Posts Tagged ‘Christian intolerance’

While working in my garage a few days ago, I couldn’t help but hear the music coming from one of the houses across the street.

The music was loud … pounding … and vulgar.

Very, very vulgar.

The man who lives in that house is the father of many children.  His kids were outside playing … hearing those horrible lyrics … and it bothered me … a lot.

One might even say that those lyrics vexed me.

I felt the same way yesterday while walking down the main street in our neighborhood.  A man was sitting in his vehicle … a rap song cranked up to harmful levels … the song filled with references to four-letter words and the repetition of the term “chainsaws.”

He was parked on the street … waiting for his child to get out of school … right next to a sidewalk where children walk home.

I’ve been noticing recently that I’m becoming increasingly vexed by things that I’m seeing and hearing in our culture … and at times, I don’t know what to do about it.

Sometimes I’m vexed by things that probably don’t bother other people.

For example, when I grew up, and a basketball player hit a long jump shot, he might slap hands with a teammate, or point at him, but that would be it.

Nowadays, when some guys hit layups, they scream at the top of their lungs and pound their chest.

That vexes me … but it’s more a matter of personal style.

However, I suppose that I’m primarily disturbed by various forms of immorality that almost everyone once considered to be wrong … but now are celebrated.

Take the Grammy Awards, for example.

I am passionate about music.  And for several decades, I looked forward to watching the Grammys every February.

But several years ago, after watching another onstage display of outright paganism … along with a visible mockery of the Christian faith … I stopped watching the Grammys.

They’re just too vexing to my spirit.

The same goes for the upcoming Academy Awards.  I used to enjoy watching them.  Now I can’t.

Just too vexing.

All the hoopla about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie vexes me, too.

No, I didn’t read the book.  (In fact, I didn’t even know it existed until a couple of weeks ago.)  And I could never see a film like that.

But a prominent Christian … a famous NFL quarterback … tweeted several days ago that he saw the film and thought it was great.

Influential Christians recommending evil … that vexes me, too … as does lying.

I took my car in for an oil change several months ago to a repair shop that I’ve frequented.  The technician told me that I needed a new tire … and I was positive that I had just purchased that same tire several months before.

So I took my car to another place that specializes in tires, and the technician told me that my tire was just fine.

I was vexed.

When someone lies to me, I become extremely vexed, which is why I can’t even watch certain politicians on television.

Those who have openly, blatantly, and arrogantly lied to the American people – regardless of their party affiliation – vex me no end.  (Wasn’t it the Who who sang, “We won’t get fooled again?”)  What guarantees do we have that their next utterances won’t be full of lies, too?

Whenever these politicians come onto my television screen, I can’t remain calm, so I either mute the sound or flip to another channel … only returning when they’ve disappeared.  (Am I the only person who does this?)

And then … there’s Bruce Jenner.

Several years ago, a friend gave me a framed cover of Sports Illustrated featuring Jenner from the summer of 1976.  A signature of Jenner appeared just below the cover.

I watched Jenner win a Gold Medal in the Decathlon during the 1976 Olympic Games.  One would have thought that he was a “man’s man.”

But now, he wants to become a woman … and the headlines in a national magazine state that he’s finally happy.

Doesn’t that vex you?

And what in the world should I do with the Jenner cover and signature?  (It’s been in storage, not on my wall.)

Some of you might be thinking, “Jim, you really have some issues.”  But I claim biblical support for some of my feelings.

Dr. Luke tells us that when Paul first visited Athens … he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols (Acts 17:16).

Just this morning, while looking for a new place to take my car for an oil change, I walked into a shop office I saw advertised online.

The heavy smell of smoke repulsed me … but the large statue of Buddha vexed me.  And I can’t do business where I’m vexed.

In fact, whenever I’m vexed in spirit, I think of 2 Peter 2:7-9.  Peter writes about Abraham’s nephew Lot and highlights him as an example of a righteous man vexed by an ungodly culture:

… and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) – if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment …

While living in Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot was “distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men.”

I can relate.

There are many things I love in this world.  But more and more, I’m finding myself longing for another home … a place of purity and grace … where my spirit can enjoy rest, not torture.

As a kid, one of my favorite gospel choruses was called This World is Not My Home.

One of the lines in that song stated, “And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

Am I feeling the way I do because of my age … my experiences … my theology … or because of the Holy Spirit?

I’m not sure … but I do know that feeling vexed isn’t unusual for a Christian.

In fact, let me ask:

What vexes you these days?




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