jux·ta·po·si·tion

[juhk-stuh-puh-zish-uhn]
–noun

1. an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.
2. the state of being close together or side

I remember when I used to have vocabulary lists in school I was required to spell, define and then write a sentence using the words in the list. I’d like to have a vocabulary list were I could also find a photograph that demonstrates or illustrates the word’s meaning. THAT would be fun. Digression down the proverbial trail of the rabbit….

I’d like to juxtapose a couple of things for your consideration.

Joel Hunter started this thinking in his sermon this weekend at Northland. He gets the credit for the insight. I will not use a bunch of “he said” verbiage in sharing this, though. It gets in the way. Besides, I’m going to tell this in my own way, so I’m not really quoting him so much as passing along a portion of what he taught.

ITEM NUMBER ONE:

One of the blogs I follow (“politics in the eyes of an ebony mom”) had this to say about Saturday’s shooting in Tuscon:

Today there was a shooting in Arizona that took the lives of 6 Americans and wounded several others including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords was hosting a political event in her district when a young man opened fire on the crowd. Some on the left tweeted that this was brought on by the heated rhetoric of our times. Some have even blamed Sarah Palin for her famous “don’t retreat, reload” statement. Palin even created a map last spring that showcased Representatives that she saw as vulnerable and used  crosshairs over their names to depict their vulnerability. Giffords was included in that group, but is it fair to blame Palin? No it’s not. Palin did not pull the trigger today a crazed young man did. If we want to look at anything we need to look at how guns are so easily accessible.

I use this to call up within your mind the over-abundance of rhetoric in the political arena that feels like a dramatic shift from debate of issues to attacks on personalities. I know my view is limited, but is feels this way from my seat. In the most recent mid-term elections I had very little idea of what any of the candidates think, stand for or believe in. I had a lot of idea of what I should hate about their opponents. I’m disappointed with candidates. I’m also disappointed with all of us for the feeding frenzies we go on every time anyone does anything we don’t like.

Almost every day on Facebook I read something by one friend or another that is filled with a hate-speak. People of opposing viewpoints are painted as enemies. They are idiots at best and the reincarnation of Hitler at worst. Well, sometimes it gets worse, actually.

ITEM NUMBER TWO:

Jesus (in Matthew 5 – New Living Translation)

21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone,t you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

Jesus (again, Matthew 5 – New American Standard Bible)

21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER ’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Set, in your mind, these teachings of Christ next to the words and behavior of Christians (no, I don’t think all Americans are Christians–I mean those who would clearly say that they have trusted in Christ for their eternal salvation based on the teachings of God’s Word). Juxtoposition. For the purpose of comparrision.

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