Facing the extremists in balance.

It’s been a few days since I have been able to post on here. Busy aspects of life got in the way, and kept me from being able to focus my thoughts into coherent sentences. The response to my last post amongst random readers has been a rather eye opening experience. Most of these comments you have not seen as the reader, because the majority I were unable to let past screening due to language, hatred, or simply just ranting, and having nothing to do with the actual topic of the post. That ebing said, I wanted to share some thoughts as a believer after hearing a lot of things from unbelievers looking in on the event with pastor Alois Bell.

1. Grace or judgment reactions always lead to receiving judgment from someone else. If I had written the post hammering down on this pastor for being so awful and evil then I inevitably would have been rebuked by others for being too harsh. It would have rightfully been pointed out to me that I am also a sinner in need of grace. On the flip side, by showing some hints of grace on the situation I still face judgment form those who think I simply try and protect one of my own. I had plenty of people tell me I was just as bad as the pastor for simply acknowledging that we all fall short of God’s standard. This leaves me with a simple conclusion. Don’t let your need for balance between grace and judgment be rooted in a desire to please everyone. In fact, balance often mean receiving judgment from both extreme sides.

2. People really want to find a reason to hate Christianity. I’m sure me saying that will upset some people. Some will try and say they simply hate Christianity because of how Christians act, but even that isn’t very accurate. They may receive a bad taste after a run in with a select few Christians who have acted very poorly to them, but it cannot possibly be the wrongful actions of Christian everywhere that make them hate Christianity. People wanted to find another reason to hate Christianity in this situation. The search results told me as much. I found a very unique difference between my reaction to this woman, and the reaction of those who are not Christians. They delighted in her sin because it made those she represents look bad. I was grieved over her sin, because sin is always something to be grieved over.

3. People don’t want to take responsibility for their hateful words. The most hateful and curse filled comments were form those who left no real name or email. They did not want to be associated with their words. They did not want to take responsibility for the things they said. I think this is something everyone struggles with. We like the anonymity of the internet. We like being able to say exactly what is on our mind without any apparent repercussions. The more we speak hatefully on the internet though, the more hateful we are in our hearts. It is only a matter of time before that exposes itself in full force. If you don’t want people to know you are the one saying something, then you probably shouldn’t be saying it at all.

4. People get this was wrong. It fascinates me. People in these moments recognize there is a basic moral code that exists that all human beings should be aware of. They acknowledge there is such a thing as right and wrong. In a way I think we as believers should be encouraged by that. I think we have tricked ourselves into thinking our culture as a whole no longer acknowledges that something is wrong. It may indulge in hosts of sins willingly, but not all hope is lost. In a strange way, the outrage I witnessed form so many people encouraged me. They knew it was wrong. They knew it was more than just this pastor being hypocritical. They knew there was something unjust in their midst.

5. Speaking out requires thick skin. Like I said, I received a lot of nasty opinions at the situation, and a few directed right at me. Most of them clearly only read the first paragraph of my post. They failed to realize I acknowledged what this pastor did was wrong, and that she needed to repent. I’ve had people disagree with me on here before. I have had some disagree with me to a pretty rude extent, but the responses form this post were simply hateful. It would be easy for me to assume I was doing something right just because of the hateful responses I received, but that would have been the wrong reaction. After all, the Westboro cult receives large amounts of hate for their views, but clearly they are still wrong. It required me examining myself, and making sure what I was saying had real truth to it. That it was done with grace and respect. After that all that was left was to put on the thick skin and move forward. People on both sides will not appreciate truth when it is being spoken. They will not stop to see how you are different form the hypocrites they are so familiar with. Calling yourself Christian means you are targeted with a stereotype. Fight against it, be gracious, and serve the Lord.

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