinking this way means that I am in any way compromising the truth of Christianity. People are free to disagree with me and I'm fine with that.
Do me a favor- take a second to read the page up above called "Loving the Unbeliever." I think the message is important and since most of the words don't come from me, I feel pretty confident about sharing them.
Loving the Unbeliever
ETA: The "Most Popular Girl" line above is in reference to that Brady Bunch episode where Jan and Marcia are competing for the title at their high school. Its supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and not meant to mock the contest or anyone involved with it. :-)