All ye fellow authentic followers of Jesus Christ, listen up.
We need an acronym and we need one now.
Acronyms give groups of like-minded people instant identity.
Some acronyms are so familiar that we not only recognize their group or following, we often understand their mission and purpose. And we know, by their acronym, if we like them or not.
For instance most folks would recognize AA right off the bat. We see AA and we know it’s Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s a traditional, time-honored, successful twelve-step recovery program for those suffering from alcohol addiction. They have regular meetings and drink a lot of coffee. Many of us probably know that BBB stands for the Better Business Bureau. Most folks would probably recognize the acronym IBM before they’d know what the I and the B and the M stand for.
We all recognize NBC, CBS and ABC. Wonder what FOX stands for? We know what AWOL means, and POW and WMD. Don’t most of us dread dealing with the IRS? Lots of folks have CD’s or 401K’s. We know what the NFL is and we watch ESPN. We stay clear of the CIA. We don’t want to get a DUI and we dread getting frisked by the TSA.
The point is we live in a world of acronyms. Even those organizations some folks consider the underbelly of society, plunging our culture into the toilet, have them. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation calls their organization GLAAD. And if someone flashes their GLBT card at the checkout, some would recognize them as a member of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender crowd.
Who would have thought our society would crawl so far into the gutter that we’d identity these folks who need Jesus so desperately with acronyms? Who would have thought that these folks would build such well-oiled, publicity-seeking, clamoring-for-recognition organizations? And that some folks and the mainstream media would categorize their lifestyle by their acronym?
As we consider what our acronym for authentic followers of Jesus might be, we need to remember that God loves each member of GLAAD and GLBT. He waits patiently for them to know Him and become His child. He is waiting for someone to tell them about His love for them. That’s the challenge for those who call themselves “Christians” and all the authentic followers of Christ, isn’t it?
What would you do if you got behind a Hell’s Angel in the line at the grocery store? (I don’t think they have an acronym. They don’t need one.) How would you respond to a man wearing a dress, a wig and high heels who sat next to you on a park bench? What would you say to someone who walked up to you and flashed their GLBT card at you and asked if they could tell you about him/herself?
Sadly, in my opinion, many who call themselves “Christians” and “church-goers” would walk away or look down on “those kinds” of people. Forgetting that when Jesus was here He hung out with those kinds of people. He gravitated to them. They followed Him. They liked Him. He did not hang out with the religious hypocrites or the snooty law-keepers and temple-goers.
I’ve got an idea for an acronym. It’s the way Jesus teaches us to behave. It’s the way Jesus teaches us to respond to those who need to know Jesus so desperately.
LOA — Love One Another. What if the mainstream media started referring to authentic followers of Jesus in their news stories as LOA’s — not because we advertise our acronym on billboards and letterhead and church signs. But because that’s how OTHER FOLKS see us treating one another. WOW!