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Terry Storch Dispatch w.05.2021
Be curious, not judgmental. - Walt Whitman
I’ve been wrestling with writing lately. We’re five weeks into this new year, and this is my first dispatch. Writing is often therapeutic and relaxing for me. But right now, I’m in a place where I’m spending more time listening, processing, praying, and examining my thoughts than I am sharing them. Every time I sit down at the keyboard and start to type, I don’t feel like the right stuff will be coming out. It’s time for me to peel back a layer on that onion of thought. So, here we go.
In the United States, there’s been quite a political mess going on. I haven’t known what to do with my thoughts and concerns in this divided realm. Every now and again, I would enter the discussion here on the dispatch, but for the most part, I didn’t really have the ability to effectively transfer the thoughts from my head and put them on “paper.” As we were wrapping up an election and moving towards a shift in government, all the chaos continued to ensue. I honestly could not believe my eyes and ears at how people were responding. Lord help me, I could not process how Christ followers were handling and navigating this situation. I am still not able to really get my true thoughts out, and I’m okay with that.
The biggest challenge I have faced personally in regard to this is watching people close to me get sucked into the extreme right wing media frenzy and literally become brainwashed. That's a pretty big statement, but I honestly believe that’s what it is. I’ve heard so many irrational thoughts that I can’t not label it anything else. I’ve watched highly successful, extremely intelligent business people fall prey to these extreme views and thinking. I just can't fathom it, but I am unfortunately watching or hearing about it almost daily. It’s sad, and in brutal honesty, it’s been pretty challenging to continue loving people through it.
So many of my emotions have emerged with this situation, and many of them are not very God-honoring. I have struggled with judging others, cutting off relationships with some people, and even placing them in the idiot camp and just being done. But, as a Christ follower, none of those responses, feelings, or emotions glorify Jesus. I’ve always loved people who have different views than me because it stretches me. But seeing how some are being corrupted by extremism, watching them get sucked into this mess, and losing relational connection because of political views is just so sad.
I suppose this is where I must write about us having a real enemy. Satan can, will, and does attack, and that causes division. It’s true, and I have to keep this in mind. I have seen the power of division and darkness overtake people like this and it really just enrages me. No political view should ever take precedence over our spiritual calling as followers of Jesus. However, I must remember who the real enemy is, and it’s never people.
Let me be clear: this isn't about politics. It’s not about republican agendas vs democrat agendas, about Trump or Biden, or about whatever else the click bait headlines might throw out into the echo chambers social media can and will create. This is about the tool of the day that is being used to create division and disunity in the Kingdom of God. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or even in the next decade, there will be a new and different tool that is used to create division among the people, for we have history to show us how that works.
I publicly confess I haven’t handled these personal situations perfectly. But I can say that without my relationship with Christ, there’s no telling how I would’ve responded. I am so thankful that He has continually pulled me back to center and reminded me over and over again to love others. The Holy Spirit has flooded me with compassion for people and is helping me fight my fleshly thoughts and emotions. And inside this tension that I’ve been wearing like a winter coat is something pretty beautiful. Raw, but beautiful.
Loving those who are like us, who think like us, and who we claim as friends is pretty easy. Loving those who are really hard to love, who need an overwhelming abundance of grace, and who push every button requires something more. It requires me, it requires you, to be walking with Christ each and every moment of the day. It requires us to change our lens and see if we’re being those people who are hard to love, forgive, and show grace to. It requires us to move past knowing what the Bible says and move into doing what the Bible says to do. And those are two very different things.
I’m starting to really believe that “Love Wins.”
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Biases are real, and we all have them. And just to be clear, biases are not bad inherently. It's more about the motives behind the biases. And when it comes to news, the information that we are taking in, it’s really important to know what angle or bias it is wrapped in before we consume it. I appreciate the work that Media Bias / Fact Check is doing. Take a look at the news sources you are consuming, and then jump over to https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ and see where they fall on the bias meter.
This Media Bias Chart from Ad Fontes Media is a good reference point.
My amazing wife tipped me off a few months back of SmartHer News. The SmartHer news team, lead by Jenna Lee is a no frills, facts only reporting that I have found super refreshing and informative. You can follow SmartHer news on Instagram, or YouTube.
For two years in a row, Life.Church has won the Glassdoor Best Place to Work award. I believe this is the first time ever that a company has won two years in a row—Wow! I can say without a shadow of a doubt, they got it right. Life.Church is an amazing place to work! We have a lot of opportunities, we’re continuing to grow, and we’re hiring in a lot of areas.
All Life.Church careers listed here: