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ozAll in good humor here, but I seem to have left Alice in Wonderland and plunged right into the Wizard of Oz. Same girl in the blue dress I suppose, same strange and unusual weirdness. Rather than skipping down the Yellow Brick Road with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, I myself stand accused of having no heart, no brain, and no courage.

Sometimes it can be rather funny on the internet, people can get all huffy and then it is just like tick, tick, tick as one accuses you of having no brain, the next no heart, and the next no courage. For the record, IB does not always help matters with her sarcasm, like demanding to know, what is this, the Wizard of Oz? Shall I unleash my flying monkeys now or just drop a house on your head?

oz2No need to lecture me about the heretical nature of the Wizard of Oz, or the socio-political ramifications of reading too many children’s books, or the dangers inherent in witchcraft. “I got this thing,” or so my children used to say, usually right before they plunged over a cliff.

Anyway, I have long been involved in this internet campaign I call “Act Like a Human.” It’s very Miss Grundy, very school-marmish, very tone policing and good-manners-enforcing. I am aware of that.  It’s prim, proper, and prudish. Just the same, I’m going to have to insist. Perhaps a more appropriate name would be, Act Like a Christian. Yes, even on the internet. In plain speak, practice basic civility, use your big person manners, and do not abuse people.

I realize the very word “abuse” has been totally co-opted, so now anything and everything is now rather subjectively perceived as abuse. You’re abusing me with your opinions! Your very existence is triggering me! Setting aside all such nonsensical things however, we’re not stupid people. We all know when we’re being abusive and downright rude.

People can get really ugly on the internet. Christian people. Straight up, knock it off. If you’re going to represent Christ, than do it. Unless I look like a money changer in the temple, don’t even try telling me what you’re doing is “love.” IB falls down rabbit holes, not off turnip trucks.

All lectures and trips through Oz with Dorothy aside, I came across this timely article that kind of does apply or at least is related.

How to Love Your Ideological Enemy click to read

Karen Swallow Prior writes a delightful and encouraging piece at Christianity Today and introduces us to the idea of practicing “hospitable orthodoxy.”

“Hospitable orthodoxy.” Huh. I’m really liking that concept! Hospitality is actually one of my favorite things to do, and it is something I often see lacking in the world. It’s somewhat funny, being a greeter is actually a “job” in many churches. I had no idea! I understand elders and ushers, but I always thought being a greeter was simply the Christian lifestyle.

You may laugh at me if you like, it’s only fair after all this “abuse” I have just heaped on everyone, but I have simply assumed that being a greeter and practicing hospitality was our very calling as Christians, our very lifestyle! I still believe it is,  or should be rather, but now that I understand it is actually MY calling specifically, perhaps I’ll feel more gracious and forgiving towards those who seem to believe they are Jesus Christ’s personal policemen and bouncers.

Or not. It’s always possible I’ll just drop a house on their head.