June 15, 2016

Article at Authory

Shoulder a Little Responsibility

Defensiveness in the face of pain does nothing, heals nothing, and is in fact like handing a serpent to someone who asks for a loaf of bread. Are you personally responsible for the deaths of nearly fifty people in a nightclub in Orlando? No. Is your religion, as an institution, responsible? Probably not. Nonetheless, in addition to teaching love of neighbor and to mourn with those who mourn, Christianity also teaches something known as original sin.

One of the consequences of original sin is that the sin of one person can affect others to some degree. They don't have personal culpability, but it affects them in some way. So, for example, if you believe that your religion teaches you that a group of people should be hated or ostracized, and you act on those beliefs accordingly—whether or not you are correct about what your religion teaches—then those actions have bigger, more wide-ranging effects than you could ever have imagined.

Or, perhaps you don't think your religion teaches you to hate. But perhaps you don't know how to explain your beliefs effectively, and you give people the impression that you hate them. You may not have committed any act of violence, but your inability to be a good representative of your religion, or your inability to love well, will also have negative effects.

The solution? Stop it already with the whining that "Orlando is not my fault!" Accept a bit of the blame. Shoulder a little responsibility. Even if you are entirely innocent (which is doubtful, fellow sinner), help Christ to carry this cross.

That is what Christians are supposed to do.

(Image: Stations of the cross, Christ falls under his cross; iStock / Used with license.)