Friday, June 8, 2012

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. 
~Italian Proverb

From frying pan to frying pan, many of us are found on the searing end of the debate when it comes to the things of God - - if "debate" is even the right term.  

That's not to say such exercises are a bad thing, but it's definitely not my mother's era; an era that included great respect for The Creator, and for Christian values.  

Oh, I understand full well why some take up the war-paint when engaged in dialogue about the Bible in general, and Christians in particular.  All-too-many have witnessed, or have been on the receiving end of far too much folly served up in the name of Christ.  They stand aghast, as do I, when the whackos from Westboro (what's up with them & that, anyway?) pitch their mean-spirited tents on the doorsteps of the bereaved.  They've watched highly esteemed men & women plummet from the pulpit, or worse.  

Subsequently the naysayers have finely tuned their talking points, and it is little wonder many of those points contain combustible vitriol.  They are often joined by a chorus of media-types who make it all very public.  The fires are stoked much as they were for Nebuchadnezzar's furnace (think Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego).

What bothers me most (besides the singeing my own posterior takes at times) in all of it is how that poor little baby goes swirling down the drain with the bath-water.  The Good News gets muddled up & then combined with the bad news. 

Harry Truman's solution, "If you can't take the heat, you'd best get out of the kitchen." is not an option in God's hot-topic economy.  He's more inclined to tell us that, If you can't take the heat, get yourself an asbestos suit...  or remind us (as I heard recently), "Your current task is to engage in a theological conversation that will transform heat into light." 

Now there's a challenge if ever I heard one!

We may have difficulty when it comes to walking on water (my own few attempts have been something short of stellar).  But it's certain God will make fire-walkers out of us yet ... and for a time such as this. 

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?   
But even if you should suffer for what is right,
you are blessed.
“Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to
everyone who asks you to give the reason
for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect, 
keeping a clear conscience, 
so that those who speak maliciously
against your good behavior in Christ
may be ashamed of their slander.   
For it is better, if it is God’s will, 
  to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 
 ~ 1 Peter 3:13-17


Sonja said...

oh so true! I am nodding my head at the whole blog, and at the visual I get on some of these 'Godly' discussions... oh for more of the wisdom that turns them into a real testimony of who Jesus is to us, rather than the best words or uppity theology.

Debbie said...

AMEN to every word of this. Well said!

Enjoy your week-end!

Denise Oldham said...

Beautifully said my friend.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I have often thought and am coming to believe that the most effective debators (sp?)--those with the capacity to bring light to a theological discussion--are those who have less to say. I admire calm, thoughtful responses far more than hysterical ones (guilty, guilty, guilty as charged). Oh for a heart that turns away wrath by a gentle word, a well-thought out word that issues forth from a well-grounded faith.

Blessings my sassy-sister.


Glenda said...

So true! I really like that last quote!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Nothing needs added....AMEN!

Peggy said...

A thought provoking post and a challenge that I need to take to heart.

Sharon said...

I hopped on over here from Sonja's blog. What a great message! Yes, sign me up - I want to be a fire-walker!

I am happy to become a new follower. I look forward to reading more!


Debbie said...

Amen to these well spoken words. I came here from a shout out from Sonya's blog,and she certainly spoke the truth.

We're just beginning a unit in the SS class I teach on this exact topic, and I love what you said about "turning heat into light". THAT is my goal. I love it.

I'm very glad to have met you

Just a little something from Judy said...

I found myself agreeing with you as I read down through your thoughts, at times stopping and going back to read again:) A gentle, humble spirit speaks volumes to me, and I find more salt and light in a spirit controlled response than in any "needing to be right and wanting to prove it" type attitude. Well written!