I was finishing up season 1 of Downton Abbey when a facebook post caught my eye. It was entitled “A Christian’s View of Downton Abbey.” I had to read, though I feared what the result would be.
My fears were realized. The reviewer condemned the series after watching part of an episode.
I’m not here to say the assessment was wrong. You have the right to your opinion and I have the right to mine. What bothered me was that this is yet another example of how we as believers are known for what we’re against, rather than what we’re for.
I still remember how Christians came out against the Harry Potter books and movies, even though most of them had not read one word of the books or seen any part of the movies. I even saw Christians attack Twilight and try to tie the series to teenagers wanting to become vampires. As if Twilight was the only vampire franchise in town.
How does any of this attract people to Christ? How does any of this show love? I’m all for personal convictions, but I’m not about to impose my personal convictions on someone else. I’m not about to condemn someone else who has different convictions than mine.
I choose to show what I’m for rather than what I’m against. I want people to know I’m for Jesus and all he stands for. That’s love, forgiveness, second chances, repentance, belonging, renewal, and –best of all– life abundant.
I don’t believe in condoning sin or sinful behavior. But I believe in loving the sinner.
Above all, I know how many times I mess up in a single day. I’m not about to pick up a stone to throw at anybody, because I know that I can’t say that I am without sin. I’ve been the recipient of grace from God and so many people over the years and now it’s my turn to pay it forward and show that grace to as many people as I can as much as I can.
This isn’t written by someone who’s figured it all out and is preaching at you from on high. As the old saying goes, “I’m just one beggar trying to tell other beggars where to find bread.” I’m just a sinner saved by grace who fell in love with Jesus and wants every single person to know that.