Friday, October 01, 2010

You know what's not fun?

Opening up the local paper and finding a letter to the editor attacking your friends, your church, and you. Accusations that publicly excoriate you and those you love. Being on the receiving end of self-righteous condemnation, being held up as a misfit pastor and heretic. Having to sit back while another's anger and fear cause him to lash out and warn the community of a danger in their midst.

I get it, really. Whenever you take a stand, you open yourself up for criticism. It's the price we pay for leadership, for attempting to speak to the public good. Having been around fundamentalists for a large portion of my life, I also understand their need for 'defending the faith' against any and all who appear 'weak on the fundamentals.' Still, there's nothing like having somebody misunderstand your point, misread your intention, assume all sorts of untrue things, and then put it all in print for the world to see.

If only this gentleman would have called and asked to talk it over. If only he had spent a few minutes on our website. If only he had asked around, to find out what we really teach and believe. But, no. "Fight or Flight" kicked in, and the "fight" option was chosen. And that's sad, really.

The toughest shots to take are always the ones from inside one's own camp.

Still, the Lord is our defender, and ours is the high road to take.

Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and my Lord. Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. - Psalm 35

3 comments:

Stephenie said...

My stomach is in a knot reading this. There's few things more crappy than having your insides performing gymnastics. Dan, I'm on your side, you radical God-seeking dude. Go get em. Steph

Lori said...

You are right Dan, Christ is our defender. I will be praying with many that this man's heart will be changed and that our church, our pastor, and our service to the Lord, will continue to glorify the Lord. If God is for us, who can be against us.

Andy said...

I'm sorry for putting you in this situation for not being more "fundamental." Praying for God's hand to be evident and the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts...yours and mine. You are demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit here Dan.

So, I'm wondering, which God was Cornelius praying to in Acts 10:2? Was that the "wrong" God because Cornelius didn't understand the whole story before Peter came to fill in the blanks? Is God big enough to hear the prayers of those who call him by a the wrong name or just blurt out in a desperate condition, "hey YOU, are you there, help me?" The question of this guy says more about his small God, his own idolatry, his own creed, small "c" than the big God of the Bible. So am I supposed to check each person before I share Christ with them if they subscribe to a full doctrinal, biblical understand of God before I fill in the blanks and tell them of Christ's love? Wonder what God thinks of all that.