» Huffington Post: Just Follow Jesus: Interview with Christian Singer Derek Webb
OK, so I visited my parents up in North Richland Hills earlier in the month - sorta coinciding with their anniversary, sorta coinciding with Christmas, and spot-on with the High School football championship games at Cowboys Stadium. I booked a few extra days around those games, so we had quantity, if not quality, time together. As a result, there are two of the most irritating questions in the world: a) "How was Dallas?", and b) "How was your Christmas?".
I did not visit Dallas. I did not in the course of my trip ever, once cross the county line into Dallas. And as anyone who has resided in Tarrant County for any amount of time will tell you - Tarrant County ain't Dallas. Secondly, the trip to see my parents was, for all intents and purposes, my Christmas. As for the actual date of December 25th, I slept through abut 90% of it. I think I woke up to rummage through the fridge in the hopes of maybe getting some food into the finely tuned ecosystem that is my body - but it didn't happen. I kept a few books to read in case insomnia ever kicked in and I didn't want to get out of bed - but that didn't happen, either. Instead, I just slept a lot. Emphasis on "a lot." Take your pick on which version of "my Christmas" works better for your understanding.
That rant aside, I'd like to point out that this Q&A with Derek Webb is a pretty nice Christmas present even if it comes a day after Christmas. Obviously, I'm not being too choosy with my chronology these days.
Anywho, here's a taste of what Derek has to say these days ...
What place do you see Christians having in such a religiously diverse culture? How should Christians respond to things like anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence?
Again, my first response is that Christians need to see ourselves as the same as those we're pointing our fingers at. The exact same thing goes for the conversation on religious diversity. We have got to see ourselves as the same as those we might perceive as our enemies. Not only is that a good idea; I think it's a direct commandment from Jesus.
That is counterintuitive to me, but Jesus says we are to be preemptive about how we love. I think Christianity has a very unique position in these arguments to demonstrate what we believe, to where we might not even have to tell people about [Jesus] and that his primary message was love, if we demonstrated it better.
I think this is an especially important moment and conversation. At a time when everybody in our culture is talking about tolerance, it seems that tolerance has the highest premium of any response -- "If we just tolerate one another..." But my feeling is: Who wants to be tolerated? People don't want to be tolerated; they want to be loved.
I don't want to be tolerant of people. I want to move toward and love people, to know them and know their stories, and to tell them my story. I think, if we did more of that, we'd all learn that our stories aren't that different, and that there might even be a bigger story -- a meta-narrative -- that we're all tied up in together.
Like I said ... good stuff. Merry Christmas. Whatever day you're celebrating it on.