If you know me, then you are aware of my obsession with Old Time Radio shows. The Jack Benny Program, The Great Gildersleeve (A 1940’s version of spell check would not question my spelling of Gildersleeve), and my particular favorite is Gunsmoke. Good guys, bad guys, and very clear lines of who was right and who was wrong. In the movies and television, the “Good Guys” wore white hats, and the “Bad Guys” wore black hats. These props were very convenient for the viewing audience, and for the bystanders witnessing the goings on of these people. Interesting, the bystanders didn’t always wear the black or white hats.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life worked that way? The Republicans could wear White hats, and the Democrats could wear black hats, or even more fun for me the Democrats could wear the white hats!! Better yet, each person we encounter could wear a white or black hat, and then we could be assured of who the good guys and bad guys are. (I feel the glare of the politically correct regarding my use of guys!!) Wait! I just saw the Black Hat open the door for a lady. Oh No!! The White Hat just crossed the street against the red light!! Please let this fade to black and white so they’ll all look grey, and relieve my confusion!!!
Here’s the deal my Christian friends. Jesus didn’t ask us to wear Black or White hats. I know, he said “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” As I read that passage in Revelation I don’t see anything about doctrine. In the context, I see us being admonished to either be in or out for God. I suppose that means we should be wearing white hats, but we aren’t perfect, nor do we see things perfectly, and we certainly don’t interpret everything the same. Maybe we’re more like the bystanders, just having to be who we are, and doing the best we can to become more.
Here’s my suggestion: Let’s drop the Hat mentality, and realize that if two or more people are involved there is going to be disagreement somewhere on some level. Jews and Gentiles didn’t agree on things, but Jesus accepted both. Grey hats? I don’t agree with everything Southern Baptists teach, but I worship with them. I don’t agree with everything Churches of Christ teach, but I’m grateful for my heritage with them. I don’t agree with everything anybody says, but I still love them, respect them, and in cases where they tell me they follow Jesus, I call them my brother or sister (You’re welcome politically correct readers). There are a great number of things that can cause us to point and scream, “Black hat! Black hat!”, but if that Black Hat is covered in the blood of Jesus, doesn’t that make it white? And just for the record, we all wore black hats before He saved us.