Ellen and Neighbors

I am not upset at the current culture I live in (a small city in central North Carolina in the southeast United States of America). Although, and this is when I know I am turning into my parents, I wouldn’t say I am upset but I am very disappointed. If you grew up in my household you would have known this was a go-to line with my parents as my sisters and I headed into our teenage years. “I’m not upset, just disappointed.”

I am disappointed in the culture I am living in because on Facebook yesterday and today, it seemed all people could talk about was this clip from Ellen’s Show.


Now, I love Ellen and her sense of humor, advocacy, and the fact she likes to scare people. However, my disappointment lies in the fact that this is a thing now. It is a thing for people to criticize others who are in the same room, sitting next to, or even interacting with another person who doesn’t have all the same views in life.

Sure, it is very easy to create an echo chamber that reverberates what we think is right in the world. I have stopped having some of my friend’s Facebook posts show up on my feed because they are TOO out there in their views on certain topics. But here is the reality of life. People don’t always agree. Shocking I know…actually I think it is shocking because we have forgotten that reality.

I am teaching Disciple 1 and we are just getting to the end of Exodus. So far, only two books in, people don’t always agree. They don’t always agree with each other and they don’t always agree with God. Yet, God didn’t stop working through them and God doesn’t stop working through us.

Flash forward to Jesus and we still find 12 people Jesus, the Son of God, called to be his disciples disagreeing all the time. God still used them to start the church. God wasn’t done with them yet.

There are a ton of reasons why this happened, why our culture turned in upon itself. We can blame politics, sports, social media, whatever. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten that people are people, not just ideas, views, or supporters.

I was disappointed people were excited Ellen told people she could be around people who she disagreed with. I was disappointed because that is what life is. We gather around tables in dining rooms, church potlucks, restaurants, or even sporting events with other people who see the world differently. I am disappointed we lost the notion that it is okay. I am disappointed we are now uncomfortable, or somehow forbidden to be with people who hold different views, and who think and process the world differently.

I am reminded of Jesus who walks with those who people are uncomfortable with. Jesus has dinner with sinners, Pharisees, prostitutes, Sadducees, tax collectors, and scribes. He doesn’t wonder if they view the world the same, because he knows they don’t. He still sits next to them and tells them to love each other.

It breaks my heart with disappointment we have forgotten one of the core teachings of Jesus. The simplicity and earthshattering command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Thank you Ellen for reminding us but I’m disappointed we so easily forget.

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