Upon offering commentary on how I am both a Christian and a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, the question has occasionally been posed as to how this can be so. Not that anyone is questioning my faith, although that’s certainly happened more than once. And always by folk who identify themselves as Christians, too. But I digress. Rather, the question raised is how I, as a Christian, can survive the liberal permissive self-indulgent spirit that permeates the place I call home.
It’s not hard, really.
I love a good challenge.
While I have more than once longed to live in a place where traditional values are upheld, I’ve grown quite accustomed to being out here. This is my home. Besides, the level of preparedness necessary to live as a Christian in this area is excellent training for all possible challenges life may throw your way. Some people fear Satan. Out here, he’s considered a rank amateur when it comes to real and potential opponents. A slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.
Besides, based on what I see and hear in people it’s far easier to be a San Francisco Christian than a Los Angeles Christian. An explanation:
It’s not that there aren’t wonderful Christians in Los Angeles and vicinity thereof, men and women working individually and together to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ and to carry out His directive to actively care for one another and those who do not know Him. I know many of these people, and they have blessed me more than I can ever hope to repay. And, it’s not like there aren’t some people up my way who call themselves Christian, but in attitudes and actions are anything but. It’s that the true believers in Los Angeles don’t promote themselves nonstop, therefore you never hear about them. Instead, you hear about and from, mostly from, the ones who carry themselves like a poodle at a dog show, strutting in front of the judges with every move saying, “Look at me!” That’s the difference between a San Francisco Christian and a Los Angeles Christian.
San Francisco Christians embrace people no matter who or what they are, mindful that they are still God’s children no matter what they do to themselves and no one is outside the reach of His love and power to change lives. Los Angeles Christians embrace pop culture in their pursuit of the superficial and shallow, desperate for their fifteen minutes to arrive.
San Francisco Christians understand that people will behave as they please, yet love them all the same while declining to emulate their self-destructive and destructive of others actions no matter how this might ostracize them from the in crowd. Los Angeles Christians embrace people’s narcissistic behavior and take it on as their own so they’ll fit in with the in crowd.
San Francisco Christians know they are sinners saved by grace, therefore never act as if they’re better than others as they know they are not. Los Angeles Christians know they are God’s absolute favorites, therefore can conduct themselves in any manner they please as they are exempted from all behavioral guidelines by their sterling service to Him.
San Francisco Christians see the end result of people who are throwing themselves away, and, while loving them, encourage them through example to change their ways. Los Angeles Christianity not only ignores the end result of people’s self-destructive behavior, it believes it can beat the odds by emulating that behavior yet somehow remaining untouched by its end results.
San Francisco Christians politely smile at the attempts of many to achieve the full expression of themselves, responding with a simple “not my style” when asked to join in with the sin. Los Angeles Christianity wholeheartedly endorses the complete worship of oneself.
Los Angeles Christians’ greatest flaw isn’t the drinking, drugs, occult activity, cheap sex, or any other indulgence in the seven deadly sins that they so gleefully embrace. It’s pride. These are people who believe your every action, thought, word and deed is designed to somehow curry favor with them. And if not, obviously there is something very wrong with you. Their motto is not, “There but for the grace of God go I.” It’s, “Why isn’t that me?” as the beautiful people go strolling by. The star they seek is not the bright Morning Star, nor the Star Song. Rather, it is a star on Hollywood Boulevard. And, if you’ve ever been there, you know it is a dirty and disgusting place.
Life isn’t showbiz.
(Cross-posted at Conservative Commune)