I am beyond irritated.
As you may have heard (and if you’ve been in a grocery store checkout line lately, it’s been hard to miss), the couple in the TLC “reality” show Jon & Kate Plus 8 are having some difficulties in their marriage. They admitted as much on a recent episode. This is not the problem—not for me, anyhow. What has me royally ticked off is the reaction to this “revelation” from others who purport to follow Christ.
A major Christian publication, which I used to respect, had at least two articles about Jon & Kate’s problems (like it’s any of their—or our—business?). I read one of these pieces, hoping for compassion, a sense of reaching out to fellow members of the Body of Christ in need. But . . . no. Instead I read a thinly disguised piece of gossip with a sprinkling of superiority thrown in. To be fair, the article itself wasn’t nearly as bad as most of the comments, which started at level of ‘I knew all along they weren’t real Christians’ and slid rapidly downhill from there.
Excuse me? If having problems is a sign of not being a ‘real Christian’ then Jesus was lying when he said “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) We are imperfect people living in a fallen world. Of course this couple is going through a rough patch. Don’t we all, at one time or another?
Why do we, who have been forgiven so much, so easily turn on each other? Let a believer slip and the church sends out invitations for a feeding frenzy, gathering to tear apart the wounded with a sadistic glee. I’ve seen it before. Unless Christ returns soon I expect I’ll see it again. But it breaks my heart; reading through I John, with its repeated commands to “love one another” makes me think it breaks God’s heart, too. Tearing down someone else is no way to build yourself up.
I have and will continue to pray for Jon and Kate; I hope they work things out. But I do not presume to know what they need nor do I dare pretend to be superior to them for any reason. I have no rocks to throw. I do have a bit of an attitude problem about some other people’s comments on the situation, though, so I’m going to go talk to God about that now.