I'm typically a pretty agreeable person. I don't like to argue. Nope, I don't like it one bit. I don't even like silently disagreeing, though there are plenty of times I do. Over the past few years, God has been teaching me that it's not always good to remain silent, and I've been learning to "listen" for His guidance on when it's okay and good to stay quiet and when it's best to step outside my comfort zone and say something.
I've been feeling for a few days now, since I read and had time to digest the popular blog post by Jen Hatmaker called In The Basement, that I need to say something in response to it. My little blog here is really not very significant in the scheme of things, so my words aren't likely to make much of an impact, but I still need to be obedient to what I feel the Lord is impressing upon me to write. Please read that blog post if you haven't, so you know exactly what it is I'm talking about here.
It was a delight to read the heart, the writing style, and the obvious love behind the post. I sincerely enjoyed reading it and looking at things from a unique perspective. I was drawn in from the beginning, being a sufferer of tornado-phobia myself.
I agreed with much of what was written--the examining of our own hearts instead of others' and the hatred of "abuse and violence and crowded orphanages and trafficked sixth-graders," for example-- there was so much good stuff there, I can't possibly list it all here. Yet something was nagging at my spirit. I feel like . . . well, like, there's more to the story!
I don't agree that we would be right to just park ourselves in the basement for keeps.
Yeah, many people generally flee to the basement to escape the literal storm. But, first of all, not everyone has that privilege. Some people don't have basements. Others have occupations that keep them above ground even during the worst of a storm. They aren't wrong or bad because of it.
Secondly, we don't remain in the basement. We have to come up and face the aftermath of the storm. For many who survive the storm, the aftermath is much worse than the storm itself. Yet those details must be attended to!
I completely "get" the fatigue and disgust at the cultural wars waging in our country. It is so very tiring and becomes hateful on both "sides" sometimes. Beyond hateful, really. I don't disagree with that.
But that doesn't mean we are to totally disengage from the war. It doesn't mean that everyone who is fighting is using nasty methods. It doesn't mean there's nothing worth fighting for.
Jesus argued with people all the time. He knew how and chose to do so lovingly. He made many people uncomfortable with his accountability.
He didn't have his own agenda, though. He was all about His FATHER's business!
Yes, there are devout, well-meaning Christians who think they are "fighting for the Lord," but who somewhere down the line go off on their own tangents, forgetting that they ought not to be name-calling or blowing up buildings (abortion clinics) or withholding respect from certain groups of people. It seems to become more about them personally being "heard" at all costs. These haters are LOUD, just like many liberally-minded people can be very LOUD. Scary even. It isn't right to behave that way.
Just because those people stoop to those tactics, does not mean there aren't also many who fight fair! The Bible makes it clear that this life is a war, that we are to stand on the side of righteousness and fight the good fight! God is using many strong, steady, courageous, persevering men, women, teenagers and children who are willing to keep their eyes on Him and His agenda. They love people with the best kind of accountability--loving, biblical, Christ-like--naming sin sin without stooping to the hateful tactics of LOUD foolishness.
Somebody NEEDS to be vigilantly aware of what's going on and willing to stand up for truth! If God isn't calling you, dear reader, to be that one right now, then you need to be obedient to that. But we need to support those whom God places in the heat of the battle, not accuse them of just being LOUD and hateful like those who actually are LOUD and hateful. The ones God has called and who are responding rightly to that call are NOT like all the rest!
Of course it's okay to rest sometimes. Jesus did that! But He always got back to work. He loved people, and part of the way He showed His love was by telling them He knew of their sin, and, more importantly, what could be done about it! He did not run away from conflict!
If we all stay in the basement, the world has no chance of getting any better. I personally am so thankful for those who stay above and fight in ways I don't yet know how to. I'm grateful that they make the most of opportunities that I'll likely never have. If those people had not been fighting for many years now, before most of us even took the time to realize there was a war, we would not even have the dwindling freedoms as Christians that we're clinging desperately to today.
I believe it is disrespectful and incorrect to lump all the warriors in one lot and say or imply they are all hateful, obnoxious, and using the Gospel as a "bludgeoning tool." This is false.
It is not automatically hateful to call homosexuality (as one of many examples) wrong. It IS wrong! To name-call and degrade people who have chosen that lifestyle is hateful and wrong as well. It's just as unloving, though, to pretend what they are doing is okay, that there aren't often horrible consequences tied to that choice, both for the homosexual person himself or herself and to the society that lies about it in the name of "tolerance." There's no love there!
Correctly-handled accountability is not hateful!
And there is no love in just allowing people to die in their delusions, not even trying to help them see the truth.
There is ministry happening in that basement, but there are other things going on in other places. And that's a good thing.
Now, as a blogger (on a smaller scale) myself, I'm aware that people can misunderstand the points of our blog posts from time to time. I'm really open to the possibility that I missed something (though I've read it several times) or just didn't understand the central message of that post. And even if the message was that she thinks we should stay in the basement and not try to fight for what's right, it is absolutely her right to think and say so.
Just as it is mine to say I disagree with that part of it.
This post is not directed at the writer of that post. It's just the response of my heart to what I read, and maybe an opportunity for a few readers to consider what the Lord impresses upon them to think and do about these cultural battles . . . which are not likely to end anytime soon.
In the end, it's really not about Chick-fil-A or Obamacare. It's about the lies and deceit and injustice that have been allowed to run rampant through our country, and what God is asking us individually and collectively to do about it. It starts with the individual. God doesn't want us to be disheartened and afraid! He doesn't want us to wallow in our fatigue over the state of our nation.
What does He want you to do? What does He want you to say? Will you do it? Will you say it? (I'm absolutely asking myself these questions!)
May HIS agenda be foremost on our minds, and may we glorify HIM in all we think and do and say!